Author Topic: learning pods  (Read 1173 times)

kaysixteen

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
learning pods
« on: August 13, 2020, 08:25:23 PM »
I have been seeing several articles in various places wrt affluent and well-off parents, either individually or in groups, hiring teachers to run 'learning pods' for their kids,  who will likely be forced to do full- or at least part-time remote learning this semester, even if their schools start up fully ftf (and some of these parents will not send their kids back to ftf school even if their school is going to do that).  Some of these pods are themselves online, whereas others are ftf, and some, as said, are just for one family, whereas others are for groups of families.   Anyone personally familiar with any such efforts?  Any of you serving as such a teacher (or, relatedly, tutor)?  Anyone have any thoughts?   I have decided to try to line up some such work for myself around here, though my immediate area is a community where, ahem, well-off parents who would be both willing and able to hire me are not thick on the ground, and where, even amongst those parents who could do that, education valuing is not high, not a high priority (as I sadly found out when I worked for the now-defunct Christian school back in the day).   Is this, IOW, a viable notion?

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: learning pods
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2020, 05:15:17 AM »
We have people forming learning pods here.  The community FaceBook page has people advertising to be tutors. 

However, the part that seems to be working out is people who have significant experience as nannies/lower elementary teachers are getting 3-5 kids from 2-3 families who are already best friends with the tasks as a lot of reading and science activities interspersed with play.

The actual tutors for middle school and high school are being ignored in favor of parents rotating time at home, again among close friends, to supervise the remote learning and promote social interactions.  I see some activity on math tutors and mentors for various science activities, but nothing like a private tutor as the full-time adult.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

writingprof

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 556
Re: learning pods
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2020, 05:25:36 AM »
How much are these learning-pod teachers making?  For, say, $50,000 per semester, I may look into doing that during my spring sabbatical.

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: learning pods
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2020, 05:41:39 AM »
How much are these learning-pod teachers making?  For, say, $50,000 per semester, I may look into doing that during my spring sabbatical.

We're an affluent community where it's not rare to have a part-time nanny.  I would be surprised if anyone is making more than $20k for the semester.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: learning pods
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2020, 07:05:58 AM »
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

pigou

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 262
Re: learning pods
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2020, 03:10:18 PM »
Isn't this basically what organized homeschooling looks like? I've long thought those were underused by people who could afford them, but aren't wealthy enough to pay for the top private schools.

At $100/hr for a teacher, 40 hours per week of instruction, and 10 kids per class, you're looking at $1,600 per month per child. That's less than half the cost of a fancy private school and, if you're selective about which kids to "admit," you could create a really good learning community.

kaysixteen

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: learning pods
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2020, 09:59:16 PM »
$100/ hour per kid for a group experience sounds really steep.   You would have to live in a very wealthy area to be able to do that, or otherwise have the contacts amongst the very rich.  Even $100/hr for solo tutoring is  very high.

Even though, as I said, I am certainly not living in a wealthy OR education-valuing area, I am still going to try this, at least to see what happens.

bacardiandlime

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 235
Re: learning pods
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2020, 02:44:18 AM »
At $100/hr for a teacher, 40 hours per week of instruction, and 10 kids per class, you're looking at $1,600 per month per child. That's less than half the cost of a fancy private school and, if you're selective about which kids to "admit," you could create a really good learning community.

Yes, it's possible. But the fancy private school comes with a whole bunch of other stuff (tennis courts! science labs!) that you're less able to recreate at home. Not to mention the difficulty of juggling to hire not 1 tutor at $100/hr, but a rotating cast of several (or is one tutor going to do calculus, English lit, chemistry, music and Mandarin?).

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: learning pods
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2020, 06:34:18 AM »
At $100/hr for a teacher, 40 hours per week of instruction, and 10 kids per class, you're looking at $1,600 per month per child. That's less than half the cost of a fancy private school and, if you're selective about which kids to "admit," you could create a really good learning community.

Yes, it's possible. But the fancy private school comes with a whole bunch of other stuff (tennis courts! science labs!) that you're less able to recreate at home. Not to mention the difficulty of juggling to hire not 1 tutor at $100/hr, but a rotating cast of several (or is one tutor going to do calculus, English lit, chemistry, music and Mandarin?).

You call a service or work with your contact group to hire the rotating cast when you're dipping your toe into that level.

When you're comfortably at that level, you have an assistant, majordomo, housekeeper, butler, or someone else who does the organization of this along with everything else.

We're not at that level yet, but I already get recommendations on people to make my life easier for daily tasks.  We have multiple lawyers, an accountant, a financial planner, a lawn service, a pest service, and contractors with whom we regularly work to do household repairs and improvements.

Discussion among my colleagues at work frequently touch on the private education options including supplemental activities available, the need to have at least a shared housekeeper (visits for a few hours a few times per week), and hiring assistants for a couple hours every week to run errands or do the research to assemble the lists for summer camp, tutors, etc.

Nobody does all this by themselves.  The frequent suggestion is to hire out everything that is drudgery so that one can parent and have a high-intensity career.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

Parasaurolophus

  • near crested lizard
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2302
  • CHE Posts: 1640
Re: learning pods
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2020, 08:45:25 AM »
$100/ hour per kid for a group experience sounds really steep.   You would have to live in a very wealthy area to be able to do that, or otherwise have the contacts amongst the very rich.  Even $100/hr for solo tutoring is  very high.

Even though, as I said, I am certainly not living in a wealthy OR education-valuing area, I am still going to try this, at least to see what happens.

I don't think the suggestion is per kid. It's per hour. If three parents want you to pod-school their children, that's $33/hr each, which is better; with ten parents, it's an eminently reasonable $10/hr. Your hourly fee is whatever you want it to be, and you flash your PhD around to justify it, then you decide how many children/family groups you can take at once.
I know it's a genus.

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: learning pods
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2020, 02:46:52 PM »
https://www.weareteachers.com/learning-pods/?utm_content=1597527780 has suggestions for teachers considering pods.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

kaysixteen

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: learning pods
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2020, 05:51:50 PM »
Anyone have any updates on this topic, esp given the experience of the last three months wrt running k12 schools again during the pandemic, and even more esp given the recent pandemic case spike?   I confess I have just gotten round to trying to line something up, after a very few efforts earlier-- I have placed several group subscription requests to various FB groups, and set up a 'private teacher and tutor' page there (which I have as yet done little to advertise).  I am going to take the plunge tonight and try to send out some local FB-oriented feeler posts, but am deeply leery of 1) violating any protocols regarding commercialization of FB posts and 2) pissing off my FB friends (even though some of them are friends of friends of friends, etc).  I confess further that the main reason I have not really done anything along these lines to date is that I realllllllyyyyyy hate salesmanship, selling myself, cold-call work, etc.    thoughts most appreciated...

polly_mer

  • The Voice of Doom
  • Senior Moderator
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3557
  • Have you hugged your family today?
  • CHE Posts: lots!
Re: learning pods
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2020, 06:08:33 PM »
We have learning pods here.  However, the demand is for either people with relevant K-3 experience, ideally as Montessori or similar teachers, or essentially as college students taking a break working for cheap.  Some tutoring is available for music or math at the middle school and high school level.

I have to ask why you think FaceBook posts with the people you already know is the way to advertise your services as a private tutor pod leader.

I can see working through your church or other volunteer activities that are educational.

You are a Sunday school teacher or similar known youth leader, right?

The folks at the library know you as that responsible fellow who leads youth activities, right?

Perhaps you have organized educational activities at a museum or similar non-profit entity for the relevant age groups?

You've volunteered in the local school system so teachers can recommend you, right?

If you've done nothing recently in the relevant areas and aren't currently certified as either a tutor or teacher, then why would anyone hire you?  If you can think of a great reason why someone should give you money to tutor, then that's what you put in your ad and those are the folks you target.  Buying targeted FaceBook ads used to be very cheap and that's what you need to do if you want to be successful in this area and you haven't spent the last couple years building the word-of-mouth network you need.
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

mamselle

  • Use your wit and intelligence to figure out how to be kinder
  • Distinguished Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3799
  • Wondering, Wandering Sr. Member
  • CHE Posts: 4,618
Re: learning pods
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2020, 06:58:45 PM »
There are Community-Bulletin-Board-like groups and listserv-like lists in most larger towns, on which I advertise my music students a couple times a year. I get a couple of referrals every few months from students' parents who are on those boards, as well.

I charge 45/hr per student and 25/hr for classes of 2-6 students; I just went up from 40/20 in the fall after checking in with my students' parents to be sure that wouldn't be a hardship. If I have 2 or 3 kids in the same family and they aren't quite as well off, I charge less for the 2nd and 3rd kids (especially if they're good students) and I currently have 8 private students (one more will start next week) and one weekly class running.

I've also done tutoring, same rates, etc., and have considered putting courses together for groups of kids, but until I finish with the PT non-profit group I support until12/31, I have enough to deal with.

I've considered pushing to do more home-school based work (I have friends and contacts to start working with; could do French, math up to Algebra Ii, English lit and comp., history, and a variety of arts and culture/social studies offerings) and I'd use the same resources for that.

I eschew Facebook like the plague; I have a Twitter account and landing/blog site I use for my summer tours; could probably set up something similar if I were to do more tutoring/teaching outside of music, too.

But right now I've got my hands full.

Just if that helps in thinking about which resources are useful and how to set things up.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

kaysixteen

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: learning pods
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2020, 07:00:39 PM »
Anyone who would look at my resume would see the extensive experience I have as a teacher of various subjects and with students ranging in age from 4th grade to senior citizens.   I have also done much tutoring, and of course have professional library credentials.  But you know this already.   Anyone wanting to hire someone for a learning pod in my area, in any of the subjects that I have experience in, could really do little better than me.   FB posts would of course allow me to target friends of friends, etc., and get my name out there.   I have little money to pay FB for any ads, and limited faith that any such ads would be fruitful, and would not piss off my friends.

Volunteering to get a network together to perhaps land paid employment opps sounds very nice.   But it will not pay my rent, and it would probably depress me greatly to do it, in the sense that I would feel put upon, giving PhD level instruction to these schools for free, and I do not want to do that, even if I could afford it.   Teaching the volunteer history classes for the local senior citizen foundation, otoh, was fun, professionally and spiritually fulfilling, and I will be doing it again (unless I  do get a real job that would prevent it).   Church work opps are limited, but I have taken advantage of the chances I have gotten in this area.   Volunteering for library programs is rather more problematic, in the sense that many librarians, i.e. paid professional library staff, are actually very leery of letting a serious professional do serious work in that area (and again, for me professionally, there would also be that feeling of being used, put upon, doing this for no money).

Mamselle-- do you actually get much work from Twitter?   Why do you prefer it to FB?   And what is a 'landing/ blog site'?  Thanks again as always.