Here at ETED, we believe wholeheartedly that teachers desperately need to decompress during the summer. Thus, we present the following suggestions for summer jobs for teachers with fear and trembling and a caveat:
After all, you magically squeezed an entire year’s worth of work into 9.5 calendar months. We know the job never fully stops in these summer months. But the pace slows down, and you don’t have to deal with the daily headache of discipline, everlasting to-do lists, and disgruntled parents. At the very least, summer is a breather.
And frankly, you deserve a complete break–heck, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Turks and Caicos–after pouring your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into your job all year long.
If you can, we believe you should turn off work emails and early morning alarms, live in your stretchy pants, and try to squeeze in as much R&R as possible. Visit family and friends. Stay up way too late watching movies with your family and sleep in the next day like a teenager. Take a vacation or a staycation. Read that stack of books that have been collecting dust this school year. Or binge-watch some trash TV.
However, we know that for some of you, the extra income of a summer job is a necessity (or perhaps a want). If that’s you, read on. If it’s not, please re-read the first three paragraphs and promptly close your laptop.
First, the obvious summer jobs.
- Teach summer school. Personally, I needed to step away from the school building each summer. But the pay is decent, you don’t need training, and the pace is speedy. One pro is that it’s a chance to help some kiddos who truly need it and work with smaller class sizes. You won’t experience regular interruptions from snow days, assemblies, etc. You can just teach.
- Become a tutor. This is a great summer gig because you can make your own schedule and set your own price. Give the area principals, libraries, and community centers your contact information. Email your parents before the end of the year. Post your information on your neighborhood social media pages.
Thanks to the pandemic, everyone knows how to video conference now. So you can even tutor from the comfort of your own home if you want to.
Recommendation: Set a single student rate, and then each additional student can add at half that rate for the same session. (The parents can split the total cost themselves.) Let’s say your hourly rate is $50 for one student but $25 if another student wants to join in. If you have three in a single hour-long session, you will make $100/hour. Not too shabby.
- Work as a camp counselor. You’re great with kids, obv. So if you’re not completely tired of them, consider being a counselor. Your skill set is perfect for this. It can be exhausting (plus there’s still discipline to deal with), but it can also be a ton of fun to spend time with kids without the overhead of planning, assessing, grading, etc.
Now for some outside-the-box summer job ideas.
- Create a summer workshop. Take a hobby or something you love to teach and turn it into a workshop or mini-camp. The beauty of this is that it’s all yours to design: curriculum, the hours, etc. (Of course, that does mean a lot of planning upfront as well, but you’re a pro at that.) Some ideas: creative writing, math enrichment, forensics, photography/video/art. See if your school, local library, or community center will work with you or teach via your chosen video conferencing platform.
- Teach at your local senior center or retirement community. Contact a nearby senior center to see if they have any needs for a summer course on anything. Or make them an offer they can’t refuse. It could be related to technology, your subject, or your hobby.
- Be a part-timer in a place you love. Check the places you frequent to see if they need an extra set of hands: the gym, the library, your favorite retail store or ice cream shop, etc.
- Become a lifeguard. Get paid to spend the summer poolside? Yes, please. As a super-observant teacher and one who does not shy away from correcting poor behavior, you’d make a great lifeguard! You’d have to go through certification, of course. But it could be totally worth it.
- Deliver goods. Pop in your earbuds, blast your favorite music, and head out to grab stuff for other people. There are so many options to choose from!
Additional Lists & Resources
- Work online. Here’s a list of online ideas for teachers on summer break wanting to earn some extra cash.
- Dabble in educational publishing – they sometimes need subject matter experts to work as freelancers who write assessments and lessons, etc. Here’s a list of the current top 12 educational publishers.
No matter your reason, if you need to work this summer, try to find something you will enjoy!
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