Private tutoring offers rise in wake of N.C. K-12 school reopening plans

Image of tutor and young student

RALEIGH — Private tutoring offers are popping up all over social media platforms in the wake of Gov. Roy Cooper’s announcement of “Plan B” for the reopening of the state’s schools.

Offers to tutor various subjects or even full and half days are popping up in “mom groups” and school forums on Facebook.

In a Sanford community group on Facebook, a young woman named Mikayla Nobles posted that she was offering to tutor. Nobles says that she has been working as a preschool teacher at Bright Horizons for 4 years.

“With many parents in NC opting to do Virtual schooling this year due to COVID 19, I would like to offer my tutoring expertise! I am flexible with virtual tutoring or in person tutoring depending on your comfort level,” Nobles’ post reads. She also lists several rates, ranging from a $20 half-hour Zoom or Face Time session to $25 for a half-hour in-person session. Her rates double for a full hour.

Nobles tells North State Journal that she is working towards obtaining her N.C. teaching license. Parents interested can reach her via email at [email protected]

“I want to help families and students be successful in online learning and make my tutoring services available to people in person and virtually depending on their comfort level with the COVID 19 situation,” said Nobles.

Another example of a tutoring offer was found in a closed group for a middle school in southern Wake County. According to the post, which North State is not linking to due to the notice being posted in a private group, offerings are for small groups and private tutoring in math with a wide array of options including Virtual Academy support and as a supplement to when students are home for two weeks under Wake County Schools’ Plan B rotation schedule. Depending on the options chosen, the teacher’s rates run anywhere from $50 an hour for private sessions down to $20 an hour for a session with three students.

Wake County Schools is offering a “Virtual Academy” for students who do not wish to return in person at all. Enrollment was at 22,000 students on the morning of July 14, the same day as the governor’s announcement. By the next morning, enrollment had jumped to 30,375.

According to a tweet from Wake County Public Schools, the breakdown of that enrollment is around 15,000 in elementary grades and “roughly 8k for middle and high.” A second tweet sent hours later broke down the current enrollment by grade. Elementary grades all over well over 2,200 per grade as do middle school grades, of which seventh peaks at over 2,700. Only grades 11 and 12 currently have under 2,000 enrollees.

Tina Hackett is a real estate agent by trade but has been a math tutor for a number of years for students mainly in grades seven through nine. She says that her Tina’s Math Tutoring Facebook page has seen increased activity over the last few weeks.

Hackett says that Algebra and Geometry are her preferred areas to tutor in but that she also does ACT and SAT tutoring. In addition to being a realtor, Hackett holds a certification in math for grades six through 12.

“I would consider teaching a class, but I’ve mostly been doing one on one work,” said Hackett when asked about homeschools or community groups looking for instructors.  Contact information for Hackett can be found on her tutoring page.

Some offers are coming by word of mouth, like Wake County substitute teacher Christine Botek, who says she’s offering three spots for kids in grades one through four hosted at her home. She says she’ll be charging $15 an hour per student.

“What led me to this idea was when I was speaking with mothers in our neighborhood we’re contemplating what to do about their children,” said Botek.  “Also, I worked with a student early on during this pandemic time and it worked out really well he came to my home and I did his virtual work with him. I supported him.”

Botek said that when Wake County started discussing the “one week on and two weeks off,” she knew it would be a burden for parents.

“I actually became a substitute teacher 12 years ago so that I could be on the same schedule as my children I sacrificed my career to stay home and I filled a financial gap with subbing around my children’s schedules,” said Botek, she added that “I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen in schools I don’t know because of all the mixed messages if I’m truly safe or not.”

Botek said that substitutes working in different rooms as needed would increase exposure and that as subs, they are not given health insurance, get sick days, or paid for the time they’re not in the classroom by the district.

“I know parents are gonna be really really struggling with schedules I’m more than willing to help out in a safe environment,” said Botek.

About A.P. Dillon 272 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_