Photo by Hannah Conn '23
With the recent return to the hybrid learning model, Staples High School is as empty as it will ever be. Classes this week for Cohort A have reached a maximum of seven, maybe eight students if you’re lucky enough. Many see this as a negative sign. They claim that with such an imbalance between in-person and at-home students, many will be discouraged from doing their work and unable to connect with their friends as they are split between the two cohorts. But it is important to look at the silver linings of the hybrid model and recognize that it has its benefits.
The hybrid model gives everyone an opportunity to find what works best for them in regards to their preferred learning style and what option is better for their family and/or living situation. In-person learners are especially benefiting from this schedule.
In-person classes are more individually focused now. Of course, with more than half of the class online, it can be a stressful adjustment for everyone, but now teachers are able to connect well with all students, both in-person and at-home learners.
I’ve been more confident in my abilities to perform and speak in class with less of a peer presence, and classes have seemed more personal as teachers and in-person students can engage in one-on-one or small group conversations.
With lower numbers and more safety precautions, namely the recently implemented seating charts, the risk factor has actually dropped for students who are coming into school. With fewer students, there is more space for social distancing. Moreover, in the event of another breakout, fewer students will be at risk. Any parents who were worried about sending their children back can rest assured knowing that Staples is now a lower risk location.
Of course, COVID-19 has caused a number of changes for us all, and things are very different than they were even just a year ago, so there is no question about the negative impacts of the pandemic. However, it is important to keep a positive outlook on our current situation to keep spirits up throughout these challenging times.