The Hybrid Drill
It was a chilly fall afternoon and the Edgemont PM students were entering their second in-person period of the day. The AM and remote students logged on to their next class via Google Meets. The class period that these students were about to enter, virtually and physically, was going to be a different experience than normal.
October 8th, 2020: Edgemont High School experienced its first fire drill for the 2020-2021 school year. Fire drills have been a part of our school routine since Kindergarten, and even in these unprecedented times, it is still important that we practice and know how to handle them.
Online students were left on the meet, clueless about what to do. A classic move was to turn off the camera and grab your phone to call a friend. Some chose to keep their camera on and turn their mic on to chat with their fellow online classmates, providing a few minutes of social interaction. There were a few students completely zoned. Panicked, they texted their friends “Wait what are we supposed to be doing right now? What's happening? Why did the teacher leave?”
When the announcement was made, in-person students made their way to the closest exit, followed their teacher and filed out of the classroom. While exiting the classroom, students were able to exchange waves with the online kids.
Anisha Musti, ‘23, was shocked and devastated by the loss of connection with her in- person peers. However, she felt that she was able to “bond like never before” with her fellow online schoolmates through the chaos.
Once outside, the in-person classes stood awkwardly spaced out, standing in circles with the teacher in the middle. The conversations held were unique- some students talked at full volume, while others whispered barely audible messages to their friends. Almost all shared a brief “hello” with friends from nearby classes.. After approximately ten minutes, the fire drill was over and students returned to their classroom.
As students filed back into their classrooms, they were met with rejuvenated, laughing online students, projected on the board, who immediately muted their mics. Of course, there were students with their cameras off, but that changed fast. When the teacher walked in and requested“no avatars and everyone return to their seats,” all was back to the new normal.