Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Teaching: What’s Working?

(Three Weeks In)

Hybrid teaching is HARD.  Even though we’re fortunate to be in the school building, some of our students have chosen to stay remote and are joining our classes synchronously.  Additionally, with social distancing protocols in place, much of what we do must be re-imagined anyway.  You know I’m lying if I pretend like everything is peachy, but, in focusing on the positives, here’s what IS working for me so far.


Nearpod has been integral in receiving feedback from every student in the class wherever they are.  If you aren’t familiar, Nearpod allows you to add interactivity to your Google slides through open-ended, multiple choice, and slides that are drawable.  I have also been loving the “collaborate” feature which creates a virtual board of responses that every student can see.  As I get more experience, I’ll elaborate more on Nearpod, but right now I’m using the drawable features as a substitute for having students to the board, collaborative features for kicking off class discussions, and a mixture of all the activities and Time to Climb game for review and other in-class activities.

I also took the plunge and finally switched to the cloud-based IDE repl.it to simplify installing software and minimizing errors that come from using different operating systems.  I know repl.it is switching platforms from Classroom to Teams, but for now I’m sticking with Classroom.  Assigning, turning in, handing back homework, and giving feedback has been super easy.  Much easier than when students had to upload code files to our LMS!  As an added bonus, the students can collaborate on code files in real time.  This has been a game-changer in breakout rooms so I can keep an eye on each group through their shared repl.it link even when I’m not in the breakout room.

Class Logistics

Our school is requiring us to post weekly agendas and homework to our LMS.  Posting links to our class Zoom as well as links for each activity is a little time consuming, but worth it to keep everything in one place for remote learners and for students to refer back to.

In the spring, I found it really challenging to juggle all the windows I needed on my small laptop screen.  I’ve found it really helpful this fall to use my projector as a second monitor and then share the second screen via Zoom to my remote learners.  This has been a good visual cue to me as to what everyone (in the room and at home) can see as well as give me a less public place (my laptop screen) to keep the remote learners video and chat.  I think as a student, I’d be super self-conscious about my video being on the big screen all the time.  On the rare occasion that I have their videos on the projector, I let them know or minimize their videos.

Self-compassion and Self-care

Go easy on yourself. I keep telling myself that successful teaching in a pandemic is going to take work, but we’ll get there.  You’ll teach some content eventually, but remind yourself often that you want to be there for the kids.  In the meantime, I indulge in self-care.  For me, that’s little treats like a pre-packaged salad at Trader Joe’s so I don’t have to pack lunch, and carving out time to exercise or practice yoga even if its only 10 minutes. (By the way, loving Yoga with Adrienne as she supplies a practice for every intention.  Yoga for Change and Drain, anyone?)