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Pandemic pods and tutoring groups
Old 08-01-2020, 05:39 AM
  #1

Quite a few privileged parents here are organizing groups of kids and hiring a teacher to oversee their distance learning.

Is this happening where you live?


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Old 08-01-2020, 05:44 AM
  #2

Yes, it’s become popular in the county/district I live in. It’s not as popular in the district I teach in, which is right next door.

However, where I live is a much smaller district and the schools serve much higher income families (no Title I schools at all).


There are also places offering “care” for children to go to their program and do their online school while being monitored by staff. Places like gymnastic studios, Martial arts studios, etc.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:03 AM
  #3

I know a couple of my neighbors mentioned it. I’m sure it’s happening on the wealthier side of town.

I like the idea of having a few for teacher’s kids.

It’ll be interesting to see what all of this does to public education.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:07 AM
  #4

I think people here are still figuring things out. I did talk to a friend who is going to switch with her best friend with their 3 children. I imagine lots of people are going to do something like that with neighbors and friends. ess busineses out here to work something but I have seen posts where people are asking others what they are doing or if they know someone who can help them.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:28 AM
  #5

It's happening here in NY. Lots of NYC families are grouping together to form a pod. There has also been news reports of wealthy parents from NYC moving out to their Hamptons homes and enrolling their children in private schools far from the city.


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Old 08-01-2020, 06:48 AM
  #6

There are groups forming around here. I'm actually seeing more of it in the working poor population. There are groups forming around work schedules to help each other out. And then seeing stay at home moms offering services for a fee. I haven't seen much response to those advertisements, so I'm not sure if people are actually going for that.

A lot of our private schools are planning for in person.
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Yes
Old 08-01-2020, 06:52 AM
  #7

I belong to several FB groups where there are Moms in the area trying to organize this. In all fairness, in some cases, it isn't about privilege, it also comes for a need for qualified childcare as parents return to the workforce.
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A version of that needs to happen
Old 08-01-2020, 06:56 AM
  #8

My stepdaughter said it is kind of happening where she is in Colorado.

They are not hiring someone, they are working together.

No one knows what will happen over the next many months. Parents need to be prepared. Forming pods or cohorts of families to work together might be one way that will help them get through this. Parents in a pod can take turns having the kids. My stepdaughter’s husband is off on Wed. He will take the kids in his Pod on Wed. Another parent will take them on Mon and every other Friday. My granddaughter will go to school on Tues and Thurs. When there is an outbreak at the school they will adjust what they do.

It’s good to see that parents are stepping up and organizing. Unfortunately not all communities have parents who are able to do this. I can see where there needs to be a community outreach program to work with the schools and families to help facilitate pandemic learning pods.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:22 AM
  #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiga
Quite a few privileged parents here are organizing groups of kids and hiring a teacher to oversee their distance learning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Teacher
In all fairness, in some cases, it isn't about privilege...
I did not include the word “privileged” to be unfair. That upsets me. I included it because the people who are advertising are capable of paying a credentialed teacher to work with a small group of students. It seems to me that model would be expensive and require some degree of affluence.

I am thrilled to read about other ways of making this work for students and their parents. I was in no way being snooty.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:31 AM
  #10

Quote:
I included it because the people who are advertising are capable of paying a credentialed teacher to work with a small group of students. It seems to me that model would be expensive and require some degree of affluence.
It absolutely is privilege. What others are describing is a child care co-op, which is not the same as poaching a teacher from the school system with the promise of matching salary + benefits.


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Pods
Old 08-01-2020, 08:32 AM
  #11

It’s definitely happening around me in the Atlanta area.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:33 AM
  #12

I'm wondering though how safe this will be with families mixing with other families. Time will tell.
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liability
Old 08-01-2020, 09:13 AM
  #13

I wonder about liability issues when hiring someone to be with children. I can see why privileged parents would hire teachers, as they have been vetted.

I frankly worry more about the students in low-SES areas with parents who have only a 3rd grade education and/or speak limited English. It has been obvious in the past 4-5 months that long distance learning has failed many of these children due to lack of parental guidance and/or technology. The inequities in those areas are going to be compounded.

I have so many questions. This is uncharted territory for many people, although I have a number of well-to-do SAHM friends who have successfully homeschooled for years with different models.

Quote:
hiring a teacher to oversee their distance learning.
Does this mean a teacher would be in a home with a pod of students and make sure they attend to distance learning, something more like a tutor? Or would these teachers actively teach the curriculum themselves using the distance learning as a jumping board?

I have a young friend who has a teaching credential but has not been teaching for 6 years due to having young children at home. She is also in a Ph.D. program which requires a lot of time. Nevertheless, she is planning to start a pod that has 6-7 children of varying ages (13-5), including her own two children. She has not mentioned distance learning, so I assume she is going to do a little schoolhouse type pod.

It makes my wonder what implications this has for public education.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:36 AM
  #14

Quote:
Does this mean a teacher would be in a home with a pod of students and make sure they attend to distance learning, something more like a tutor?
Yes, cvt, that’s the way I’ve understood what I’ve read. The parents want to be able to leave the students with the teacher so that they can go to work. The one I saw with the most specifics, and I hope I’m remembering accurately, wanted the teacher for 2-3 hours.

And to MalloryJames, thanks for understanding my intent. I appreciate it. I wasn’t thinking they’d be “poaching” teachers as those teachers are still being paid to work. I was thinking there would be a need for old retired teachers like me. But I’m often wrong—just a guess.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:52 AM
  #15

This is happening where my daughter lives in Westchester...she is sending them to school. Some of the pods cost over $25,000.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:05 AM
  #16

Quote:
I wasn’t thinking they’d be “poaching” teachers as those teachers are still being paid to work.
Yes they are paid, but not by the school system. It's rich parents pooling money to provide a certified teacher to a very small group of students. Here that would be more than $150K I guess? Seeing they were including benefits surprised me.

But those teachers give up their union protection and retirement plans. I have no issues with families trading off days, but creating their own school system just hits me wrong. I understand everyone needs to come up with what is best for their families. But it feels wrong to see such inequity so blatantly displayed.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:24 AM
  #17

MalloryJames, I still wasn’t clear. Please let me try again... I meant I hadn’t thought they’d be poaching because I thought teachers would be keeping the jobs they had...that they’d be the ones remotely assigning the work that the home teacher/tutor is helping with.
Quote:
...it feels wrong to see such inequity so blatantly displayed.
I agree wholeheartedly. If it weren’t a medical danger, I’d be volunteering right now to help underserved students and their hardworking families. But I’m a medical chicken.
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I don't think
Old 08-01-2020, 10:28 AM
  #18

for the most part that parents are creating their own school systems.
Quote:
I have no issues with families trading off days, but creating their own school system just hits me wrong. I understand everyone needs to come up with what is best for their families. But it feels wrong to see such inequity so blatantly displayed.
I think parents are just trying to figure out what they can do. Yes, it's inequitable - but that burden lies on the government's mismanagement of our society, not on the parents that are trying to find alternative solutions. Families that can, will figure out work arounds.

If it feels wrong, speak out and vote for candidates that support sweeping changes to the way education is funded and how funds are allocated. Major societal changes are needed to fix the inequity that is everywhere.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:43 AM
  #19

It is happening in the wealthy districts in my area. Not in my district as far as the money aspect. The ones hiring their own teachers and creating pods are the same ones that were out in front of the admin buildings protesting that their kids have all in person instruction. Theyre also the ones ¨demanding¨ their school taxes back since they have to ¨be a teacher¨ and have more important things to do.

I.Can´t.even.

Also, it´s only going to defy the logic of having schools closed if these parents are making large groups of kids and housing them together. I get that a lot of parents have a real problem affording child care and that is a whole different thing but the wealthy creating their own school groups is ridiculous.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:08 AM
  #20

Quote:
but the wealthy creating their own school groups is ridiculous.
Where I live, the wealthy people (multi-millionaires and billionaires) send their kids to private schools that cost $40K+. They can afford to pay for private teachers and private everything. They are in a class of their own (pun intended).

Quote:
The ones hiring their own teachers and creating pods are the same ones that were out in front of the admin buildings protesting that their kids have all in person instruction. Theyre also the ones ¨demanding¨ their school taxes back since they have to ¨be a teacher¨ and have more important things to do.
In my area these are the well-to-do middle class professionals who resent having to monitor their own children's online schooling, and feel that it is perfectly OK to endanger teachers' lives by opening schools prematurely. One public school near me had a survey very recently in which 85% of parents wanted their kids back in school for fall.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:15 AM
  #21

A friend on Facebook recently shared that a church with a private school in her area was offering very small kinder classes (not sure about other grades) along with a drop off option for supervision of distance learning. I think people are getting creative to solve problems. I do think the gaps between the haves and have nots is really shining through during this crisis.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:54 AM
  #22

Parents are looking for the best solution for their children and their families. It is good and right for them to do this. They are using their own resources and networks to create space for their children to learn and socialize. I think parents should be able to have a voucher for their child's education and use that money for whichever education environment is best for their children.



At some point, parents are going to demand that schools open for in-person learning. This is what we all pay taxes for. I understand (and share) all the concerns about catching Covid and passing it on to loved ones. But as some point, we all have to go back into the classroom. The students need it, parents need it, we need it--and after all, we are being paid.



If teachers refuse to go back to the classroom to teach, there will come a time that we will lose the support of the public and of parents. I'm not saying that time is right now--there are so many unknowns and concerns. We'll all do the best we can with distance learning.



But... this can't go on forever. At some point, we have to accept that vaccine or no vaccine, this virus is now endemic in our society. How are we going to manage the risk and still live life?
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:58 AM
  #23

I think we are in the same general area. Here, these are parents who have money but not enough to afford the $$ private schools. They want to hire a credentialed teacher to come into their home and oversee their children who are doing virtual school with the public school district. It is not a childcare need. These are mainly SAHM. Basically they do not want to supervise their children especially now that virtual school has been amped up and requires more time and attention than last spring.

I think they want a credentialed teacher because it makes them feel better having someone in their home who has been fingerprinted and experience.

The task really only needs a tutor/caregiver type person (or a mom). I have had a few of my tutoring parents ask for recommendations but I have put them off. It is something I would not feel comfortable doing so I can't recommend others to do what I won't do.

My concerns:

1. You will be working with a group of kids from different families. You have no way of knowing what these people are doing that could be unsafe. And they will lie about. I caught one parent posting Las Vegas pictures. Large group. No masks. And she is a nurse. Her kid can now do online tutoring only because I can't trust her.

2. The money sounds good but . . .you need to make sure your liability insurance covers going into someone's home (mine doesn't & the increase is not worth it to me). You need to pay all your social security taxes quarterly. Don't be tempted to try to work under the table because these parents will try to claim child care expenses when they file their taxes and you will be caught. Penalties are steep.

To me this seems more risky than going back to school because there are no protocols or safeguards.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:16 PM
  #24

We have a lot of families doing that where I live. Some are getting together and hiring a teacher. Others are creating schedules so that each family does some of the teaching/monitoring. I'll be honest, if I could afford to quit and do it instead I absolutely would!
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:42 AM
  #25

This is absolutely happening where I live, and I fully support it. It is even better if you have someone who was a trained teacher supporting the students.

There are parents out there who have the skills to break down topics their children don't understand during on line learning in a way their child will understand but many can't. Some kids need that in-person help. If parents think this is best for their children I say go for it. I'm happy that they can find a way to make it happen.

I also agree that those who do not have those opportunities will end up with a larger gap. It is sad they don't have the same opportunities, but unless our society decides to create regulations driving all of society to the lowest common denominator, there will always be a difference in what each persons has available to them.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:15 AM
  #26

Quote:
I meant I hadn’t thought they’d be poaching because I thought teachers would be keeping the jobs they had...that they’d be the ones remotely assigning the work that the home teacher/tutor is helping with.
I'm sure there are multiple ways this is being organized. What I am seeing here are wealthy families, hiring public school teachers to come teach small groups of kids inside private homes. It is a new job for those teachers, not in addition to their public school job. These families are offering to provide medical/dental/vision insurance. That's poaching.

I am sure many are fine with the idea: I can afford this and I should because I have to do what is best for my child. I get that. But the families in my district do not have that luxury. Those kids deserve a safe, equitable education, too. It just deepens the divide between the haves and have nots and this pandemic has really brought to light the wide gaps. Just more systemic racism and inequality.
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