After much debate over a possible return-to-school date, Freeman officially began hybrid learning on March 8. A total of 44% of the student body returned to in-person learning and the remaining 56% stayed virtual. Here is how Freeman’s transition to hybrid learning went.
“I’m such an extroverted person,” said junior Ella Glaze as she explained why she chose to return to school. “Now I get to see people again every day. It’s been great,” Ella said.
While Ella enjoys the social aspect of in-person learning, she also appreciates the smooth transition from virtual to hybrid learning. “There have been a few kinks, of course,” Ella said, “but nothing major. Overall, the transition went well, and being back in school is forcing me to be a better student.” Ella is pleased with her choice to return to the building. “Now that I’m back in person, [school] is less boring and I’m learning more.”
These sentiments are echoed by junior Sam Moran, who also enjoys in-person learning. Sam said that his “school experience has improved” through in-person learning. “I feel like I’m learning more because I have more direct instruction and can ask more questions,” Sam said.
While Sam appreciates returning to school, it isn’t all smooth sailing. “School overall isn’t so bad, except for lunch,” Sam said. “We have to sit in assigned rows. It feels a lot like jail.” Apart from lunch, Sam is happy with his choice to return in-person learning. “It’s easier to focus in-person,” Sam said. “And apart from a few technical difficulties, the teachers have handled the transition really well, especially Mr. Abril.”
“I’m just excited to meet my students for the first time,” said AP English 11 and Yearbook teacher Mr. Abril. “[The transition] has gone really well,” he said. “There have been a few minor inconveniences and technical difficulties, but nothing major.” Overall, Mr. Abril is enjoying hybrid learning. Mr. Abril “think[s his] teaching is more effective in-person.” “I like to communicate with the students.”
However, not every student has returned to school. “I just feel like it’s safer to remain virtual,” said sophomore Ellie McCormick. “I want to keep my family safe.” While she stands by her decision, Ellie feels conflicted. “I’m glad I stayed virtual,” she said, “but I feel like I’m missing out. I miss social interaction, and just seeing my friends.”
Overall, Ellie feels that hybrid learning has been “fine so far,” but Ellie is worried about how her school experience will change in the future. “I do fear that the students who chose to stay virtual will have less learning opportunities […] and be less focused on [by teachers],” Ellie said. While she feels that the new hybrid school experience is “messy” and “confusing,” she is still hopeful that these changes will make a better school experience for all students. “Hopefully, it will get better and more organized as time goes on,” Ellie said.
Junior Aubrey Walker feels similarly about the return to in-person learning. Aubrey explained that she “stayed virtual […] because I like the routine I’m in now. I get to sleep in and go out to eat for lunch, but most importantly, I’m keeping my family safe.”
So far, Aubrey is “indifferent” to hybrid learning. “Not much has changed. There are a few technical difficulties, and the teachers haven’t checked the chats as much, but overall it’s been fine.” While she described the transition to hybrid learning as a “mixed bag,” Aubrey is excited for what the future holds. “We are learning how to balance,” Aubrey said. “It will all work out soon.”