CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Parents are taking to social media in search of tutors and teachers, as school districts across our area rollout plans for students this fall.
From Facebook to Nextdoor, posts read, “ISO former teacher or Elementary Ed major for distance learning assistance,” to “Searching for a teacher for approx. 6-9 rising 1st graders for in-home instruction for the upcoming school year.”
For some parents, like Mary McCormick, who is an essential worker, the search is not because she wants to, but because she feels the school district has left her no other choice.
“I can’t go to my boss and say I’m going to work 4 days this week, see you again at the end of the month,” she says referring to Plan B, which is under consideration by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in which students will participate in in-person learning for one week and then remote learning for 2 weeks.
McCormick says her daughter, who is a rising third-grader, has a very extensive IEP and a severe learning delay. She says remote learning this spring set-back years of progress.
“My daughter went from receiving 2.5 hours of in-services a day while in school to 25 minutes at home once a day on a zoom call,” she says, ”Every month is a year of her losing what we’ve worked so hard for.”
McCormick wishes the school district would allow her the option to send her kids, back to school, but says she’s working on alternatives just in case.
“I’m trying to find this perfect unicorn of a babysitter, a tutor and a teacher and so is a million other sets of parents right now. There were over 300 posts of people panicking saying looking for childcare, its just kind of like you need a teacher, tutor, and babysitter all in one,” she says.
One of those people posting was Katie Gignac.
“We live in a neighborhood where we have 14 or 15 rising 1st graders that all go to the same school,” says Gignac, whose daughter is one of the rising first-graders.
Gignac says she and other neighbors began looking at schooling options, from a community cohort to hiring a teacher.
“So that the kids can get together on a regular basis and they get taught by a variety of different people – moms, dads, tutors, grandparents,” she says.
If they hire a teacher, she says, they’re hoping the teacher will be there to assist with remote learning and to supplement it with a more engaging curriculum.
Gignac says she was impressed with her daughter’s school this spring when they were quickly forced to switch to remote learning, but says her daughter had trouble staying motivated and engaged.
“They don’t want to do what mom says, they respond a lot better when they’re with peers, and when their teacher is right there in front of them giving them engaging activities,” she says.
Just one example of how some parents are looking to retain the benefits of their kids being in a classroom setting, while not in a physical school.