Teaching is notoriously an underpaid career. Many teachers have difficulty living off of their salaries, especially in high-cost areas, and some just barely manage to stay afloat. However, if you’re having a tough time living off what you make, there are ways to make extra money and help yourself get ahead, if you just take the time to look for it.
Many schools have afterschool tutoring available for students, and the programs need teachers to help out. While you often won’t get your normal hourly wage, tutoring can often be more rewarding than a normal class, since you’re working with the struggling students that want to improve without the too-large class sizes that most teachers fight each day. Check with your school regularly to see if any tutoring programs will be starting soon, and make sure the people in charge of it know you’re interested. Often, just being the first to volunteer will get you the job and the extra pay.
Depending on your school and your district, you can sell your prep time to increase your take-home pay. In many cases, you give up a prep occasionally to watch another teacher’s class, but in some circumstances, you can sell that time for the entire year and take on an extra class. This is not available in all districts or even areas of study, but if it’s an option at your school, talking to your administration and the secretary in charge of substitute teachers could land you in a spot to get an extra hour’s pay every once in a while.
If your school is on a traditional school year calendar, you have a couple of months of the year where you’re not teaching, and this is the perfect time to make some extra money. Teach summer school if it’s available, tutor with a private agency or through Craigslist, take a job at a bookstore, or find something else you’re somewhat interested in and try it out for a few months. Many businesses want educated professionals to work for them, even if it’s for a short period of time, so you can use this to your advantage and make some extra money.
In most areas, having additional credits or degrees beyond that necessary for teaching can bump you up on the pay scale. Check with your district to see if you can get wage increases for extra education. Many schools offer deals for teachers, so you have the unique opportunity to spend a little cash now, take a class or two, and make more money for the rest of your career.
There are all sorts of different opportunities for someone with a teaching degree, so it’s important to let others know that you are looking for extra paid positions at your school. If you put forth a little effort and pay attention to the opportunities around you, you might be amazed at what turns up.
If you’re a teacher and struggling to stay afloat with just your salary, it may seem like an insurmountable task to find ways to better your financial situation. However, it’s actually surprisingly easy to make a few extra dollars, and it can all be done within your area of expertise. If you spend a little time and effort searching, you’re sure to find a side-job that is fun and profitable.
Angela George writes for education blogs. Several schools offer online education degrees.