How Much Should a Learning Pod Teacher Cost?

Wondering how much a teacher should cost and whether it's worth hiring one for your pod? Here's a breakdown of the types of teachers and costs.

Whether you’re searching for answers about fair wages for teachers, or wondering about the extra costs of keeping your learning environment and teacher COVID-safe, there’s a lot to consider when estimating the overall expense of hiring a teacher for your learning pod. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Let’s walk through all of the things that you should take into consideration when deciding what kind of teacher you want to hire, what they should cost and what the factors are to keep in mind.

What types of teachers can I hire for a learning pod?

There are several options when it comes to the types of teachers that you can hire for your pod. From babysitters and nannies, to tutors and fully licensed teachers, each category will come with a different set of expectations and, in turn, a different salary. While some pods may opt for a nanny or even a babysitter who can occasionally help with homework, others may want a fully licensed teacher who can handle both the structured learning, and the periods of “off-time” that inevitably occur during the school day. As you start vetting teachers, be sure that you and your fellow pod members understand the different skills each brings. Get on the same page when it comes to the expectations for the learning environment that you want to create for your pod, and ensure that you agree on the costs associated with hiring the right type of teacher to bring that vision to life!

When should I hire a licensed teacher for my pod?

Every pod is working with a unique set of challenges and so every pod’s need for a licensed teacher is inevitably going to differ. While a nanny or a tutor are perfectly fine in some situations, the step up to a qualified teacher is often invaluable, and the price difference can be negligible, especially when splitting the cost among several children. In fact, some tutors actually charge more per hour than a licensed teacher. Some who may be forming a pod for younger children might want the credentials and experience that a preschool professional brings. Others working with school-age children will want to take into account the specific learning structure set up by their school district. At a base level, when you hire a licensed teacher you’re not just paying for their time, you’re also paying for their level of education, experience and skill level. A licensed teacher is a professional, and their knowledge, techniques, and educational materials will be reflective of their years of schooling and active time teaching in their field. Knowing that your young learners are in the hands of a consummate professional every day will likely relieve school-related stress for parents, and lead to fewer work-from-home challenges outside of school hours. For grade-school pods, hiring someone who is used to the course load, environment, and expectations associated with your school district will undoubtedly ensure a smoother process, and higher level of learning for your children. Though it may cost more, the benefits of hiring a licensed teacher who is well versed in the everyday demands of a classroom, can prove well worth it.

What is a fair salary for a professional teacher?

The salary of a teacher in California can range from $45k/yr to $80k/yr depending on years of experience, which translates to approximately $22.50–$39/hr. Of course, that doesn’t factor in benefits like medical coverage, vacation time, etc. When determining a fair salary for your potential teacher, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Individual demands of the learning pod (special needs, atypical learners, etc.)
  • Pod size
  • Kids’ ages
  • Learning hours & overall length of school day
  • Educational materials required of the teacher
  • The teacher’s years of professional experience in the field

Do I need to worry about holidays & time off for my pod teacher?

It’s important to reference your state’s labor laws to ensure that you’re following all legal protocol when it comes to holidays and time off for your teacher. According to California state law, an employee must be paid overtime for working in excess of 8 hours in a workday, and 40 hours in a work week. While in California there is no requirement for an employer to give paid time off for holidays, or additional wages for work done on a holiday, there are traditional extended school breaks over the winter & spring holidays, and summer to consider. Your decision to uphold state-mandated standards and work around your own planned family activities, is a personal one. Whether or not you choose to pay for your teacher’s time off and holidays is between you and your teacher, but maintaining a positive relationship with anyone working closely with your children and showing that you appreciate them is important.

What are the additional costs to keep in mind?

Outside of the hourly or monthly costs of a teacher’s salary, there are a number of additional costs to consider when creating an overall learning pod budget. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:

  • Who will be responsible for providing COVID safety items for the teacher?
  • Is the teacher expected to provide all learning materials?
  • How will the group be paying for things like:
    • Personal COVID safety items
    • Extracurricular project materials
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Insurance

While the list of parameters to consider when determining the cost of your teacher can seem daunting, we truly believe that stress-free school from home is attainable for every family, no matter your income level.

We created PodSkool to make creating and running a learning pod safe, structured, and simple… and affordable! We take care of the background checks, payroll taxes, insurance and worker’s comp so that you can focus on the important things in your life.

Want to know how much it would cost to hire a teacher with PodSkool? Just answer a few questions to get your estimate right away.


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