Does the thought of choosing a teacher for your learning pod have you singing “Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match… find me a find, catch me a catch,” from Fiddler on the Roof?
On top of all of the logistics involved in putting together a learning pod, coordinating and scheduling everyone, matching the right teacher to your pod’s needs can feel like dating all over again. Only this time, several adults have to approve and your kids’ educational development (and even their health!) may hang in the balance.
From agreeing on COVID safety expectations, to getting on the same page about teaching philosophies, here are four key questions for you and your pod-mates to consider and discuss as you search for the perfect teacher match for your micro-school pod.
1. What teaching approach do we want for our kids?
Every child’s learning style is different, and determining the styles that work best for your pod is an important step in the matching process.
It’s also a step that we encourage you to celebrate! With all of the challenges that come with building a learning pod, the newfound freedom to play to your pod’s strengths, and choose a leader who is optimally suited to fit their specific needs is a huge win!
Once you know how your pod learns best, matching with the right teacher will become infinitely easier. Here are some teaching philosophies to consider as you think about the approach that’s best suited for your pod:
- Reggio Emilia
2. What extracurricular activities do we want them to lead?
Have a discussion with your pod about what types of extracurricular activities are important to you, and which ones you expect a teacher or tutor to be in charge of.
While some groups may take care of their physical activity individually on their own time, others may find it important to have sports, etc. as a part of their curriculum. So if PE is part of your learning day, is the teacher expected to lead it, and will they be provided the tools needed to do so?
Likewise, if art, music and other special subjects are key for your pod, do you want your teacher to be in charge of that aspect of the curriculum?
Posing these questions with your pod and clarifying the expectations of your teacher, will help you narrow down your match candidates to only those capable and willing to provide for the activities that you need.
3. Do We Need a Professional Teacher, Nanny or a Tutor for Our Pod?
Depending on your answers to some of the above questions and the needs of the children in your group, you may not need a credentialed teacher for your pod.
You can refer to our last article for more on the advantages of a teacher vs. a tutor for learning pods.
4. What COVID Safety Level do we want them to maintain?
In past articles, we’ve talked about how important it is for you and the rest of your pod to be on the same page when it comes to COVID safety, but we can’t stress enough how key it is that your teacher shares similar beliefs.
As you begin to whittle down your potential matches, take into consideration what you expect of them as far as safety both in the micro-school and outside of it.
While we know that you can’t control your teacher’s behavior outside of the learning space, let’s focus on what you can do: match with someone who shares your basic set of safety principles both with the pod, and on their own time.
Here are some COVID Safety questions to consider asking potential learning pod teachers and tutors:
- Do you get regularly tested for COVID? If not, are you willing to?
- Are you currently eating out at restaurants? If so, how often?
- Do you socialize outside of your “quarantine pod” or household? If so, what are the safety measures taken?
- What is your mask wearing practice, both in public and in the learning space?
Asking these questions is an important step in the matching process, and a critical part of establishing a harmonious relationship between your pod and your new teacher.
If having the COVID safety conversation feels overwhelming, skip the stress and check out our user-friendly quiz to help you and your potential matches determined your COVID Safety Number.
Speaking of safety, you may also want to ask whether your teacher is trained in first aid. Most accredited teachers also have CPR and first aid certification (including all PodSkool teachers). Tutors, on the other hand, are less likely to have undergone the training and maintain their certification. Either way, you’ll want to know!
We’re Here to Help
We help families like yours find a great educator for their pod, matching you based on your educational and pandemic safety needs, and providing insurance and payroll to take the stress out of school-from-home.
Whether you want a tutor or a teacher, you can get your estimate in a few seconds by filling out the form below.