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The 2020 hybrid odyssey: a look into the impacts of hybrid learning

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Walking into school the first day this year was a brand new scene for everyone. All the staff and students wearing masks, classes have at most a dozen kids, and students have to sit in every other seat during lunch to social distance. The year has started out far from normal and the recent change to hybrid learning has impacted both the teachers and the students.

Unlike in past years, the first few weeks of orientation where teachers and students start to build a connection is unable to happen as often this 2020 school year. Mike Wood, chemistry teacher, said, “I’m not going to be as familiar with my students as I used to be in terms of what is a good way for them to learn and what are other things going on in their life.” 

Although students only come to school two days a week, it’s better than being completely online because the teachers can still slowly build that relationship with their students. Amber Rosacker, math teacher, said, “I am really happy we are able to be back in the building in some capacity because what I love about my job is the students.” For some teachers the relationship they have with students is what keeps them excited to come into the classroom everyday and teach.  

“I am really happy we are able to be back in the building in some capacity because what I love about my job is the students.”

Amber Rosacker

The teacher and student relationships are important, but so are the relationships between the students themselves. Alicia Stoskopf, senior, said, “It’s difficult to have hybrid senior year because I can’t spend nearly as much time with all the other people that I got to know through my years at Ranch.” A big part of high school is meeting new people and interacting with them every weekday, but this year a great deal of that time has been stripped away. 

Hybrid learning has caused both the teachers and students alike to make adjustments to better adapt to the new schedule. For the teachers, they’ve had to put more time to set up the lessons for both in-person and online. Rosacker said, “I have had to work a lot harder this year to be prepared for my classes and to make sure we stay on track with the standards we need to cover.” Teachers have had to become more flexible with their plans this year because of the amount of uncertainty.

Students have had to make an adjustment to the dramatic increase of self accountability placed on them this year. They don’t have anyone monitoring them all day when they’re at home, which can make it harder to keep up and easier to fall behind. Taryn Foster, freshman, said, “I’ve started to keep a planner with me so I can keep track of all my assignments and their due dates. That way I have all of my tests, homework, and things I need to study in one place.” 


Students and teachers explain some of the ways that help them get used to hybrid learning this 2020-2021 school year. Infographic by Kara Lyons

Freshman this year weren’t expecting to start high school like this, but that doesn’t keep Foster from looking on the positive side. She said, “It’s really interesting and I think that it’s a good way for me to be eased into where certain classes are and how to get around the school.” 

Along with getting used to change, there can be stress and anxiety that comes with it. That being said, it’s important to monitor your mental health. Veronica Brown, counselor, said, “You’ve got to take care of yourself, and I think if you’re not taking care of your mental health, then you can’t focus on school.”

There are multiple outlets students can use to help reduce stress and help those who are struggling in addition to reaching out to family, teachers, and counselors. One outlet Brown suggests is finding passions and things they enjoy outside of school, so that if or when they start to feel stressed or overwhelmed, they can refer to that passion and take a break from whatever they are doing.

During this time, students and teachers have to just go day by day because of the unknowns, so they have to learn to live in the present and not worry about what happened or will happen. Brown said, “Really it’s kind of finding those fun things and those passionate things that are passions for students so that it’s not just them looking at the computer all day long on their at-home days. They can actually just stop and take a little bit of a break to kind of regroup.”

Kara Lyons, associate editor

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The 2020 hybrid odyssey: a look into the impacts of hybrid learning