Inside: Teaching Spanish class hybrid, simultaneously in person and online. How to teach both online and in person at the same time without losing your mind. Tips and tricks for hybrid teaching in 2021 for Spanish class.
The definition of hybrid teaching is so different with every teacher and district you ask. It might be any of the following:
- In-person and planned online learners being taught simultaneously.
- Teaching in person and unplanned suddenly quarantined learners simultaneously.
- Teaching in-person learners live while online learners complete individual work and then switch at some point during the week.
- A mix of asynchronous and synchronous situations of students in person and at home.
- An unattainable solution overworking teachers.
For a good portion of the school year, I was teaching hybrid with the following situation. Half of the students came on A/B days. In-person learners were live, while online learners completed individual work and then switched every other day. At the same time there were always unexpected quarantine absences with ended completely online students.
As with many people, situations have been ever-changing and now in Iowa schools are required to offer 100% face to face, with parents having the choice to pick 100% virtual. I know that many teachers are moving from being fully virtual to hybrid right now, so I thought others might be interested in tips on how to hybrid.
I am by no means an expert at any of this but am just a teacher trying and failing, and learning and trying again. Here are some of my biggest tips for hybrid teaching in 2021.
Tips for Hybrid Teaching
Everyone does the same thing
My biggest piece of advice is that everyone, both Roomies & Zoomies do the same thing. (roomies & zoomie name c/o Meredith White:) This year is hard enough as it is & there is no need to plan different things for in person and online learners. Honestly, plan everything like an online class with everything available on a device. That way when at 8am you find out a whole sports team is quarantined you can just send an email plan that basically says “join the zoom & follow what is says to do on Classroom.” (or your LMS of choice). Is this ideal? No. But, it will save so much headache when a student is now virtual for 2 weeks.
Get a standing desk for Hybrid teaching
Since I suggest teaching as if it is an online class, a standing desk is a must. If possible, set up your computer where you will be videoconferencing in students in a corner bubble where you can also face your in person students. This way you are close to the computer for those online to be able to see and hear you but can also teach the in person learners too. My slides are both projected for in person students and I can point with my laser, as well as the screen is shared on Zoom.
The industrial tech class built me a wooden standing desk a couple of years ago, but at home, I have used a stool or a stack of books as well to improvise a tall desk. My husband actually got me one like this for at home for Christmas. (I guess he did not like me stealing the bathroom step stool 😉 Once again, is it ideal to teach from a corner? No, but we do what works.
Be heard with a mask while Hybrid teaching
Who knew how much our lives would revolve around masks this year?! If you have been teaching from home and not wearing one full time here are some of my tips. I have super sensitive skin and maskne is a real thing. I have found I need to wear 100% cotton masks or I break out like crazy. It is also helpful to bring extras to change out during the day (especially when it is hot out).
To make sure you can be heard without losing your voice, these mask inserts really help. I shove them in between the two layers of the mask so it does not irritate my face, but it does provide more space for your voice to better carry. If you know you are in a big space or will need your voice to carry to your computer from farther away, I got this voice amplifier. It was especially helpful when doing special person interviews that were recorded for absent students.
Do less, make it mean more
For hybrid teaching, just do less. Assign what is needed, nothing more. (Unless you are providing optional extensions). This is not the year for time fillers. Trim the fat and do what is meaningful and will have an impact on student learning. If you assign a ton of work, that means you have a ton of stuff to give feedback on and grade. It’s a never-ending cycle, so only assign what is necessary. There is no award for working past contract this or any year.
Do not start from scratch
Along with the above of doing less, it is ok to use resources created by others. You do not have to start from scratch with every lesson, nor is that in any way feasible. This year more than ever I am all about lesson activities all in one posted Google Slide show. I honestly love my Super 7 unit for hybrid and how well it worked in Spanish 1. The second quarter I taught it, I broke the big slides into smaller slideshows, one for each day. That way each day it was very clear what needed to be completed and turned in to be present for class. You could do this with all of my distance learning high frequency verb units & have tons of ready-to-go units for multiple levels. Plus I love having all my daily class starters all ready to go as well.
If it makes your life easier, purchase ready to go units in the style that works for you. Or take what you used last year and just tweak it to put it fully online. Once again, there is no award for “created a whole new curriculum from scratch during a pandemic.” Do what works for you and your sanity.
Batch Plan & Schedule on your LMS
Along with my love of Slides, batching out planing by level and drafting them on Classroom has been a lifesaver for hybrid teaching. Maybe you are not a #deptof1, but for those of us with many preps, I have learned it is most efficient to plan for one level, a whole unit at a time. I plan out the activities that go in that unit and schedule things as a draft on Classroom. That way when we get to it I can just publish or schedule for the next day if needed.
Then I move on to the next level and do the same thing. This is so much more efficient than planing one day of level 1, then one day of level 2, one day of level 3, and then moving on to the next day of each. Work smarter and plan out the whole flow on one level if possible while you are in the zone of that class. I know sometimes we are struggling day by day, but even planing a week of one class in a batch will end up saving so much time in the long run.
Grace for Hybrid teaching
Give yourself grace.
Give your students grace.
We are all doing the best we can & you never know when someone is almost or at their breaking point.
Hybrid will go do in history as one of the worst ways to teach, but by making a few adjustments we can make it bearable to finish out the school year.
What did I miss? What would you add? Please let me know!
More posts about hybrid teaching
– Blooket – my #1 recommended game to engage roomie & zoomies
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