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Learning pods creating new alternative for Central Oregon students

'What I really want to be doing right now is reaching students'

SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As students ready to hit the classrooms in-person and online, a new option for parents is popping up: learning pods.

A learning pod is a isolated teaching classroom for parents looking to have their kids still have an in-person teaching alternative to normal school.

Kristen Bowman, a professional educator, is starting her own learning pod in the Three Rivers area, south of Sunriver.

Bowman told NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday she was encouraged to create her learning pod because of COVID-19.

Bowman wants to teach kindergarten through fifth-grade students four days a week.

In the last five years, Bowman said she worked as an educator for the Bend-La Pine Schools, teaching nearly 600 students in a special science class.

According to Bowman she’s received more than 80 messages about her learning pod and a number of the people reaching out are parents of former students.

"When a student really says, ‘Mom, I want her’ -- that's what teaching is all about,” Bowman said. “Whether it's at school or it's here, that's really what I want to be doing right now is reaching students."

At the moment, Bowman hopes to have about six students in her classroom this fall. Students will be able to learn about gardening and even be able to use a tipi for reading and yoga.

She hopes to have her class up and ready by mid-September, where she wants students to use what they learn in the classroom and apply to her learning pod.

"The main difference that I really believe is taking knowledge that you are getting in books and that you are reading about and that you are writing about, but it's taking that and putting it into real life,” Bowman said. “So that you have hands-on experience, and then it becomes meaningful to you, and it builds you as a person and your character."

For more information on Bowman’s class, you can e-mail her at

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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