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Demand for tutors skyrockets as more students learn remotely

The owner of Tutor Doctor Knoxville said he doubled his staff to keep up with the increased need for tutors in Tennessee.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As more school districts start the school year, the need for tutors is at an all-time high. With more students signing up for online school, parents are finding ways to fill in the learning gaps by hiring help.

Tutor Doctor Knoxville is a tutoring company in Knoxville that has had to double its size this summer to keep up with growing demand.

Owner Dr. Joel Vance said the business's usual slow months were faster than ever this year.

"June and July are usually slow during normal times, but we've had our best June and July," Vance said. "People have been calling right and left."

It's a nationwide trend. Vance said parents are concerned about the brain drain that might have been accelerated by a school year cut short. As more school districts shifting to virtual learning, he also said he expects even more calls in the fall.

RELATED: Update on the “summer slide”: Students help other students through TN Tutoring Corps

"They're not happy with the online the school systems are offering, so they want someone to come in and actually sit down and show their child how to do you know a math problem or write a paper or practice reading," Vance said.

Because more parents want a one-on-one learning approach to fill in the gaps with their child, Vance has nearly doubled the number of tutors he has on staff across the state.

"But they're ready because we do think there is going to be a bigger demand than normal," Vance admitted.

Despite the pandemic, they've seen more interest in the in-person tutoring sessions than online and have even expanded their business to offer "learning pod" style tutoring sessions.

But he said the boom in business isn't worth the world changes.

"I hope this virus ends soon," Vance said. "I mean although it appears to be helping my business a little bit, I want it to end and for us to get back to normal."

Tutor Doctor Knoxville offers free consultations and learning assessments. The staff serves students 4 years old and up. They offer ACT prep, and tutoring is also available.

Vance said the staff is practicing CDC recommended social distancing and safety guidelines during those in-person tutoring sessions.