Teachers’ Thoughts on Full Time Scheduling

Caroline Stickney, Staff Writer

For the March issue of The Chronicle, we asked a couple of teachers about their thoughts on the major switch from hybrid learning to a full-time schedule. Here’s what they had to say.

Amanda Keltner, Grade 9 English and AP Lang


Q: What have been some struggles teaching in-person with a full class?


A: Trying to keep students safe and as socially distanced as is possible in a class with 27 students. I also think it’s been challenging for students to sustain their engagement and attention. I think that they are very accustomed to the hybrid schedule and a lot of students haven’t had an actual full day from 7:45 or 8:00 until 3 in almost a year. And planning for in-person block is definitely something I’m having to revisit to try to keep engagement up and get our content out.”


Q: How are you dealing with a 90 minute class period?


A: Admittedly, probably not as well as I would like to. I had been planned out all the way through spring break for a hybrid schedule so I just have to readjust my plans, especially for my freshman students. What makes sense to me is trying to either plan to have two 45 minute lessons or three 30-minute lessons. I wouldn’t say that I’ve necessarily been as successful as I would like to be. I know what works in theory, but I’m also out of practice with [block] too. 


Q: Do you see a change in student behavior with longer class time?


A: Yes. I had less behavior issues in hybrid. There’s been nothing egregious, it’s just a big shift from having to have 27 students in a room who haven’t really  been together in one room all year so there’s just a lot more conversation. There’s just a lot of things that are different. I think my students are excited about the social piece, but I think that all of them really enjoyed the class size from hybrid a lot.


Q: What social-distancing measures are you able to take?


A: I have my desks in rows which I normally wouldn’t do in a non-pandemic teaching world. I would have a variety of seating options and choices for students, but right now the best thing that I can do is have rows.

Deidre Zongker, DSLA teacher and AP Lit


Q: What have been some struggles switching to block with remote classes?

I think the worst part with switching to block is that kids were used to half days, just like in-person. Most seniors have jobs and a lot of them were scheduling work for the afternoon, because remote was all in the morning, and now they can’t so there’s been a lot of disruption with that. For remote, having kids on the computer, just on the screen, for 90 minutes at a time is exhausting for everyone involved. So, how do you make the time still instructional and useful but not have them just be bored?

Q: How are you dealing with a 90 minute class period?

I’m trying to take some of the kinds of things I would’ve done in block days in past years and translate them into remote. I always approached block days by chunking them up into different activities that aren’t necessarily focused on me so that [students] are working in groups, doing different things, and I’m trying to find creative things so that it’s still challenging. So, I’m just really trying to translate that into a remote setting, with varying degrees of success.

Q: Do you see a change in student behavior with longer class time?

It’s hard for remote and seniors. I mean, seniors are pretty done. I do find that they’re a little slower to log in, it’s taking a little longer to get started. That’s the only real significant thing I’ve seen this week.

Q: What are your views on returning to school after Spring Break as far as in-person?

I think that we shouldn’t be fully in-person like this until more teachers are vaccinated. I’m not sure we should be at all because in some of the classes it’s impossible to socially distance. I mean, another person in the hall has 31 kids in her fourth hour; there’s no social distancing. So, I just have issues with the whole thing.