4 Hybrid Teaching Strategies to Engage Your Students in School or at Home

By Elena Spathis
@elenaspathis


My district, like so many others, opted for a hybrid model this fall, combining in-person classes in the mornings with online classes in the afternoons. As you can imagine, I realized quickly that I had to rethink my methods, get creative, and be innovative. 

My Spanish classes have always been communicative and collaborative. I want my students to immerse themselves in the language by using it with each other because what’s the sense in me talking at them and them zoning out? So, I have always focused on interactive paired or group tasks that make my classes flow. But due to the current restrictions limiting student group size and mandating social distancing, accomplishing this became more challenging. I knew I had to think differently about how I could truly engage my students in person and online. Fortunately, I found four ways to meet the needs of classroom-based and online student groups. 

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4 ideas for Back to School Night-pandemic style

By Elena Spathis

@elenaspathis

It has been such a whirlwind of a year, especially as educators; we have been forced to revamp and rethink our methods in this unprecedented time. After scrambling to teach virtually last spring, many of us returned to our classrooms in a hybrid format this fall, while others are still teaching completely online. Our profession as we know it changed in what seemed like the span of a single day.

We are all familiar with back-to-school nights at the start of the year. Typically, they are opportunities to share basic information about our classes and meet our students’ families. This year, just like everything else, it’s going to look a bit different. Here are four ideas to help make your virtual event as engaging as possible.

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Mindfulness exercises in the target language

By Elena Spathis
@ElenaSpathis

Teachers and students are finding their formerly jam-packed, planned schedules on a sudden hiatus. Schools have emptied out, as have nearly all public places. Life as we knew it has abruptly changed.

These unimaginable circumstances have not only ignited a sense of uneasiness in teachers, but also in students. As teachers across the world have scrambled to digitalize their lessons or devise quick plans of action to teach remotely, students have also had to rapidly adjust to these changes. This has not only filled students with stress and worry, but also with disappointment and sadness. The adolescent and teenage years provoke enough stress as it is; the current state of the world adds another layer of anxiety.

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4 steps for refreshing your teaching & starting strong in 2020

By Elena Spathis
@ElenaSpathis

Teaching often seems like running a marathon—we train and prepare, we push ourselves, and we keep going no matter what the circumstances. Reaching the end-of-year “finish line” to winter break gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect, and recharge.

I take this time to evaluate my methods and my students’ engagement. Which activities did my students seem to enjoy? Which activities fostered the most growth in their speaking, writing, reading, or listening comprehension? I also take some time to organize myself, and most importantly, to decompress—we’ve earned it!

The start of the new year brings a sense of rebirth and renewal. It’s an ideal time to seek new inspiration and to set new goals. Read on to learn about my 4 steps to start your new year off strong.

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