Considerations When Hiring a Private Teacher for Your Learning Pod

September 15, 2020

Fast on its way to becoming one of the more talked about back to school trends of 2020: the private teacher. But when it comes to finding the teacher that is right for your family — or your circle of families if designing a “learning pod” structure (groups of as many as 10 students) — it’s important to make sure you’ve checked your list, twice.

Understand the qualifications you should be sourcing for in candidates.

These should include, but are not limited to:

  • Content knowledge and instructional expertise in the subject(s) they teach
  • The ability to age-appropriately explain both basic and complex principles of their subject area(s)
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • A growth-mindset and the ability to adapt to changing demands
  • The ability to efficiently and effectively identify students’ needs and challenges

Depending on whether your private teacher will be managing the completion of school-based assignments, supplementing school-based curriculum, or designing a curriculum specific to the needs of your child(ren), you’ll also want to weigh the degree to which they:

  • Collaborate and communicate with others
  • Organize the lessons and learning space
  • Initiate and respond to student needs

Compile your list of non-negotiables.

  • And be prepared to source for these qualities and requirements, too.
  • Are you looking for socialization or emotional support for your children?
  • What academic progress must be met to deem the teacher-family pairing successful?
  • Is curriculum provided, or will the teacher be creating their own?
  • What is their COVID risk tolerance level, and does it align with the safety protocols your family practices?
  • What traits of your child(ren) should the teacher be compatible with?
  • What is needed in the learning environment (i.e., space, supplies, furniture, etc.)?

Consider your scheduling needs and “all-in” budget.

Are you looking for someone who can simply manage the completion of school-based assignments? Or are you looking for more? Someone who can supplement and enrich those assignments, or replace the need for school altogether? Consider the scope of the teacher’s responsibilities when determining their pay rate — and remember that a private teacher is not in-home childcare. If you need to keep your child(ren) occupied beyond a part-time basis, know how you want them spending their time — and consider who is best positioned to manage that time. If it’s educational activities, then you’re probably in need of a full-time, in-home teacher.

You’ll also want to think through the benefits teachers are usually afforded when employed by schools — in this case, who is providing health insurance for the teacher? And if the teacher, you’ll want to work that into their overall pay.

Know how to protect those involved.

As the employer on record, you’ll want to develop Employee Agreement Forms and Liability Waivers. These are meant to ensure the safety of all involved parties. You should inquire about additional insurance policies you may need to cover the added risk of hosting a teacher or other families’ students at your home. You’ll need to think through the human resources logistics of managing and paying your teacher, whether as an employee or independent contractor. Organizations such as have done a lot of the groundwork to make this process more manageable.

There’s a lot to consider, we know. And as this trend continues to pick up, we will likely uncover more things to think about when hiring a private teacher. But for now, know you are not alone; we are here to help guide you in anyway that we can. And for help with finding a right-fit teacher for you and your family, simply let us know your preferences.

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