Students, Teachers React to the Start of a New Semester in Hybrid Instruction

Posted on February 7, 2021 by


“The first semester went well. I didn’t fail anything,” freshman Kaitlyn Geist said.

Now that students and teachers have experienced a semester figuring out teaching styles, how to work technology, and the new changes to their internal clocks, most are better prepared to take on new classes.

This year has been unlike any other year, most notably with online learning. Some schools are fully online while others, like Fleetwood, stick with a hybrid schedule so the students at least get a little bit of face-to-face learning to connect with their teachers. For Fleetwood, students with the last names starting with A-L attend in-person school on Monday and Tuesdays while the M-Z students come in on Thursday and Fridays. Of course, some students choose to be fully online, and a few students go in-person on the opposite days than they alphabetically should be.

Near the middle of January, the second quarter ended, and, with it, the semester. 

The first semester was tough for both students and teachers alike. It was difficult to adjust to the online curriculum, as classes seemed to drag on. The majority of the school was able to adjust, and while they may not have exactly thrived, they were able to get into the swing of things. Some of the students who used to be able to skate by in class by paying attention but not studying for tests have found that there is a definite need to study this year because the teachers have limitations on how in-depth they can go.

“It wasn’t very tough, but it definitely had its moments,” sophomore Andrew Haas said. 

Everyone is hoping that, with the experience they gained from the first semester, the second one will go much smoother.

“I’m hoping for straight As and no Zoom-related accidents,” Geist half-joked. 

Most teachers seem to share these sentiments, at least for the Zoom-related incidents. Teachers have had a rough time adjusting to technology that they’ve never had to use before. Some had to rely on other teachers or their children, while others did a perfectly fine job figuring it out themselves. Of course, the teachers were nervous for the start of the first quarter, although they have hopes as well. 

“It’s like the first day of school all over again,” art teacher Diane Chisdak said. “It’s interesting because we had four first days of school this year, and there’s no ‘I’ll see you tomorrow.’ I have to say, ‘I’ll see you next week.’”

Thankfully, it seems that students are able to give their teachers grace with this new schedule. Many teachers miss being able to form the connections they are usually able to make with their students. It’s very difficult for a lot of them to only be able to see half their face for one day a week. Instead of seeing them practically 150 days (including the block days), they only see their students 18 times a quarter, and that’s only if they’re lucky enough that their students actually turn on their cameras during virtual days. 

However, it’s not all bad. There are some high expectations for the third quarter. 

“I love the third quarter because that’s when Artifact picks up, and there’s relevance to these new artworks that come in,” Chisdak explains. “ I’m a little more experimental during the beginning of the year.”

This year is hard for Chisdak. It’s her last year before retirement, and it’s not a normal year. The Art Event is such an important part of the Artifact club, but it’s been canceled this year. Despite this, she still looks on the bright side of things.

“Normally, the third quarter is when we have our art event, but now we won’t have it. Maybe this year we can stay focused on creating quality art in the classroom,” Chisdak said.

Posted in: Madeline Ammon