Teachers work hard. For nine months of every year, their lives are filled with a full day of teaching, lesson plan development, parent conferences and other communication, and, of course, those lovely demands for professional development. Their days can run form 16-18 hours, and even their weekends are spent planning for the week to come.
Becoming a teacher just means lots of extra hours, and when college students thought about how to become a teacher, they were pretty much informed of this. They “signed on” because they had a mission – to teach.
The Money Isn’t Great
One of the things that teacher know from the beginning is that they will not have the earnings that many other careers provide. And financial issues can become stressful – stressful enough to impact performance in the classroom. Many teachers suffer “burn out” and simply quit. Others find ways to supplement their income while they stay.
Finding More Money
Whichever of these situations fits you, there are ways for teachers to earn money, other than traditional classroom teaching. Here are 10 of them.
- Sell Your Unit and Lesson Plans
There are lots of new teachers (and some lazy one) that have need of curriculum units and lessons for their teaching. If you have a really solid curriculum, with details that allow any teacher to simply implement it in their own classrooms, you may find that you have a gold mine that others are willing to pay for. Get online and find teaching sites that allow you to market your curriculum, or advertise is on niche-related forums. The most well-known site is Teachers Pay Teachers. Two other sources are Share My Lesson and Teacher Lingo. Some teachers have even had some success on places like eBay and Craigs List.
- Develop Online Courses
There’s a lot of home schooling going on these days. Parents are always looking for courses for their kids. There are many websites that have been “approved” by state departments of education because their curricula meet those states’ standards. Check out these sites, and see if you can market an online course you have created. They do pay for courses that have been created by certified teachers. There are lots of online teaching jobs. Find those that fit your certification area and go for it.
Probably the most well-known place for online courses is Udemy. You can develop your course(s), market them and charge a good market rate. The average price per student is between $50-$200, depending upon course length and demand. The more unique your course, the more attractive it may be. There are over 15 million students taking courses on Udemy at any given time.
You should also contact educational companies that sell coursework to parents who home-school their kids. You will have to contact these companies directly and see what their needs may be. Companies such as Acellus Academy, Keystone School, and Homeschool Academy are three prominent ones.
- Check Out Tutoring Opportunities
There are lots of national companies that provide in-home tutoring services for kids. Sign up with as many as possible and take the jobs you want. This gives you a lot of flexibility. Online tutoring jobs are really increasing, and the hourly pay for tutoring is pretty good.
Contact companies such as Varsity Tutors, a national organization that provides tutors in all courses and at all grade levels. And if you are feeling entrepreneurial, set up your own tutoring service locally, hire other teachers to work for you, and take a cut of the fees.
- Freelance Writing
Education blogs are all over the pace. If you have expertise for parents, students, or other teachers, you can market that advice by submitting articles to magazines and blogs that pay for them. You may find that you can branch out into other areas too.
For example, if you are an English teacher, there are writing services that use certified teachers to craft essays and papers for students who pay for them. If you are good at research and a fast essay typist, you can earn some pretty good bucks.
Think Outside the Box
One of the skills that teachers have is the “gift of talk.” You spend a lot of your days talking to kids, parents, and other teachers. You are an extrovert in this arena. Think about how you can use that and other skills you have to make some money.
- Become a Summer Tour Guide
If you live in a metropolitan area, your speaking skills can be in high demand. Every tourist attraction has positions for guides – zoos, museums, etc. Use your summer break to interact with others outside of the classroom – a welcome change.
- Create a Blog and Monetize It
This will take some time. You have to market your blog and get known. This involves a lot of advertising, on other education-related websites and on social media. Once you begin to get a following with some really great posts, you will be ready to offer advertising space on your blog – lots of people have made great sums through their blogs – you can too if you can create posts that others love to read.
- Sell Your Creations
Especially in the area of elementary education, teachers often create their own manipulatives for their classrooms. You can sell those manipulatives on sites like Etsy or Pinterest. Teachers are willing to pay for things they do not have to create themselves.
- Consider Other Skills/Talents You Have
Lots of teachers have grown up with other talents. A high school social studies teacher may have musical talent and may be accomplished in an instrument. This could be a saleable talent. Churches look for musicians; local bands may be looking for a keyboardist or guitar player. If you have your water safety certification, you can lifeguard in the summer or teach water safety courses to others. Check out opportunities to use your special talents.
- Develop Workshops
If you are a “master” teacher and you have pedagogy to share, develop a workshop to share your expertise with other teachers. You can offer it for free a couple of times, just to get your name out there. Expand your offerings, create a website, and begin to market yourself. Those “freebies” you gave out? They serve as great references.
- Do Something Mindless
Lots of teachers are on brain overload from teaching all day. they want ways to make money that do not require teaching or other brain activity. If this sounds like you, you can earn money in many other ways. If you are handy, become a handyman or woman; get a part-time job as a bartender; join a catering company and serve at events/parties.
These are only 10 opportunities, but there is probably something in this list that will appeal to you. Find an area of talent or interest and pursue it. You may even find that you love it more than your day job!