Hybrid Teaching: Supportive Tips for Classroom Engagement

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers and administrators to adapt classes to cater to in-person and remote students and it has proved to be challenging for both the teacher and student. While a fully in-person or fully remote classroom is easier to manage, many teachers are running a hybrid classroom.

What defines a hybrid classroom? A hybrid classroom is a class in which some students attend class in-person and others join remotely from home at the same time. Teachers are instructing students in-person and remotely at the same time.

As a teacher, if you find yourself struggling to engage both in-person and remote students, try some of our tips below from current New Hampton School English faculty member Meghan Aronson.

Sound matters

Use wireless headphones if you can. Many remote students raise concerns that they can’t hear the teacher because of the distance from teacher to streaming device. Wear one in your ear and connect the headphones to your streaming device via Bluetooth. Disconnect when having a class discussion so you’re your remote students can hear the class and share.

Solicit feedback

Ask students for feedback on how you’re teaching. You’ve made a plan but maybe it’s not working perfectly. Play with things now, model trying something new and solicit feedback from your students. Students are receptive to us adapting to their learning.

“Students are fine with seeing us fail. I keep telling them that I’m trying something new and they’re ok with it.”

Meghan Aronson, English Faculty

hybrid teaching tips

Move the experience

Move your camera around so that the remote learning students can interact with the class. Another concern of remote students is that they miss class interaction because they have a limited view. If you can, move your streaming device around the room so that remote students can participate in different conversations in class.

Talk with colleagues

Ask others for suggestions and help! They may have found something works really well or tried something you are thinking about that didn’t work so well.

This is an unprecedented time for all of us. It’s important to remember that no one–students, teachers, parents, administrators–were fully prepared for this style of teaching and learning and we are all learning together.

“Dear students: be kind to your faculty. They’ve been running on fumes for 6+ months, adapting to constant changes that delay normal processes.

Dear faculty: be kind to your students. They didn’t sign up to learn in a pandemic, under conditions that make things feel chaotic.”

Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN (@DrBMBrawner, August 21, 2020)

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