PHYSICS CLASSES RETURN TO SCHOOL FOR IN-PERSON LAB

PHYSICS+CLASSES+RETURN+TO+SCHOOL+FOR+IN-PERSON+LAB

Olivia Kim, Copy Editor

The first lab with students present in the building took place on Sept. 25 and Sept. 29. The Physics classes decided last week, along with Minter, to bring students back to Prospect to complete a lab.

 

After Principal Greg Minter suggested the idea of having more students come into the building for learning at a meeting where Teaching and Learning Facilitator (TLF) and physics teacher Katie Page was present, Page had the idea to go through the process of setting up a physics lab to happen through a hybrid model. 

The allowance for students to go back into the building occurred because of parental permission and because of the fact that there could be up to 50 students in the building together at once. Page estimates that about a third of the physics students were present in the building for the lab. 

“We set it up in a way that students were able to get as much out of it as they can in a remote setting but I think [when] you’re actually doing the lab, collecting the data, there’s more ownership to it, so students get more out of it,” Keith Bellof, physics teacher and Math and Science Division Head, said. 

Page’s first class that ran through the lab went the slowest due to having to adjust to being able to teach through a Zoom meeting first, and next, to assist students in-person. However, as the day progressed, her proficiency at teaching in that environment improved significantly. 

Page and Bellof think of this as a great opportunity to have a test trial of how hybrid learning will run on Oct. 15, when students will be allowed to go back to the building as outlined in an email from the district superintendent. 

“[One of] my concerns was having to do both to manage kids live and in person, and then also be checking in and managing breakout rooms on zoom. It was a lot,” Page said. “I had a lot of help, [but] when we get to two weeks from now when we’re alone in our classrooms, it’s going to be a different scenario.”

Not only did this opportunity allow for teacher learning and adjusting to a hybrid platform, but it also provided a chance for teachers to interact with students, according to Minter and Bellof. 

“I think teachers are really ready for kids to come back, [it] is hard … to stand in an empty room and to talk to a screen for 70 minutes,” Minter said. “No one in education got in this career to not be in person with kids. [But] I do think … that there are certainly some staff members who maybe are a bit apprehensive.”

Beloff, Minter and Page hope that if this test trial is successful, it will ease the minds of teachers and students and provide a brighter path for future hybrid learning. 

“[The opportunity to bring students into the building for learning] is really up to the teachers, I guess, to propose it,” Minter said. “I’m not going to go and demand people do it but if people came to me and said, ‘Hey I’d really like to do X; what do you think?’ You know, we’ll try to figure out a way to make it happen.”