Why are parents and teachers turning to learning pods?
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, learning pods are becoming an increasingly popular option for working parents to educate their children. Parents are turning towards learning pods because they provide an effective alternative to the virtual classroom. For many students, the virtual classroom simply is not working with remote learning. As a parent, you want your child to get a quality education and learn in a safe environment. In learning pods, children get to study in a protective bubble. Kids are able to continue their formal education without compromising their safety.
Learning pods (also called pandemic pods, micro-schools or nano-schools) are small groups of students who learn together outside the classroom but who still meet together in person. Parents and teachers want kids to have social interaction, along with in-person instruction. Learning pods make this possible.
While a great many parents happily homeschool on their own, many others don’t have enough time, desire, or ability to teach their child everything themselves. Instead, a learning pod ensures that your child receives a quality education with the help of a skilled teacher. Even teachers have found better employment opportunities in learning pods. In many cases, teachers earn more through employment in learning pods than traditional school jobs. Some of the top benefits of learning pods are given below:
Personalized learning can be difficult for schools to implement. It is nearly impossible for a teacher to deliver individualized lessons to each student in a classroom of 25 or more kids. Learning pods, like homeschool cooperatives, are small enough that personalized learning is engrained in the culture. Learning pod teachers have the time and opportunity to deeply understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and then develop personalized lessons catered to those abilities.
Many parents and teachers feel that sending kids (and teachers!) to school amid this pandemic may not be safe. Even school districts that have attempted to re-open using the most stringent safety protocols have experienced outbreaks in the first few weeks, resulting in classrooms being quarantined or a return to online-only instruction.
By nature, learning pods are safer than traditional classrooms because of the small number of students. The fewer the number of people, the lesser is the chance to get infected. Parents and teachers can also agree on safety protocols for learning pods like daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms, including a temperature check and regular monitoring for other flu-like symptoms. Families can determine what level of “covid isolation” is best for their group.
Learning pods may be small groups, but they provide children socialization. The social isolation caused by COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, but the burden is especially heavy on children. Many of them walked out of school one day last March and haven’t seen their friends since. Learning pods offer a solution to that loneliness. Although the top priority of most learning pods is educational growth, they also focus on the social and emotional well-being of the students.
Moreover, when kids are in a small group, especially a group with a mix of abilities and ages, they can help each other learn and build skills. Pods also provide excellent practice for kids who struggle with social skills. If your child is comfortable with the other kids in the group, the pod can be a safe place to work on skills and form friendships.
The calendar and daily schedule of traditional schools are set by a school board, and families must plan their lives accordingly. Learning pods offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling. You can work with the teacher to decide the schedule. The timings and the place of the class can be ascertained accordingly to your preference. Teachers also have more freedom to set the curriculum of the class. They can include different subjects and extracurricular activities which are generally not part of traditional schooling.
Benefits for teachers
As teachers think about career paths, certified teachers are in high demand. Parents need all the support they can get. Skilled teachers have the opportunity to take on any of the teaching position the future may bring, including learning pods. In learning pods, you:
● Reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19
● Have greater flexibility with your own schedule
● Are able to dive into projects, lessons, and activities you may not have had the opportunity to teach in a classroom setting
● Can negotiate your salary to meet your needs and the needs of your own family
● Are able to sharpen your parent communication, relationship, and collaboration skills
● Will strengthen your adaptability, differentiation, and problem-solving skills
Due to all these factors learning pods offer a convenient alternative to traditional schooling and that is why parents as well as teachers are turning to them.