IS POD CONNECTION A SCHOOL?

NO! We are not a school nor do we strive to be one. We do not offer classes or or develop curriculums. Students that enroll with Pod Connection must ALSO be enrolled in a virtual educational program with a school (district or private).

IS POD CONNECTION A DAYCARE OR BABYSITTING SERVICE?

NO! Pod Connection is not a licensed daycare facility. Our teachers are partners for parents and schools to augment virtual education. The majority of location partners are also not licensed daycare facilities. Host locations that are licensed for certain activities (i.e. dance, karate, gymnastics) have created programs for an extra cost that younger children may enroll in to expand learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

I am employed with a school district for the 2020 -2021 school year.  Can I also be a pod teacher?

We appreciate your ambition. However, concurrent employment is not considered at this time. Pod Connection strives to reduce the rate of teacher burnout from too many hours and too many kids. It is in the best interest of the teachers, students, & schools that we do not hire teachers that are currently working with a district.

I have been hired by a family, but would like to work with Pod Connection.  Can that be coordinated?

The pod students may sign up for the Pod Connection program, and we would be happy to work together to facilitate the platforms of our program into your pod. Each of the parents must agree and follow the steps of enrollment, registration, and background requirements in order to transition to a Pod Connection pod.

Can I be assigned to more than one pod?

Pod Connection will consider multiple pod assignment on limited case-by-case basis when schedules align, teacher engagement needs are limited, each pod has less than full enrollment, and all parents agree.

I am a licensed teacher, but not licensed in the state where I would be teaching.  Can I still be a pod teacher?

The concept of pod education is very new everyone, including those that create and enforce teacher requirements. In the near future we will be coordinating with states for better understanding of pod learning rules. For now Pod Connection chooses to err on the side of caution and follows the same guidelines for teacher employment that are established federally, state, county, and locally.

My teaching is in a specialized subject (special education, art, theatre, music), but I'd like to offer my services.

Please apply! Pods are established based on the needs of the students and families. Some pods have requested those services. Specialized teachers do not have an assigned pod class, and may rotate between pods. If rotating between multiple pods, specialized teachers are required to follow the social distancing measure of the most restrictive pod when working with all pods.

How many hours will I work as a pod teacher?  What is the schedule?

The schedule and hours per week will depend on the pod assignment. Each district and family have different needs for supplemental education. Once a teacher is assigned to a pod the agreed schedule will be consistent until the end of the quarter.

Will I be babysitting younger kids outside of learning hours?

No. Our program is not a daycare. It is not the policy or objective of teachers to be babysitters. They are expected to be educators. Some children may need extra time before (pre-learn) or after (post-learn) the dedicated time with the pod teacher. Pod Connection will coordinate with host locations to manage those services.

Will I just be sitting around watching kids do their virtual classes all day?

All good teachers know that nothing is ever that simple when it comes to education. Pod students may not have the same teachers, classes, or exact learning schedule. Pod teachers will be expected to make sure that students are engaging in their virtual learning meetings, but more so that they are understanding the material. Teachers may coordinate with school districts on intervention measures of a particular subject or matter or use complimentary teaching methods offline (in person) to ensure the student is grasping the curriculum concepts. They will manage deadlines for assignments, create study plans for testing, coordinate projects, and so much more.

Why doesn't the program just use tutors?  Why licensed teachers?

Although tutors are a great resource for helping students outside of the classroom, pod teachers are a part of the classroom. The pod is set up in a "class-like" setting that teachers manage similar to a school classroom. Tutors may work with students on one or two specific subjects, but pod teachers focus on holistic education of the child.

What do you mean by "holistic education?"   

The primary objective of pod teachers is augmentation of educational development, but the program has secondary objectives of fostering mental and social development. Licensed teachers are uniquely trained to educate children by exploring methods of learning and communication that may relate to one child but not another. This cannot be achieved in a virtual setting, and has long been ignored in large class settings. Pod teachers have an expectation that with small enough class sizes teachers will have bandwidth to employ those skills.

Will I need to develop lesson plans or a curriculum?

Pod teachers follow the established curriculum of the district where the pod students are enrolled. District teachers will develop lesson plans, and pod teachers are encouraged to develop complementary lesson plans as needed to provide supplemental instruction to the students. Additional assignments or tests are not encouraged unless specifically requested by the pod parents to help facilitate learning.

How much interaction is required with parents?  What about school districts?

Hopefully, a lot. Pod teachers are required to provide status reports weekly to the parents on educational development. The program is designed to be a partnership between students, parents, districts, and pod teachers that encourages open, transparent, and respectful communication.

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