Retired Bakersfield teacher creates ‘Clare’s Classroom’ home learning pod system

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As most districts start their school year online this month, many families are still scrambling to find ways to make sure their children don’t fall behind.

“It’s just a hard time, and I hear the anxiety in the parents’ voices,” said Clare Dunphy, a retired BCSD teacher.

Dunphy says a popular idea circulating throughout many major cities in California is the concept of “learning pods” where parents pair up a group of children in the same grade with an in-person instructor.”
“I have ten families that have contacted me, and I’ve only been advertising for a week,” said Dunphy.

Dunphy has over 30-years of experience working in the Bakersfield City School District. She says families have been contacting her non-stop since she decided to turn her home into a classroom.

“This has turned into a full-time job,” said Dunphy.

Dunphy is certified to teach kindergarten through 12th grade and is willing to see up to five kids for two hours. She is offering assistance with homework assignments and as well as creating group projects.

“I think it’s important that the students have a chance to have face to face collaboration, ask questions, and be together,” said Dunphy.

Dunphy says keeping students and their families safe from Covid is her top priority. Precautions include a separate entrance for families,  socially distanced seating, and a mask mandate for every kid that comes inside.

“We all wear masks, I take their temperature when they come in, they pick all of their supplies, and when they leave, I make sure that we spray down everything they’ve touched and clean it all for the next group,” said Dunphy.

However, the service isn’t cheap, ranging from 25-35 dollars an hour per student. The cost could price many Kern County kids out of this extra help.

For families interested in creating a learning pod, you can email Dunphy at claresclassroom2020@gmail.com.

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