West Ranch teachers transition to hybrid format from teaching completely online throughout most of this school year


Alyssa Chang and Lauren Guss

   After over a year of Zoom calls, Google Meets, and staring at computer screens for over four hours a day, the William S. Hart Union High School District has finally reopened its doors to long-missed students. Hybrid learning, a blend between online learning and in-person education, began on March 29. 

   With new aspects of in-person school including one way walkways and CrisisGo, it can be more than a little stressful for both students and teachers to navigate this new environment—especially teachers. Not only have students been anticipating the return to campus, but teachers have also been longing for the normality of young faces in their empty classrooms. 

   “I love the personal interaction with the student. I am tired of talking to a screen where for the most part I am seeing ceiling fans, walls or foreheads!” expressed Coach Holen. However, although some of these previous “foreheads” will turn into actual students in class with the change, other widespread concerns from teachers arose.

   As she considered online and in-person students, Ms. Boyle, an Algebra 1 and Honors Geometry teacher at West Ranch, explained, “I am a little worried about the students at home not getting the same learning experience/attention as the students in the classroom. I am hoping to find a balance working with all students.”

   Although there may be some uncertainties with the major change, there are certainly observable benefits with the campus reopening. 

   Mrs. Towne, an Honors Algebra 2 Trigonometry and Honors Pre-Calculus teacher at West Ranch, commented, “It’s refreshing to walk around campus again and interact with humans. Even if some of my classes are small, it is extremely exciting to have students present since it makes us feel more like a class again. It’s nice to ask the students present questions in passing to see how they are, and to also get to know who they are.”

   Changing environments in such a short amount of time can put loads of pressure onto a young student’s mind, and teachers are here to help guide them through this experimental period. 

   “Your teachers are SO happy you are here,” Ms. Boyle emphasized. “I am going to be patient with myself and students during the transition.”

   As an ending note, Mrs. Towne reminded students, “Don’t forget your teacher’s room number! Bring your supplies/devices. If anything needs to be borrowed, we can still find a way, but remember to sanitize often.”