Students and Teachers Adapt to Hybrid and Remote Learning

Pandemic restrictions force schools to make changes


Ashton Lutz logs into his remote classes from the NRMS library. (photo Bradley Stagakis)

Hybrid or Remote? The global pandemic has forced schools everywhere to change the way they teach, and Nauset Regional Middle School is no exception. NRMS is offering a hybrid learning model where students attend school in person two days a week and remotely three days a week. Students may also choose to be fully remote, taking their classes online five days a week. 

Google Classroom is the main platform for learning this year, and students have joined a classroom for each subject they have. Fully remote students can find their work on Google Classroom and print it or complete it online. Hybrid students who are in the building twice a week will sometimes be given a paper copy of what they’re to work on in their remote days. But both groups of kids have been mostly using the digital PDFs, docs, and slides attached to assignments the teachers post. 

Issy Hartsgrove, a seventh grade student who is fully remote, comments on her workload, “So far this year things have been working out. Google Classroom tells me what assignments are due, and I do them. Though, some things are hard to find and PDFs are hard for those who don’t have printers. For the teachers, (and not just to be lazy) I suggest a little less work. With every class you have an assignment, and one assignment for each class seems fine until you realize students have five classes of work, and some might have multiple things to do in the assignment, and some assignments take longer to do than others.”

Students also must attend remote classes on Google Meet. They can find a link to the class Meet in the Google Classroom. Their teachers teach a class period in the school, as different class cohorts are in the building on different days, then go to an office room and teach a period online. These changes have affected teachers as well, as Mr. Kirouac, a seventh grade history teacher, states, “On the teacher side of things, I would say I am getting it to work to the best of my ability. I am still learning how to best present information to students. It’s a learning curve for students, but don’t forget, teachers have never had to approach or been trained to teach this way so we are just as new to this as the students.”

To reduce the number of people in classroom spaces and to limit contact, students are organized into cohorts of approximately 10-20 peers. Teachers travel to each cohort for class, rather than the students. Lily Rice, an 8th grade hybrid student, points out that cohorts can limit social experience. “We are only in one group and I don’t have any friends in the group.” And unfortunately, she’s right. However, it’s important to take these precautions to heart, because it’s all for our safety while the new corona virus is going around. Masks, social distancing, and sanitization are also crucial for our safety in these troublesome times, and are completely mandatory. 

Everyone hopes for changes, and they all have different opinions. “I would love to go back to teaching normally–having my own classroom, doing the group projects and assignments we used to get to do, being able to just say open your book instead of scanning the pages, putting them into a presentation, and figuring out how to get those materials to students,” said Kirouac. 

But it seems that everyone can relatively agree that the models/methods being used are working somewhat efficiently, whether online or in school!