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Best Practices for the In-Person Remote Classroom Hybrid

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Academic Planners at HOD

There can be no argument that every sector of our society has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  One area that was severely impacted like no other, except for healthcare, was the education profession. It is fair to say that teachers, administrators, students, and parents were caught off guard by the rapid upheaval the virus caused. The uncertainty gripped us all as schools closed and education was interrupted.  

Even amid confusion, there was a certainty that was revealed with even more clarity- teachers are flexible, adaptable problem solvers who use academic planners like a playbook and computer programs as the playing field. No one could predict how long the pandemic would last therefore teachers had to play the long game with effective remote learning as the goal.  

Kids may have been at home, but they still had to learn. Teachers had to rethink what it meant to have a classroom full of students because the in-person classroom disappeared and had to be replaced with an online model almost immediately. 

True to their spirit of being able to pivot to achieve educational goals, remote classrooms were established, and educating our kids continued. There were bumps in the road, but if looking at what happens in the classroom through a lens of discovery and creativity, teachers have paved the way to make both in-person and remote learning an accessible, effective hybrid.  

Lessons Learned 

For most of the pandemic, the remote teaching model had to be used. But as the lockdowns and quarantines were lifted, schools tried to return to in-person learning. What remained during this transition was the realization that classrooms would no longer exist as just in-person or solely remote.  

The need to maintain the logistics and methods of teaching students in side-by-side models became apparent as educators looked to the future of their classrooms. While this paradigm might have seemed daunting at first it provided the positive result that inclusivity was easily attained. Every student was able to participate, and no one missed out if they could not be in the physical classroom. The in-person/remote hybrid launched an educational trend that is here to stay, and teachers are sharing the best practices that work for them.   

Know Your Tech 

Teachers are computer-savvy and receive professional development training to stay current with the latest tech tools for education. Shifting to remote learning quickly propelled them to master online teaching platforms and other programs that facilitate an efficient learning environment. Teachers are encouraged to learn their schools or district computer programs so they can provide a seamless experience for students, albeit with the usual glitches that can occur with any program or internet system.  

Once teachers have a strong knowledge of meeting platforms, online classrooms, and other tools they must be able to pass this knowledge along to students. When this is established, and everyone feels comfortable with maneuvering through the capabilities of each program the actual teaching of lessons can begin.   

Set Clear Goals for You and Your Students 

Classroom organization and lesson plans that work for both in-person and remote students are key to ensuring that all receive the same message about rules and assignments. An academic year planner, as well as weekly and monthly planners and calendars, are essential tools for keeping track of and disseminating all classroom information.   

Make sure your students know the rules apply to both classroom models. This sense of fairness will help to maintain cohesiveness among all the kids. One notable result that was observed while conducting online learning during the pandemic is the need for sensitivity toward the remote learners’ home situations. Living conditions are obviously different for every student and revealing environments that are less than ideal may be a source of stress. Encourage your remote students to set up their computers (if they can) in a quiet, safe spot free from distractions.     

Get Creative with Your Tech 

In-person students have the advantage of being able to see the entire physical classroom while remote students only see a fraction of it. Ensure your background is visually appealing and stimulating to keep students’ interest. Try to relate the background to the assigned lessons if possible. This will benefit both in-person and remote students.  

Teachers are fortunate to have numerous educational online programs that they can use to help students learn while breaking up the monotony of the day. Provide resources for online games that encourage reading and solving math problems. Make these programs available for students to use individually and in groups. In addition to these more interactive options, make sure there are plenty of online books to read for those students who want to just take a break and read on their own.  

Keeping Students Engaged 

When some students are in your classroom and others are online, building relationships can seem difficult so being mindful of this reality is important to keep the connections alive. Teachers rely on their students’ facial expressions and often their body language to gauge their attention. This can prove to be harder when observing online students. 

It is essential that all students are treated equally therefore they must all be engaged by the teacher equally whether in-person or remote. Make sure everyone is called on during the day and acknowledged for their participation. It is also beneficial to encourage socialization among all the students. Allow for a few minutes before class and maybe during a break for students to chat with each other. Forming friendships and building bonds took a severe hit during the isolation of the pandemic. Teachers can help reverse this impact by encouraging discussion and team building.     

The inclusion of an in-person/remote hybrid classroom is an education component that is here to stay and should be viewed as a positive adaptation. The availability of online learning combined with an in-person classroom means that all students are welcome, and all can receive an exceptional education no matter their location or circumstances.  

Do you have your 2022-23 academic planner in your hands preparing for the upcoming school year? Let’s get organized and welcome a new, healthy, and successful school year! 

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