Edina residents Kirsten Murphy and Callie Peterson found WizEducators to bridge education gap during COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to adapt quickly, and one of those ways was how kids got their education. Shifts from in-person learning to distance and hybrid learning formats created some gaps in learning. That’s when two Edina moms, who were teachers, decided to step in and fill those gaps.
Kirsten Murphy and Callie Peterson founded WizEducators last year after seeing what their own children were lacking because of distance learning. Through WizEducators, families can find an educator to meet with their students and essentially tutor them and help with distance learning in a more personal way. “There was a personal need for kids to have someone helping them and facilitating their learning that a computer just couldn’t provide,” Murphy says. “We were worried about our kids missing key foundational pieces because of distance learning.”
These educators aren’t your typical tutors. More often than not, they are actual teachers, and there are options for one-on-one work or students can be in groups. “Last year, I had my kid in a group of two to four students, and a teacher would come to our home to help them with distance learning,” Murphy says. “Being in a group like that helped them with their social skills they couldn’t get through a computer.”
If people aren’t comfortable with an educator coming into their home, there are virtual options, or some groups choose to rent out a room in a public space, such as a church.
WizEducators continued its services throughout the summer and even offered a few academic summer camps. Now that the world is getting back to “normal,” and schools are returning to in-person learning, WizEducators has turned into more of a traditional tutoring service, as educators are meeting with students after school instead of during school hours like they were during distance learning.
WizEducators recently partnered with Edina Give and Go and is currently working on a scholarship fund to make sure everyone can get the academic help he/she needs. “We recognize help like this is a privilege,” Murphy says. “Our hope is that anyone can get these services, so their children don’t fall behind.”
Murphy and Peterson feel a big need to keep the WizEducators experience as personal as possible. “We want people to always be able to reach us instead of getting a corporate feel,” Murphy says. “We want to know the people in the community, and we want them to know us.”
Parents can find an educator for their students by going to wizeducators.com and looking through the list, but Murphy and Peterson both agree the best method is to reach out to them, either by giving them a call or by using the live chat feature on the website. “When parents reach out to us, we can suggest educators based on the family’s needs, schedules and so on,” Murphy says. “It can be a better experience for all.”
To find more information and to get involved with WizEducators, visit wizeducators.com, or find it on Instagram @wizeducators.