Back to school for many families this year means going back to the computer from home.
“We just all have to learn to be patient and support each other,” Michelle Salsberry said.
Parents are trying to find creative ways to make it easier, some are even organizing supports to help themselves and others.
“I have one group with five families and then they decided to hire one teacher and they even rented a place. I’m working with families a lot and then I also reached out to Ohio State, some facility members there and they also forwarded my email to graduates so I was able to get a lot of students to help out,” Stephanie Huang said.
Huang is a parent in Upper Arlington with an education background. She started micro-schooling and connects families with educators in small groups or one on one help.
“I also have some teachers who are willing to open their doors for families to come, they host about three to four kids and then there are a lot of parents who want private tutors because they’re still concerned about the virus right now,” Huang said.
It’s also a way to not only help families and the students but to help take some of the pressure off of the educators in the districts as well.
“We can have a lot of learning happen, but at the same time while the school districts are figuring it out, the kids are still figuring it out meeting their teachers online but when they’re offline doing their individual work, the teachers can step in and find out some really good learning activities for them,” Huang said.
Michelle Salsberry is also a parent in Upper Arlington who had a similar idea of wanting to help.
“With a marketing background and have a website coding background, I just wanted to offer something to the community that would connect educators and parents in a way that would supplement what was going to happen online in the fall,” Salsberry said.
She’s created her own website that parents can go to.
“I started a website called Teach4Hire, and really a lot of educators have been furloughed, we have retired educators, college students or high school students that are really just willing to help out during this time. They submitted their bios to me and basically we’ve created this website where parents can go on, view all of the bios that are available,” Salsberry said.
She sad then, parents can look at the calendar and see the educator’s rates and availability, and can book a time slot.
“We launched about two weeks ago and I have already have three educators that are completely booked. We have over 34 educators right now and are getting in more every single day,” Salsberry said.
The goal for both of these women is to connect families with those furloughed or former educators, college or high students or graduates, and anyone with an education degree that can be added support to districts’ teachers who are working hard to make this successful.
They said this not only helps the parents focus on their responsibilities for work and parenting, but it also makes sure their children’s’ learning is on track.
“I have a now fifth grader and now eighth grader and they’re learning, for example, math, in a way I was never taught. I think it’s trying because not only are we trying to juggle multi-disciplines in our house now, but they really do learn in new and unique ways that we’re just not familiar with,” Salsberry said.
For these moms, they said so far, it’s going well.
“A lot of emails coming back in saying thank you so much for providing the service, thank you so much for being a positive influence in our community at a time where it really is unknown, so that’s been wonderful to hear and it warms my heart,” Salsberry said.
“I just want parents to know there is support with parents, and the teachers and the school districts, we all work very hard to help each other. So please be patient especially for your kids. They’re figuring it out this is a new routine for them, you have to be together with them, be patient and tell them we’re going to learn this all together,” Huang said.