More parents consider 'micro-schooling' to keep kids on track and back-to-work

Posted July 23, 2020 6:15 p.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2020 10:41 a.m. EDT

— Parents are weighing their options when it comes to school for their kids amid the pandemic. Some are turning to “micro-schooling,” a buzzword with very broad meaning.

An online job posting for a teacher reads, "We are looking for a private teacher to guide a small group of third graders through their Wake County Public Schools curriculum.”

One such job was posted by a group of parents saying their children are enrolled in Raleigh's Lacy Elementary School.

It piqued the interested of Dalton Perkinson, a high school teacher who, like many teachers, works other part-time jobs.

"I first see it as an opportunity for teachers to make money. Right now, I'm working my second job during the summer," he said.

Perkinson doesn't believe the end of traditional schooling is nigh. "Micro-schooling" may be just another trend in a traditionally trendy business.

"It's something new that we've never really played around with, so we'll see," he said.

Perkinson believes the position might be a good opportunity for retired teachers, though he worries they may be in the high risk group for COVID-19.

Parents have turned to social media to help find those interested in micro-schooling.

Jan Tu is a facilitator. She has to choose between four families who have shown interest but she's still looking for the perfect fit.

"I got laid off my job in early March. Two calls to unemployment and nothing as shown up yet," said Tu. ""I am not necessarily going with who is going to pay me the most. I want a balance of restocking my savings and staying safe."

Educators worry micro-schooling will further the achievement gap for disadvantaged students.

"Remote learning will never be equitable for all," explained West Lake Middle School teacher Ayanna Thompson.

Some parents say it's their only choice.

"I feel like everybody is doing everything they can," said Sara Coats, a Wake Schools parent.

A tough decision at a tough time with tough days still ahead.

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