Seven months into the 2020-2021 school year, hybrid learning is now available for public school students across Virginia. Many students are excited about this opportunity to learn in the classroom, if only two days a week. Others, unsure of how the hybrid learning model differs from all in-person or virtual school, may be a little nervous about the change. Try out these tips for a smooth transition from virtual to hybrid learning.
Ask each teacher what his or her expectations are regarding assignment submission, class participation, and attendance policies for in-person instruction. Even if you don’t think expectations will change from virtual to hybrid learning, it never hurts to ask. Review health protocol and procedures so you are familiar with the guidelines for your specific school building. Since hybrid learning is new to both students and teachers, expectations may change over the first few weeks of in-person class. Stay on top of these expectations and request clarification as needed.
Before returning to the classroom, think about which materials you will use only at home, only at school, and at home and school. For instance, you will probably use your laptop at home and school, so leaving your laptop at school by mistake might mean going without it until your next assigned day in the classroom. Consider making a checklist of supplies for home, school, and both home and school to keep in your backpack the first few weeks of school. Every Sunday night, organize the supplies you’ll need for the upcoming week and make sure you have submitted all weekly assignments from the previous week. Organize and clean up digital files so you know where to find what you need throughout the week.
Create a document and assignment tracking system
Track when and how your assignments are due in a manual or electronic planner. Create an effective document naming and tracking system as you will have many digital files for each class. Use the same word processing application at home and school, whether that’s Google Docs, Microsoft Word, etc. and store all files in one location, such as Google Drive or One Drive so you know exactly where they are located. If needed, make a list of school logins and passwords, then keep the list in a safe place.
Instead of storing text books and school supplies in a locker, students are required to carry it all in their bookbags. A few essentials include a laptop, portable charger, extra masks, and hand sanitizer. Pack as light as possible to prevent back pain at the end of the day.
In this age of quarantine, in-person instruction can shift back to virtual learning in a minute. Health protocols and procedures can change quickly as well. Stay informed by checking class and school updates daily, and communicate often with teachers or staff about any changes.
Maximize your in-person school days by asking teachers all your questions while in the classroom. Clearly express your question and, if possible, define exactly what you don’t understand. Take advantage of physical and mental health resources available in the school as well as academic advising and, if applicable, college planning and career advising.
Maintain a positive outlook
Hybrid learning is new for everyone. Don’t be discouraged or give up when facing challenges. Be patient with yourself and your teachers, and give yourself time to adjust to a new schedule and routine. Eventually, full-time in-person school will return and virtual learning will just be an option.