Silver Lining: Learning to SLOW DOWN in hybrid teaching

Hybrid teaching has its own challenges. For me it’s that I only see my high school students two or three times a week depending on the week. I see my middle schoolers every day. Right now my middle schoolers are a week ahead of my high schoolers. For my sanity, I don’t like that, because it looks like planning a LOT more than I typically would. Of course, nothing about this is typical.

My high school students are expected to have something to work on on the days that they are not in class. Personally, I don’t think this is going well. I was trying to alter at home assignment types, but we’re having too many tech issues, or there’s too much confusion about how to submit. That’s why I’m changing things up by keeping things the same.

When students are not in class they only have one website/assignment type to work with. (I’m using Garbanzo, but you find what works for you).

I gave them a checklist of readings that I want them to get through when they are not in class, and have assigned them to use their personal dictionary to add words/phrases they learn.

Having them do a predictable assignment type on the days they are not with me will hopefully lead to less stress when they aren’t with me.

This is also going to cause me to slow down when we are in class together.

We aren’t moving through ‘content’ as quickly in class, but this will give me an opportunity to make sure that EVERYONE is on the same page before moving on.

Then I have to think about middle school. I don’t want to get TOO far ahead of what I’m doing with high school. And I don’t want to get too far ahead of what the 100% virtual students are doing (Oh… I have those too, so I’m juggling three different schedules.)

So I need to SLOW DOWN with middle school as well. My new plan is to start each day with students working on Garbanzo (once again, find something that works for you) which will help me not push through ‘content’ as quickly. The middle schoolers will also get more Spanish ‘chit-chat’ time to help me slow down my progression through lesson plans. Starting each day with “Como estás y por qué? is a great meaningful time eater, and doesn’t seem out of place because I want to know how everyone is doing.

So all of this to say: I can’t go as fast as I used to go. But in that, I’m learning I was going WAY TOO FAST introducing new words/phrases. Students need to get SO COMFORTABLE with hearing/reading language so that it comes out in writing/speaking. I wasn’t giving opportunities to let students process the language as much as they needed to. So, I’m going to calm down a little, and breathe, and go SLOWer.

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