I opened the agenda for my weekly coach/admin meeting and saw the 6-letter word that I’ve come to dread: hybrid. My mantra since last summer has been, “I’ll worry about that when it happens.” Well, now it’s happening and I can’t pretend it’s something in the distant future. It’s all I’ve heard about since we returned from winter break. March 1st. Less than 6 weeks away. So much to figure out between now and then, but so many decisions depend on the decisions of others…
How many families will opt to send their children back in person?
How many teachers will request accommodations to work remotely?
Is it safe?
We do know that class rosters are going to get shuffled around. Teachers are going to get shuffled, not only between grade levels but possibly between schools. Big transitions for so late in the school year. Big impact on teacher workload and student learning.
How much learning will be lost in this transition?
How much more will be gained with in-person classes for 2 hours/day?
Will it be safe?
I have a feeling that there are going to be some big feelings between teachers who take the risk to return in-person and those who choose to work remotely or take leave. I’ve requested to work remotely. It’s the best decision for my family circumstances, but I feel like I’m letting my school down.
What will this mean for our close-knit staff?
Will my colleagues doubt my dedication?
Will everyone be safe?
I take a deep breath and prepare for the conversation that I don’t want to have. I tell myself to pretend that it is the right time to return, that the positivity rate of our school community isn’t almost 30%, that all school staff will have access to the vaccine before we go back. I will help make plans to keep our students and staff safe and optimize learning through the transition to socially distanced teaching and learning. But I wish I didn’t have to.
I have a hybrid headache.