Hybrid Learning: What I was Looking Forward To Versus What Actually Happened


As a junior at St. Thomas High School, I have selected to return to school through the newly developed plan of hybrid learning. As a student, I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to return to school in person to a somewhat normal schedule. I wanted to offer my perspective on returning to school through the hybrid schedule and what I am looking forward to upon the return of in-person schooling. After a week of learning in the hybrid environment, I am pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the transition has gone and wanted to give the expectations that I had and the reality of returning to school through the hybrid schedule.

Personally, I am most excited to see my friends and teachers in person safely for the first time in almost six months. I think that this hybrid schedule will work great and will provide a safe environment for students and teachers to redevelop a face to face, or mask to mask, connection that is so desperately needed throughout high school. After my first two days, I noticed almost immediately that my mood improved upon seeing my friends and teachers and I realized how important a face to face reaction is to develop a relationship with others. Even seeing Mr. Takas come into my study hall and expecting that my long hair would be reported made my day, and I am glad that I am able to experience these classic St. Thomas feelings again through this schedule. 

Another one of the things that I am looking forward to the most is simply hands on work again, whether in physics class working on labs or turning in a piece of paper for homework. I think that most of the students at St. Thomas High School are itching to get off of the computer and enjoy the basics of high school in a safe environment again. I am sure that we have all experienced frustrations with technology and are looking forward to raising our hands and sharing creative ideas with each other in the classroom. After my first two days, I never knew how nice one of the St. Thomas chairs would feel when I sat down in it and how much I had missed the freezing cold air conditioning in the building giving me hypothermia. Even receiving a handout in class was a relief, as I was able to finally take my eyes off of the screen.

Although we are all nervous about all of the strict guidelines that must be followed, I am confident that as Eagle brothers we will all continue to look out for each other and hold one another accountable for our actions. I think that the administration has laid out an excellent course of action and that as a community we will be able to come together and look out for those in our St. Thomas community who may be at a higher risk from Covid-19. After seeing the protocols that were outlined in the handbook being executed in class, it gave me a true sense of spirit, knowing that the St. Thomas community truly cares for others and is willing to make the proper sacrifices so that everyone is able to eventually return to campus.  As a junior, I am grateful that we will be able to have safe interactions in class with my teachers and classmates again through the hybrid schedule, as we continue to experience the St. Thomas Eagle way of life.