All parents are between a rock and a hard place right now. Whether schools are fully open, fully at home, or are on a hybrid schedule, no option feels like a good option. “Making it work” at home was somewhat manageable at the end of the spring semester last year because it seemed like it was only for a short time. However, it’s not sustainable for an entire school year.
Enter: Pandemic Pods
Why a Pandemic Pod for School?
It’s a home-schooling hybrid that builds a bridge for families navigating the current school ecosystem currently reeling from COVID-19. Similar to the wave of Family Pods or Quarantine Bubbles, a Schooling Pod pulls together collective resources to address the new hurdles COVID has presented for families with school-aged kids. Summer Pods were in response to isolation. School Pods go a step further by incorporating education into the socialization mix.
By forming a Schooling Pod, families are not only bringing together their collective resources (time, skills, money), they’re also reforming the essential components of a school community in the face of a pandemic.
How Could Sitters Help With Schooling Pods?
More likely than not, most parents won’t be able to cover all of the time needed with the kids and their schooling. Many of them are working full time—whether in or out of the home. Sitters with educational backgrounds will be called upon to help fill in the gaps. This could be in a few different ways:
- Homework Help
- Subject-Specific Tutoring
- E-Learning Assistance
- Artistic Projects + Lessons
- Sports + Physical Activities
- And more!
Questions To Ask When Interviewing For A Schooling Pod Job
That initial conversation needs to be thorough so everyone involved can be on the same page from the very beginning as families build a new system together and figure out how you, the caregiver, is a part of that system. Consider the following topics and questions:
What’s the #1 thing they want to get out of forming a pod? Is it elevated education? Is it supplemental social development? Is it simply to support remote learning?
Age/Grade Specific Needs
How many kids are involved and what are their ages?
What level are the children involved at? Are there certain areas that need more focus? Are there multiple age groups?
Incorporating School Resources
Will they be participating in any virtual or in-person sessions? Are they following state/federal school guidelines/curriculums or are they building their own?
Will it be full-time in-home schooling? Part-time to cover the days the kids aren’t in their physical classrooms? Will it be just a few hours to supplement virtual learning?
What are the hygiene and social distancing practices the pod is doing? Is there a plan if someone in the pod is exposed? And more.
There are a lot of unknowns and variables at play. But there’s also certainty in the fact that humans are incredibly adaptable. Parents have a lot on their plates, but you can be the support that they need. It’ll just require being adaptable and leaning into the skills you have—which you already do as a professional caregiver.