Wisdom Students & Teachers Weigh-In on Hybrid Instruction

This+photo+is+from+an+article+published+by+NYSUT.org+-+a+New+York+Teachers+Union

This photo is from an article published by NYSUT.org – a New York Teachers Union

Mara Nezami, Online Editor

Wisdom High School’s teachers from all departments began to teach both virtual and in-person students in Mid-October. We are seeing all over the country that teachers, district leaders, parents, and kids are burning out quickly, and students struggling to pass their core subjects. But teachers have always been very creative, and they make learning fun for students. Now that teachers are asked to teach two different types of students at the same time, they all have their own unique way of trying to accomplish this.

We interviewed two Wisdom students and teachers, to tell us about their experiences in virtual classes so far.

Junior Zainab Kodanshi

When we started school all 100% of students online, even though there were some technical problems, it was easier for teachers to teach because all students were on the same platform. My math teacher is now using a unique technique to teach both virtual and in-person students at the same time. She is sharing the whiteboard with students who are online, so that we can see the board better. She also uses the app called Prepack, which gives all students the ability to participate virtually or in-person in the class equally.

Senior Zandonda Kitonga

My Aquatic Science teacher is trying her best to make the lessons cohesive when teaching both in-person and online students. Learning online can feel isolating. To make her lessons interactive, once the virtual students have signed on, she uses Padlet to make sure all students participate and collaborate, even if they are at home. Also, she uses PearDeck to give virtual students the same opportunities as in-person students. And since all students work on computers, she designs and plans her lessons for online learning only, no paper and pencil anymore.

English Teacher Yohanna Marshall

I have created a plan that adheres to the new timelines. I think about what my students must know and do to extract the most learning from this situation, and insert it into the plan. The most challenging part is to remember to say goodbye to my online students at the end of class. I have one goal: that my students learn & grow. Whatever I need to do to make that happen, I attempt. As an example, we have had to reduce the number of concepts that we can introduce because of time constraints. I try to be forgiving and patient, because I need the same forgiveness and patience from my students, as I try to navigate this new system. Microsoft Teams and some online apps have helped, but there are no gimmicks in this environment. My time expectations are different, but my learning expectations are the same!

Spanish Teacher Yoly Arismendi

I make sure to have my in-person students join the Microsoft Teams meeting at the same time that the virtual students are on it. I also use the “share my screen” option a lot during class, so that the students at home can see what I am projecting onto the board, from my laptop. In One Note, I place my assignments there because it’s a virtual, interactive notebook, so that I can see what the students are doing in real-time. Due to the fact that very few at-home students ever turn on their cameras, the most frustrating part is when you try to gauge their understanding, you also do not get much spoken participation from them either.