To state the obvious, hybrid teaching is really hard. Harder, possibly than online teaching. I mean, it IS online teaching except that at the same time you’re also teaching a classroom full of kids. So some days it’s about as hard as online teaching would be if you also had to juggle and sing light rock classics from the 80s at the same time…
We know it’s been hard sledding so we’re really happy to share with you this video of second grade teacher Hailey Rebyak of Walnut Street Elementary in Woodbury, NJ.
She and her students are reviewing a book they’ve read on sharks. She starts by calling on Daveon. “Love the hand” she adds, reminding online students how to get called on and how much she appreciates their efforts to be involved. Daveon has a strong observation to share, but his answer also reveals clear additional established procedures beyond hand-raising- for muting and un-muting; for speaking loudly.
Her pacing is great… she keeps the energy flowing by moving briskly from one students to the next and the next student here is in-class: “Aiden, what else did we say?” It seems that this is probably a cold call (it happens fast and there was no indication another question was coming so unless Aiden was sitting with his hand raised the whole time it was a cold call) but either way it’s a great question for a couple of reasons.
- Hailey does a great job of going back and forth between remote and in-person kids. You can see that pattern starting. She makes both groups feel continually involved. It’s easy to say things like: “Let’s hear from some of my at-home students” but doing so partitions the participation-if you’re called on at a designated time it also means someone is not called on at a designated time.
- Hailey’s question reinforces not just students listening to one anther but in-class kids listening to–and having to build off of–at-home kids and vice versa. Answering, “What else did we say?” requires Aiden to have listened to Daveon.
Next up is Sofia. Another at-home student. More reinforcement for hand-raising. Another cheery engaged answer from at home that’s loud enough for in class kids to hear. Anther key detail: the cherry-ness in Hailey’s voice. “It’s a lot bigger” being just one example. No wonder Daveon and Sofia are so upbeat. They’re matching her energy. And her voice is times ten important. Connecting and expressing positive energy is already plenty challenging online without a mask on to hide a smiles and a facial expressions. Hailey’s got to do a lot of work with voice inflection but you can hear it over and over and her students respond.
Lastly, notice the preparation on Hailey’s part. Students in class are looking at a hard copy of the book but to make sure kids at home can see the page clearly she’s got her screen shot ready.
All in all a great example of how carefully executed details can make doing something really challenging a little easier for teachers and a lot more engaging for students!