Pupil pods seek more teachers as schools go virtual amid COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When schools went virtual earlier this year, a local mom created a new company based on her own needs.

Pupil Pod pairs up to six students with a certified teacher to execute distance learning.

With even more schools going virtual this week, demand is up, and so is the need for teachers.

Jess Downes Stuebner is a mother of four in Center City, and her students in Philadelphia's public schools haven't had one day of in-person learning since March.

She created Pupil Pod to help both students and parents get through the pandemic.

Right now, with many schools already choosing to go virtual heading into Thanksgiving and inquiries from parents are skyrocketing.

"They are seeing the trend and where this is going," said Stuebner. "They would like to secure help now."

She says the need varies. Some parents want in-person instruction for their kids or socialization.

Some are working parents who need help executing the learning.

The pods are also employing teachers who are choosing this new model for flexibility or extra money.

"We have dozens of pods and dozens more forming," Stuebner said. "We really need teachers right now. We need qualified, certified, excited teachers who take CDC guidelines seriously and COVID precautions seriously.

The cost is determined by the number of hours and number of students in the pod.

Pupil Pod is also making scholarships available as well.
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