It’s finally here. The time of year when teachers can take a much needed break from lectures, designing curriculum’s, crazy kids and endless paperwork. Maybe lounging at the pool all summer isn’t your idea of a good time – and that’s okay. What can you do during the summer to enhance your skill set as a teacher, have fun and make some extra cash? There are a ton of options but I’ll cover a few of the best here. As a teacher it’s important to know how to reach the students, in the course teach anyone, anything, anywhere you can learn how to best engage students – no matter where your summer takes you.
Okay, before you say no way to travel, hear me out. When people think about traveling they think about spending money, right? Sometimes you don’t have to break the bank and your journey doesn’t have to be all about R&R. You can make money while traveling and you can even pick up some new material for the upcoming school year. Plus, you get to learn and as a teacher, that’s probably pretty important.
Teaching abroad is a unique experience, one that may not be for everyone. Your knowledge isn’t only valuable to the students in your community, it’s invaluable to students around the world. The most common teaching abroad subject is English, and no, you don’t have to be an English teacher to participate. As long as you have a degree and good command over the English language, programs around the world will see you as an asset and want to pay you to teach ESL (English as a second language) students. A lot of the programs are in Asia, but there are options in South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, too. Here are a few sites to start your teaching abroad search: Transitions Abroad, Go Abroad and CIEE Teach Abroad. You can also check out this course that will explain the details of how to successfully teach English abroad.
Semester at Sea
The University of Virginia is the founder of a program called a Semester at Sea. It’s exactly what it sounds like. For non-college professors you may have a bit of trouble getting accepted to be a teacher on board, but for you professors check this out! As an instructor in this program you will live aboard a ship with other instructors and students for a semester (this can be the summer semester). You get to travel the world on a boat, teach your favorite subject and interact with people from all over world. It’s a chance to add a great mark to your resume, an opportunity to network and enhance your teaching skills and a way for you to discover new places – all while getting paid.
Some of you reading this may have no idea what CoolWorks is and that’s exactly why it deserves its own category. If anything was more suited towards a once-in-a-lifetime summer gig – I don’t know what it would be. This site offers an array of seasonal job opportunities around the United States. The jobs range from summer camp counselors in Tennessee to working on a fishing boat in Alaska. Summer is a big tourist season and businesses need extra help.
This site allows businesses in search of temporary workers to connect with those looking for summer work. A lot of the time these jobs will offer on-site accommodations for free or a reduced price, food, activities and you get paid to do something fun and different. A friend of mine landed a summer job working as a hotel concierge in Jackson Hole, WY at a beautiful mountain resort. She said it was an experience she would never forget.
Since you’re a teacher you probably are well-versed on a variety of subjects in your field. What if you were able to sit at home (or wherever you want to be) and share your knowledge with the world? You can. Freelancing is a fantastic way to make extra cash with ultimate flexibility. You don’t even have to be a writer to land a gig, a lot of clients are looking for people with photography skills, web design skills and basic data entry. If you want to write but don’t have a lot of experience, that’s okay too! There are a lot of opportunities for people to get started in this line of work. Check out Elance.com, Crowdsourcing.com and freelancer.com to browse some jobs available to you. Create a profile, upload some samples of your work (if you have them) and then start applying. It’s free and it could end up being a great part-time, or even full-time gig. Take this online course to break into freelancing with no experience. Also read the article How to Make Money Writing Articles for the lowdown on starting your freelancing career.
Summer School and Rec Programs
Summer school and recreational programs are other great ways to spend your summer. Chances are your school, or a school in your community, offers one or both of these. Being a summer school teacher is a great way to continue doing what you love all summer long. The pay is comparable to your school year salary and the hours just as long. The curriculum is more intensive, but you get to work with kids that may have had a little trouble getting by during the regular academic year. This can be challenging and fulfilling for sure. Summer recreational programs are a great way to get involved with the kids in your community and gives you a little more flexibility with your educating approach. Instead of spending all day preaching textbooks – you can organize field trips and projects that show the kid’s education can also be fun.
Tutoring is a lot like freelancing in the sense that you can create your own schedule. If you work as a private tutor you have the ability to control how much you charge, what you teach and how many students you take on. Tutoring is a great option for those of you who don’t want to commit to a summer school term but still want to engage in teaching. A lot of parents are eager to pay a tutor to help their kids get caught up for the next school year, to prep for upcoming exams or to get a little bit ahead. Place an ad on Craigslist or in your local paper offering your services (or just use word of mouth) and you’ll be surprised at the response you get.
Something else to consider is conducting an online course. This may seem a bit scary for less computer savvy teachers but don’t let it deter you. There are sites like Udemy that allow teachers to create courses for free and then sell them to the general public. (Check out the course Design Secrets to learn how to create a selling course on Udemy.) Courses can be on virtually anything, academic, spiritual, business related and so on. Every student enrolled means money in your pocket and a chance for you to share your education with others. What is neat about this option is you can create your curriculum on your own time and then upload the full course to the site. Once that’s done, you don’t have to worry about being somewhere at a certain time to give a lecture. Just be around to answer questions if an enrolled student has one and that’s all there is to it. You can also teach live online courses through different venues. Learn how to teach online classes in this crash course.
I know that volunteering doesn’t involve making money, but it can be equally if not more rewarding. If you’re just looking for something that will be fulfilling and want to make positive use of your summer months off, consider one of the following volunteer organizations.
I can attest to the incredible disaster relief organization All Hands. I worked with them in Haiti after the earthquake, Alabama after the Tuscaloosa tornadoes and North Dakota after the Minot floods. The only requirement is to show up. Once you are on site, All Hands provides shelter, food, tools, transportation and field work for every volunteer on site. You live in a community style setting, often at a church or another facility donated to the organization during the project life. You spend your days helping out communities who were devastated by natural disasters. This includes mucking, gutting, demolition, debris removal, tree falling, cleaning… the list goes on. You can stay for as long or as short as you want and I promise you’ll meet some of the most incredible people you’ve ever encountered during your stay. You can be any age, from any background and no prior experience is necessary. Remember, it’s FREE.
Operation Groundswell is committed to providing unique and relevant community service in over 10 countries around the world. Often time volunteer organizations are exploitative of the communities they are trying to help. These programs can also be super expensive and deter volunteers from participating. Operation Groundswell is a socially and environmentally sound non-profit that provides community based fieldwork for all of the “backactivists” that want to travel and volunteer abroad.
You see? Your summer doesn’t have to be boring, non-paying and stationary. You have a myriad of options to choose from and these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are ions of people who would kill to have the summer off every year to be a part of some of these experiences. Do some research and spend your summer doing something you’ll never forget. Not only can any of the above options turn into a wonderful summer escape – they can also become sources of passive income during the school year. Learn how to teach and create a passive income in this course.