Parents and children have been struggling mightily to balance the demands of work, family, and school. Sadly, some have already given up, as evinced by the ~10% loss of students who are disconnecting from their schools by just not showing up online. Many students who are staying connected through distance learning have expressed dissatisfaction with the suitability of their education.

Astonishingly, our students are asking us for more teaching! As responsible adults, we know that our school and personal resources are already stretched to the maximum. So, how can we provide more teaching when the resources that we have at our fingertips are already being used to the point of saturation? Also, as soon as workable new teaching resources are developed, they are also gobbled up or offered as alternatives to schools, often while being difficult to use. Many of these resources are too generic in their approach to work effectively with student’s specific needs.

The kind of teaching that students most prefer is more in-person classroom time with their local teachers. But given the intense spreading of the Corona Virus, the local and state directives, and the lack of a vaccine, in-person teaching seems too risky right now. The Corona Virus is attacking humans and other animals with abandon.

Some parents are considering hiring teachers to come into their homes, or in pods to teach their students, a costly and perhaps unworkable solution, given both Office of Education and Health Department directives. Merging the desire for a more personal touch with classroom teachers might seem impossible, but there are solutions available in our local community that can be tapped into.

While in-person teaching is presently restricted, there are still alternatives. Here is a partial list:

1)    District or County distance learning resources (call your local school district and county education offices).

2)    Small group or one-on-one Zoom, Facetime, Google, or Skype video connection with local tutoring resources (i.e. Tutoring Club of Scotts Valley). Over-the-telephone connection can work well enough too, for some courses and some students.

3)    Pre-packaged online courses (i.e. Accelerate Education, University online courses, XL,) offered through your local school district, community college, colleges, universities, and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE).

4)    Your wise and experienced family members, who are both willing and able to help on a regular schedule.

5)    Local service organizations (i.e. Boys and Girls Clubs, Kiwanis, Lyons, Rotary).

6)    Retired teachers with multiple credentials for independent study.

Many of these options require your “teaching helper” to be familiar with computer and online resources, such as Zoom and Google Classroom. The student must also have an available computer and Wi-Fi connection (these resources might be available through your school or school district).

Your chosen resource people should be college educated and Department of Justice screened, with deep subject-specific experience, credential, or certification. Local community-based people, or organizations, tend to be more aware of the kind of support that students need.

Also important is that your “teaching helper” be familiar with your local district’s graduation requirements, so that your student doesn’t miss taking classes that they will need in order to graduate from high school!

Ask your “teaching helper” for a written description of their experience, community service, and subjects that they can help you with. Clearly, the wider the variety of subjects that a “teaching helper” can offer, the easier it will be for a parent to have all their teaching bases covered by one person or organization.

We welcome further questions about these options, so please call or email to get a written description of our tutoring services:

Tutoring Club of Scotts Valley, 221-D  Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley, CA  95066, prtutoring@sbcglobal.net, 831-439-8886, Owned by, Pat Perkins and Randy Klein

The Tutoring Club is a member of the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce, and a supporter of the Scotts Valley Educational Foundation, and several other community service organizations and events. Pat and Randy know that teachers are “real heroes” in our community!

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