In the week since Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb County schools announced they would start the year virtually, Atlanta Facebook mom groups surged with private tutor requests—at top dollar rates— and threads on how to grapple with mounting anxiety. After hearing about the closures, one mom lamented: ‘I had to go for a run and have a good cry.’
If the ‘mom-plate’ was full before virtual schooling. Now, it overfloweth.
Prior to the announcements, many moms intended to send their children to school for in-person classes. They envisioned first-day-of-school rituals and pictures. They took comfort knowing trained teachers would guide their children’s learning. They longed for a break.
SitterTree is adapting to meet Atlanta’s urgent child care needs. In March, SitterTree pivoted to provide child care for essential medical personnel throughout Georgia. Now, SitterTree is using our model of recruiting and onboarding quality babysitters to resource parents with experienced Learning Assistants to support children’s virtual schooling.
Schools are responsible for providing trained virtual teachers, but virtual teachers cannot help with logging in, recovering passwords, troubleshooting technology, downloading assignments, sharpening pencils, or helping students stay on task. Teachers will also be limited in their ability to engage children individually, offer encouragement, or provide emotional support.
SitterTree’s Learning Assistants are personal academic champions. They are also experienced babysitters, which means they know how to relate to children outside of the classroom.
SitterTree has enhanced sitter profiles to include a new ‘Learning Assistant’ badge for experienced sitters who demonstrate the ability to ‘encourage, engage and inspire child(ren) during virtual schooling.’ In addition, all SitterTree Learning Assistants provide detailed descriptions of their social distancing practices.
While some moms may be thinking: “I don’t want just a babysitter,” SitterTree Founder, Jody Stephenson says:
“Parents should not underestimate the value of providing their children with a learning peer, friend, and non-parental guide - for everyone's emotional well-being! At the end of the last school year, one mom shared with our SitterTree team: “By the end of the Spring 2020 semester, my child’s emotional needs superseded his academic needs.”
Moms, especially working moms, face more responsibility this fall. Hiring a Learning Assistant is one way to ensure your family has a consistent, trusted support system while limiting exposure and keeping your circle small. Offload your mom-plate.