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Hybrid or Virtual?

There are (at least) two sides to every argument. Our staff writers debate if hybrid or virtual is the way to go.

April 14, 2021

Hybrid Life for Me

I recently took the opportunity to come back to school in-person for hybrid two days a week instead of being fully remote. Being a hybrid student has given me the chance to reconnect with friends and teachers and enjoy some of the moments that couldn’t happen virtually.

Before starting hybrid school a few weeks ago, sometimes I felt like I was in an “online school bubble”. The only people I would interact with were my family and occasionally close friends. I really missed meeting new people and interacting with others who I might not be as close with, but still loved to check in with every day.

Little things like the side conversations you would have with somebody in class seemed to be missing in the virtual world. Online school seemed to give little-to-no chance for that to happen unless you want to talk to one person in front of the entire class.

I missed the in person moments of shared excitement I used to see my classmates have in years past. In the six months of fully virtual school, I had very few people I could share exciting moments like college acceptances. To me, it felt random to tell someone you haven’t talked to in a year or a teacher you’ve only ever seen online.

Hybrid school gives me more of an opportunity to have those connections.

Walking through the breezeway, I see former classmates and teachers who I haven’t seen in over a year.

I have gotten to meet new friends and tutor in person through peer tutoring.

My teachers and new classmates have gotten to see and get to know me rather than seeing my black box on zoom while the teacher speaks.

I also like how going in-person has the same grading system expectations as being remote, unlike a common misconception that school would be harder in person if the guidelines from regular school last year applied to in-person students.

And if something seems wrong or I don’t feel safe going in-person, I like that I have the option to easily switch back to remote.

I have worried about the greater risk of exposure while going to school in person. Especially with reported cases at the other county high schools.

Although, from what I’ve experienced, going to school in-person seems safe. I have never seen anyone refuse to wear their mask or wear their mask incorrectly. AHS also takes extra precautions to keep us safe by having the desks sanitized in between classes and having an air filter in every room.

Although I can’t watch Netflix in my bed between classes anymore, I do enjoy going school in-person to get to interact with others on a more personal level and have the ability to make more memories in the building before I graduate.

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Virtual and Loving It

I will be gladly staying home for the rest of the school year. Not only because of Covid-19 concerns, but because I feel more comfortable in my own space.

With virtual school you can go to the bathroom whenever you want and eat whenever you want. Students, for the most part, can have the whole day to work on assignments instead of rushing to finish them during class.

I am grateful that we are not forced to put our cameras on… it saves me from showing my messy bed and bedroom.”

I am grateful that we are not forced to put our cameras on (though sometimes teachers push us to). It saves me from getting up in the morning to work on my stubborn hair. It also saves me from showing my messy bed and bedroom.

I used to eat lunch in the library, but since students are not allowed to eat there anymore, it makes me want to stay home even more. Staying home I feel more at peace than rushing through students to get to my next class.

The school lunch is okay, but homemade food is better.”

The best thing about staying home is that your necessities are more accessible. When it’s lunchtime, I can gladly pick the juice from my fridge instead of paying for it. The school lunch is okay, but homemade food is better. I can eat noodles and decent chicken alfredo.  No more walking down to the nurse’s office to get your medicine; it will be just down the hall in your closet.

Doing school at home does have its drawbacks: you are more likely to get distracted with your online devices than being at school. The best way to have success at online school is to turn off any device that will distract you. Put your phone far away from you and turn your notifications off. The t.v should be off too with the remote far away from you also.

I’ve heard that ACPS is going to offer a fully virtual school next year too. If they do, I’ll be one of the first ones to sign up.

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