A day in the life of hybrid learning


Marc Helgeson

A student working in an empty classroom.

Carmen Guerrero, Staff Reporter

On a normal school day at Riverside Brookfield High School, The Bulldogs are immediately greeted with hallways filled with kids, covervsations left and right, students rushing  to classes, and so much more. However the word “normal” is definitely not what I would use to describe school right now. 

As COVID-19 continues to dictate our lives, the action of, “going to school” has changed drastically. That’s why RBHS has come up with what they are calling the hybrid model. The Hybrid schedule is a mixture of remote learning from students homes, and the actual action of students coming into the building to be taught. This is an optional plan for all. 

As soon as they announced this choice, it seemed like a no brainer for me, I would definitely be going back. I have missed going to school so much, and I was so excited for something in my life to somewhat go back to how it was. Little did I know just how different it was going to be.  

Starting at eight am, rather than walking through the main doors and right away seeing tons of people I know, I now have to stand in a line outside, masked up while I wait for the okay to go inside and get my temp checked. Once you get past check-in, you must go straight to your first period class. There is no going to your locker or taking a seat in the hallway with your friends. It is a very strict and important rule everyone must follow to keep others safe.

Once you get into your classroom it is very awkward. In my first experience it was only one other girl and I, along with our teacher in the room. Of course we said hello at first but after that there was almost no interaction whatsoever. We had to sit very far away from each other, while we logged onto the Zoom as we do any other day. My teacher didn’t change the way they taught either, so being in the classroom didn’t really make a difference in the way I’m learning. 

I have to say, I felt that the class seemed to go by a lot faster than it does when I’m at home and it continued to feel that way throughout the day. When the bell eventually rings you are responsible for taking a wipe and cleaning your desk. This is just another small precaution, that is easy for students to take, to help keep the school safe. You are then allowed to leave the classroom and take the most direct path to your next class. While I walked I almost felt like I was in an airport listening to the repetitive reminders they announce over the intercom. During passing periods there is a constant message that is played through the speakers on repeat, that basically reminds you to keep your mask on and stay socially distant. 

Getting into my next class was pretty much the same, the only difference is that there is a grand total of three students in the room instead of two. Once again this class seems to fly by. The teacher pays attention to the online classroom, while I sit at my desk and watch the Zoom even though the actual teacher is 20 feet away from me. 

The rest of my day stays along the same routine. The only changes would have to be the number of students in classes with me, and the number only goes down. I think there are a total of three classes where it ends up being just the teacher and I. 

One new rule that is somewhat annoying to me is the fact that we are not allowed to eat during the school day at all. On a regular day at school I am always getting hungry and having a small bite throughout my classes. Now because of precautions the school must take, I am unable to do so. We are also not allowed to leave the room during classes. So if you’re sitting in class and all of a sudden need to use the restroom, just know that the answer you will receive when you ask to leave will be no. 

When it gets to be the end of the day, you would think this would be the time that you see all the people because everyone is rushing out the door to get home. But in reality it’s nothing like what we are used to. Yes, there are a few more students you see then that you didn’t during the school day, but there is still a major decrease in the amount of people there. The time is also only 12:35 pm so I almost feel like I should just be taking a lunch break and then coming back for more classes afterwards, but no. I have to go back home and complete the surprisingly large amount of homework I was assigned that is all due the next day.

The hybrid schedule is a great idea. It provides students with the chance to gain back the feeling of “normal school” a little bit. The plan is a great way to start transitioning back into full in-person learning and that is exactly what I want to happen. The feeling of going into RBHS for hybrid learning is very different from what I am used to, but it is exciting and wonderful that I have the chance to do so.