It’s trending just about everywhere. And whether you’re personally looking for an in-home teacher for your household — or to meet the needs of a learning-pod — it’s important to consider your overall needs so you can determine the type of teacher you’re looking for. Let’s be clear: teachers do more than academic instruction. And when you’re hiring one during a pandemic, trust us when we say their presence will be felt and appreciated.
First, let’s consider how the spring went for the majority of families trying to juggle remote work, while also playing teacher to their children attempting remote learning. Then, let’s consider the majority of families where the adults were considered mandated employees. In their homes, they were trying to juggle their work commitments, while for the most part hoping their children were able to complete their school assignments on their own. Either way — students being out of school was felt by every household, in every corner of the country. And now, as those same homes are trying to figure out how to make remote learning more successful than we saw it in the Spring of 2020, teachers are weighing the decisions to return to the classroom, or create one alongside families designing learning-pods.
Much like they do in full classrooms, teachers of learning pods provide the following:
But when you wrap this up into what most would consider a life-saver, it leads one to wonder: what’s it cost? And honestly, it depends. For most, it’s the time commitment that determines whether a person is full-time or part-time, but what many forget when thinking about their needs in a teacher, is the time outside of the classroom that teachers spend planning. And grading. Sharpening their skills. And meeting with colleagues for more, well, planning. So the short answer is this:
In general, compensation will be will vary significantly state by state, city by city, and even district by district because of differing salary schedules.
At minimum, be prepared to be more (and likely, significantly more) than competitive (see below) with the average teaching salary in your area. Demand for teachers for learning pods is high and be prepared to be as competitive as you can to secure a great candidate quickly.
These are the primary considerations when determining a compensation rate per hour or an annual salary
To better understand each of these scenarios, let’s take a look at the breakdown of what you can expect when hiring for these roles:
Again, at minimum, be prepared to be more than (and likely, significantly more) competitive with the average teaching salary in your area. Teacher salaries vary significantly state by state, city by city, and district by district because of differing salary schedules. Google around and you'll find salary schedules of school districts publicly available. (Here's an example from Newark Public Schools). Public school salaries are usually calculated based on years of teaching experience, education, and credentials received.
Why pay a premium to published or reported salaries?
Sure, there are many advantages for a teacher to work in a learning pod (e.g., they will likely be working with fewer students), but there are many things a teacher loses from when they decide to leave their school:
Bottom line, no matter how many hours you need the teacher with your child(ren), their planning and grading is happening "after hours." So don’t forget to factor that in as you determine whether they are full or part time.
If you have determined that you really only need the skills of a teacher for less than 30 hours a week (all prep, lesson planning, and grading included), you can consider sourcing for teachers willing to work at a part-time rate.
It's not as simple as prorating an expected annual salary to a per-hour basis because of the additional flexibility you're requiring and the likelihood that the teacher will trying to piece together multiple part-time arrangements. You will almost certainly be paying a significant premium to what would a simple, prorated rate of the expected annual salary.
Do your research, and don’t come in under market value. Remember, as with anything, you get what you pay for.
If you think you only need 10 hours of support of less for your children each week, consider hiring a teacher as a tutor. If the hours can be completed in the late afternoons, evenings, or on the weekends, there’s a good chance of finding very strong candidates already employed full-time for a school or another family. This also cuts the costs down drastically for you and your own family, because the teacher is doing this to supplement their income — not as their income.
Now, whether you hire a teacher part-time, or as a tutor, keep in mind that the reduced hours may require you to be more flexible as you source for candidates. And the more flexible you can be, the more likely it is that your pool of strong candidates increases. Consider your needs, consider your goals, and get set for a year of academic progress (and an increase in sanity all around).