5 Perfect Summer Side Gigs for Teachers

Today’s blogger is Joyce Wilson, who has worked as a teacher for decades. She believes knowledge is the key to a more successful and fruitful life. 

When school lets out for the summer, teachers collectively exhale. For many, this two-month break means travel, getting back into hobbies, or catching up on favorite books, movies, or shows. But for others, that’s 10 weeks without a paycheck, which can be a bit nerve-wracking. As an educator, you have many skills and talents that you can put toward a side job to help supplement your income during those summer months.

Not sure where to start? If you want to earn extra income during the summer, this list might offer some perfect opportunities to work side gigs or even start your own business.

Sell Your Materials

As a teacher, you have amassed an enormous amount of materials, activities, and ideas that you can sell online to other educators. You could spend the summer getting your own business off the ground—building a website, recording a few videos, setting up e-commerce, and uploading your materials—so that this income can roll in year-round. A little time and effort now can generate passive income even when you resume teaching.

Give People a Lyft

An ideal summer job for teachers is one with flexible hours that they can wrap around any schedule they want. That’s what makes ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft great gigs; they let you set your own hours, use your own vehicle, and meet new people. If you want to work, you do; and if you feel like spending a few days enjoying your break, you don’t have to work. Many people can earn as much as $20 an hour driving for a rideshare, which requires minimal processing and training.

Work Online

From freelance writing to online tutoring, working online can be a great summer gig for educators, and there are lots of opportunities out there. ACT hires educators to be item writers who ensure that test questions reflect what is actually being taught in classrooms. The eNotes Educator program frequently hires educators as answer writers for their online homework help section. Some teachers report making nearly $40 per answer writing for eNotes. English teachers who enjoy the world of online learning can hop over to VIPKid and earn up to $20 an hour teaching English to second language learners. Similar to working for a ridesharing company, you can often set your own hours and workload by freelancing online.

Teach Other Teachers

Your experience and knowledge is worth sharing—and being paid for. Teach other educators how to use your innovative ideas by setting up courses on a platform like Udemy. Let’s say you have a curriculum that incorporates social media, or have a communication style that works with even the most distant of parents. You can create an online course and promote it on Udemy for other educators to learn from.

Caring for Others

Summer is a great time to earn extra cash as a babysitter, dog walker, or part-time caregiver. With kids out of school for the summer, many parents scramble to find accommodations, and who wouldn’t love an in-home summer nanny who is a certified teacher? On websites like Sittercity.com, you can apply for jobs that involve—you guessed it—caring for others, which is something teachers tend to excel at.

Be Wise About Managing Your Finances

Whichever gig you choose, be sure to start by creating a financial plan. When starting your own business, you need to spend your money wisely; one way to do that is to choose the right credit card. Many business credit cards offer cash back rewards, which could help you purchase more materials for your classroom, while others help you build credit, which would be very helpful for a new business. Having a business credit card can also help you establish and stick with a budget for keeping your venture up and running. Many websites for these cards have built-in budgeting tools, and seeing a breakdown of your expenses each month—although you should check them at least weekly—will help you see where your money is going and whether you’re investing it in the right areas.

Whether you need the extra income or just want to stay busy, summer is a great time for teachers to flex their entrepreneurial muscles. You can teach kids English online or walk dogs in your neighborhood. You can help make sure college prep test questions are up to snuff, or hop in your car and drive people around town. Your expertise as an educator can be your strength in a side gig.

First Day of Summer 2015

Sally Rushmore taught science and math in grades 7-12 and computer applications in a community college. She currently is the Managing Editor for the New Teacher Advocate.

2 chaises and umbrella

“Teachers’ workday ends at 3 and they have all summer off.”

Have you ever heard people say this? What do teachers do in the summer? Some have to work another job, but most spend time relaxing and de-stressing, reconnecting with their own children and families, and preparing for the next school year. Here are some blogs with some good ideas for your summer. Enjoy!

What Teachers Really Do Over Summer Break by Outside the Box Teaching Ideas

This teacher asked her students to write about what teachers do over the summer break. Then she commented on what they wrote. It is both funny and poignant.

The Myth of Having Summers Off by Heather Wolpert-Gawron on Edutopia

This is a great list for recharging and de-stressing. Try just one of these ideas and you’ll feel refreshed.

The Teachers Guide to Summer Break: Tips for Fun, Relaxation, & Professional Development on Reading Horizons

Whether you want to relax, reconnect with friends and family, reflect on your teaching, or recharge with new ideas for the new year, this blog has good ideas.

Are you a new graduate? Do you need to make money this summer? How about some of these ideas?

25 Satisfying Summer Jobs for Teachers on the Rasmussen College website

10 Ways to Make Extra Summer Income for Educators by Jill Hare on Teaching Community

What are you doing this summer?

Sally Rushmore is a former teacher who is Managing Editor of the New Teacher Advocate. She also works with the Job Search Academy and New Teacher Community in KDP Global.

Anatomy of a Camp CounselorIf you are an education major who will be returning to college in the fall or you are a new graduate looking for a teaching job, this summer is the perfect time to beef up your résumé and really learn of your interests (and what you don’t want to do) in education.You may discover you love working with 1st and 2nd graders but really don’t want to work with 5th graders!

If you don’t have a summer job, consider some of the following:

  • Summer camps: Churches, YMCA’s, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, and all types of organizations have summer camp experiences for kids. You can choose the type of camp and the age of the kids. Be a counselor and/or offer to teach a class, teach crafts, or even teach something more active like hiking, geocaching, horseback riding, or swimming if you are qualified.
  • Tutoring: Many of the tutoring companies (for example Sylvan) offer summer catch-up or keep-up type of tutoring that is more intense. Find out how you can become involved.
  • Hospitals: Children’s hospitals can use volunteers (and sometimes will pay) to play with and read to sick children.
  • Zoos: Most zoos offer education programs where you could do a summer internship.
  • Museums, Nature Sites, and Historical Sites: All types of museums, nature sites, and historical sites have programs to train and use college and high school students to work with visiting families or to offer special experiences for children.
  • State Department of Education: Some states offer summer jobs or internships.
  • State Fairs: Many state fairs are in production throughout the summer and hire college students to write hands-on programming or curriculum for young visitors.
  • Parks: Nearly all parks or park and recreation departments offer intense summer programming for kids (preK̵–6 or 8) with everything from day camp to swimming lessons to skateboarding instruction to exercise classes to craft classes. Look for the opportunity to teach or be with kids part of the day and work in the fitness center or lifeguard part of the day if you like variety.
  • Libraries: Another place to volunteer or work part or full time is your public library. Most offer some programming along with duties at a desk, shelving books, cataloging books, or even doing some cleaning chores.
  • U-Picks, Pumpkin Patches, and Orchards: Many of these are now open all summer and have weekend activities that include activities for children you can plan and implement and supervise. During the week, you may work a cash register, pick fruits and vegetables, or any number of chores.
  • Sewing, Craft, and Computer stores: Many stores now offer classes (for example, Michael’s) for kids and adults and even kid/adult combinations. You may be qualified to teach one, but they can usually use an extra person to help and will hire you to put out merchandise or operate a cash register when you are not working a class.
  • Ask everyone you know: You might be surprised! A friend of a friend may have her own company giving birthday parties and need a helper. Or a friend of your mom may work with autistic children and know that her company is looking for extra help in the summer. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Horseback riding campLook on http://www.indeed.com, http://www.monster.com, and the websites of various companies and nonprofits (Google the nonprofit job site for your area too) to find “summer job” or “summer intern” or “seasonal.” Many of these jobs are filled in March and April, so if you find something you’d like to do, remember to ask when to apply next year and put it on your calendar. Then keep looking for something for this summer.

Even if you end up working at the neighborhood ice cream store, you can become a dependable employee and maybe even manage another couple of employees by the end of the summer. That’s great experience for classroom management!

Whatever you do this summer, put it on your résumé right away! And don’t just list it. Think about how you are impacting others through this job. Whether it was/is educational or not, how did you educate or influence someone? Think of two or three bullet points you can create to show what you learned or how you “educated” others. Remember education is far more than standing in front of people telling them what to do. It can be guiding, encouraging, planning, organizing, designing programs/curriculum, writing or planning lessons, inspiring, demonstrating, taking responsibility for a certain number of children, and so much more! When you do these types of jobs in the summer and volunteer or work part-time in such positions through the school year, you are creating experience and using your education and your experience in KDP to show real job experience before you ever apply for a teaching job. This is how you can set yourself apart from other applicants and have real experiences to relate as you answer interview questions.

By the way, share in the comments what you’ve found for a summer job and how it is helping you become a better teacher!

It’s the first day of summer!

Sally Rushmore edits the New Teacher Advocate. She formerly taught secondary science and computer applications at a community college.

Summer cupcakesIt’s the first day of summer and what do you do?
Ride your bike to the farmer’s market,  
Fresh vegetables and fruit to get.
Then put on your suit and jump in the pool – yahoo!

It’s the first day of summer and what do you do?
Plant a fruit tree and water a flower,
Take a hike or use the lawn mower.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and a fun hat – whoo-hoo!

 It’s the first day of summer, so a party you’ll throw.
Check Pinterest for ideas you’ll love.
Have celebrations a cut above –  
The most fun food and games you’ll always know! You go!

 It’s the first day of summer, but the summer goes fast,
So create a plan to implement
Some professional development
Or at the end of summer you’ll be saying, “Alas!”

 It’s summer and you don’t want to spend all your day
Slaving at lesson plans, common core,
Or backwards design ʼtil your brain is sore.
Use your KDP membership so you don’t pay. 

It’s summer and everyone’s on the go –
Now you can get PD on an app
Listen to a webcast and you’ll clap
Because KDP has what you need to know. Whoa!

Since it’s summer and the days are so nice, you can
Download articles and webcasts,
Learn new strategies, get tips or facts.
The Resources Catalog will gain you as a fan! 

Yes, as my silly poem tells you, the summer goes fast and then you’ll be moaning, “But I was going to work on flipping my class for one unit this fall and I never even learned what it is, let alone how to do it!” If flipped learning is on your list, you can view the first webinar in the Resources Catalog under the Curriculum Ideas category. The second one (Flipping the ELA classroom) will be June 24 and the third on (Flipping the Elementary Classroom) will be July 8. Sign up for one of these or view them later in the Resources Catalog. (Allow 75 minutes to watch a webinar or webcast all the way through.)

Do all the crises in schools—tornadoes, shootings, students dying accidents—make you wonder what you can do? Go to the Students in Crisis category in the Resources Catalog and view the webcast “Disaster Primer for Educators” to see what you can do to be better prepared and “Supporting the Grieving Student” to help students cope with grief afterwards. These are also great to use with your Professional Learning Community or grade level teachers this fall. Follow up by reading “Responding to Grief in Students” and “Bibliotherapy: Helping Children Cope with Life’s Challenges.” Anti-bullying resources can be found in this same category—and watch for our new webinar on bullying in October.

Learn new ways to do Differentiated Instruction or get up to speed on Common Core. There are some terrific webcasts in the Common Core category, including “Using Data to Inform Instruction.” Articles vary in length and you can print them to take with you while sunbathing or waiting on children.

Are you a newer teacher seeking to add to your repertoire of strategies? Bravo! And you’re in luck. Check out the categories of Curriculum Ideas or New Teachers or Classroom Management.

And one more thing!

It’s the first day of summer and what do you know?
You feel rested and ready to go
But come school time your energy flow
Will feel like a balloon losing its air. Oh, no!

So this summer, while you have the time to do it
Learn about stress and health and pacing
In Wellness, so then you’ll be facing
A year of health and energy—you can do it!