Pros and Cons of Hybrid Learning
A small anecdote in the spirit of Thanksgiving!
Recently, I have come to the conclusion that the small breaks between each class during Hybrid@Home are an under-appreciated luxury that, if used to your advantage, can promote both mental and physical well-being. For someone like me, who highly dislikes sitting in front of a screen and listening to a lecture for more than 30 minutes, 10 minutes in between classes can change my attitude towards class entirely. Then again, I do occasionally have a tendency to let my emotions get the best of me. Regardless, having the freedom to go grab a snack, get a quick breath of fresh air or even lie down and contemplate life is something that I definitely have benefitted from. I like to see it as a small positive amid the downslide that my daily routine has become due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, something that I definitely did not appreciate during in-person school is the relatively controlled temperature within the school building. I use the word “relatively” here since there are definitely rooms that are unnaturally freezing or ridiculously hot. But generally speaking, the school is usually at a nice room temperature. Of course, I used to complain a ton about this place being cold or that room being unbearably hot, but after being stuck at home, I miss the temperatures at school. Although I should be somewhat used to the temperature settings in my household by now, I guess I never used to try to go to school in my room. My parents, who are for some reason very heat and cold resistant, refuse to turn up the heat in our household, so our house is set at 56°F all winter. Now I know this decision saves a ton of money and you can quote, “Just put on more clothes,” but I think it’s slightly absurd that I have to wear a ski jacket indoors. Though I don’t know at what temperature other people’s houses are set and whether or not they have similar encounters, this situation has made me greatly appreciate the warm, toasty temperatures in the school building during the winter months.
As we get more comfortable with this atypical school year, I’ve found that Hybrid Learning and its varying on and off campus options give me a really great break from the standard eight-hour school structure. Additionally, with the variety of virtual and in-person learning, I feel strongly that we’re emulating Hannah Montana in that we’re getting the best of both worlds. :D
Personally, I think Hybrid@Home comes with a lot of great benefits, including the extra time to get more sleep in the morning since we don’t have to commute to school. Learning at home is also really rewarding when you have study halls in the morning; you can take what would’ve been your waking hours in the Lecture Hall (if you’re in 9th and 10th grade) tucked under your warm, cozy covers. And once you get on with your day, I find it’s hard to beat the feeling of euphoria when your last class is finishing, and you’re seconds away from logging off Google Meet to do whatever you please. Finally, as a person with Early Out, I love how several of my school days end around noon, so I can start my homework earlier and thus lessen my workload in the evening.
Conversely, Hybrid@Holton has definitely made me miss normal, non-Covid life. Being able to see my classmates in-person and learning with them in the same room, despite all the irritants of a pandemic, constantly reminds me to find gratitude in the little things. Whether it’s walking down the hall laughing with a friend, sneaking the 9th graders’ snacks in the Pool Lounge or troubleshooting tech problems because school iPads can be a pain, I’ve been able to forge stronger friendships that carry on after class. Additionally, I wouldn’t have reactivated my dormant Poptropica account if it weren’t for my friends’ persistent requests to play during our free study halls together, and navigating virtual islands with each other is something I definitely miss when we’re at home.