If you told me last year that I would be taking a Hybrid-Online English class for my eleventh grade year I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Online learning was just so taboo to me. I mean my Mom went back to college about a year ago to get her masters in nursing, but she took all the classes online. Being a full time charge nurse and a mother of two bratty teenagers only left her time for online classes. Even though they were supposed to give her more time it felt like she was spending more time doing her homework than anything else. So, when the word got out that two teachers were starting an online English and History class, I really wasn’t all that intrigued. I just assumed that an online class meant more homework and more time which wasn’t all that convenient for a girl in the choir and theatre program all while trying to balance school and a social life.
Then one day as I was sitting in my English class some guy walked in. He had this big beard and a big grin on his face. My first impression of him was wow he seems really nice. He introduced himself as Mr. Theriault (I didn’t know how to pronounce it either when I first saw it). He began to tell my class more about the online English class. He explained that it would be less stress and less time consuming. Despite my speculations I was sold. I was going to be in the first Hybrid-Online English class in my High school.
Flash forward a couple months later it was the first day of junior year. I felt pretty seasoned by that time in high school so I wasn’t very scared, but I was interested about how this whole online thing was going to go. Fifth period rolled around and I sat down in my English class. Mr. Theriault walked in and basically introduced himself and had everyone introduce themselves and say why we decided to take an online class. To be honest I felt like I was in an AA meeting. Nevertheless, the year had begun.
As the months progressed I was really impressed with my teacher. I’m not going to lie I was skeptical about him. He seemed to be a little younger then my parents so I wondered what “online” meant to him. To my surprise he has even more knowledge about the internet then most of my friends and I do. He was constantly giving us many different ways to accomplish our projects. Whether it be podcasts, videos, or blog posts. I was never bored! Also, I appreciated him so much as a teacher because he was very forgiving about late work and was open to any ideas we had.
I began to realize how little time and energy my English work took. It was so convenient because I would have a whole week to do an assignment. As I mentioned before I was involved in two very demanding programs that took not only my time, but my energy. I liked that four days out of the week I had a free period to take a nap, do homework, or just clear my head a little to get rid of all of the stress. As I realized this I started to see online courses in a totally different way. Online courses provide a student with more flexibility and time. It decreases stress significantly and helps kids find balance in their life. Of course I’m not speaking for every kid out there, but what I know for sure is it was a good experience for not only myself, but the classmates that I have talked to. If you have an opportunity to take an online class at your local school and you have as busy of a life as I do, take the opportunity!