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Part-time Utah teachers educate home-bound Chinese students

Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 20:39:03-05

OREM, Utah — As China imposes the largest quarantine in human history to contain the coronavirus, some Utah teachers step up their online English classes to help educate students stuck inside their homes.

Using the company VIPKid, Amanda Slaughter teaches up to eight online classes per day from her home in Orem.

While it’s unknown when traditional Chinese schools will reopen, many parents are opting to educate children online from part-time Utah teachers.

“I’m completely booked out. There are absolutely no open classes in my schedule. Usually there are one or two around the more awkward times of the day, but yeah, there are absolutely no openings,” Slaughter said.

At up to $22 an hour, Slaughter isn’t the only teacher with a full schedule.

“The [classes] are filling up the second I open them, even when they are outside our frenzy booking time,” said Nathan Summers, who teaches English classes from his home in Sandy.

The coronavirus has killed more than 630 people, the majority in China.

More than 31,400 people are infected worldwide. The outbreak is having an effect on Slaughter’s students; one young student had trouble focusing.

“Today he was just really energetic. I asked, ‘Did you get to go outside today?’ He said, ‘No, we can’t go outside.' I was like, 'Oh, that’s so hard,’” Slaughter said.

In China, some teachers are reportedly teaching through an online classroom during the coronavirus outbreak.