Hybrid learning brings mixed feelings

In-person school alleviates stress despite safety concerns

Students+walk+through+the+A3+hallway+as+they+head+to+their+next+class+Feb.+22.+The+return+of+hybrid+learning+has+brought+mixed+emotions+among+students.

Toby Khabie

Students walk through the A3 hallway as they head to their next class Feb. 22. The return of hybrid learning has brought mixed emotions among students.

Danny Shope

After choosing to do hybrid learning, senior Helen Tefera said being in school brought much-needed relief from the anxiety that comes with distance learning.

“(Hybrid learning) is going to be better,” Tefera said. “I will not stress as much as I used to, and I won’t be on the computer that much. I’ll get my homework done which means I’ll get good grades, which means I won’t have to stress.” 

According to freshman Tommy Walsh, being in school for the first time will be difficult, but he is looking forward to it.  

“It might be a little stressful these first couple days, especially since I’m a freshman and I’ve only been in the school once or twice,” Walsh said. “It might be hard to find all my classes and the rooms and stuff. But in general, it’ll be nice to just see other people.”

Social studies teacher Scott Miller said coming back to school for hybrid may feel nerve-racking at first, but will benefit students’ mental health.

“There’s got to be a lot of just uncertainty about, socially, ‘who’s going to be there? Are my friends going to be there? What is it going to be like?’” Miller said. “But generally, I have a sense that the kids are (feeling) at least neutral to positive.”

While acknowledging the benefits of hybrid learning, Tefera said students did not always follow safety procedures in the first week. 

“When I was walking in a hallway today, I was seeing students getting close to each other, not keeping six feet away,” Tefera said. “In class, everything was good, but outside (in the hallways) I was seeing kids being together, and some of them taking their masks down.”

Even with the safety precautions put in place by the school, Walsh said being in the lunchroom without masks felt uncomfortable.

“It felt a little weird eating lunch, even though it was a big room and people were spread out. And there’s really no 100 percent safe way to do that. It still felt a little weird to have a bunch of people in a room without masks on,” Walsh said.

People felt like the first day back was really weird, you could see their eyes were big. It was so bizarre, unknown. And then the second day they came back … they felt like they were more comfortable and it was a little more normal.”

— Scott Miller

Despite the strangeness of being back in school, students are adjusting quickly to yet another new normal, according to Miller.

“People felt like the first day back was really weird, you could see their eyes were big,” Miller said. “It was so bizarre, unknown. And then the second day they came back … they felt like they were more comfortable and it was a little more normal.”