Transitioning To A Teaching Career And Making Ends Meet

1186815_coinsI recently got an email from a reader who found my blog and is looking at moving into the teaching field. This individual has been in the business world for over two decades and has recently been laid off.

Last month I was laid off from my position with a multi-billion dollar company as a national recruiting manager.  I have a friend that went through last year and is finishing her first year as a middle school teacher [in Texas].  Talking to her has really made me think hard about teaching.  In almost every job I have held, I have found a way to teach someone something.  I have taught martial arts and have over a decade of experience working with teens in church.  I love young people and I enjoy the teaching experiences I have had.

My issue, as you can imagine, is money.  Now, when I mention this to most people, they dismiss me immediately by saying, “you’re not going to get rich teaching”, as if this is new information to me.  I do realize that I will have to take a cut, but what I am interested in is learning how to minimalize that cut.  Finding salary structures for local IDSs is easy. What is hard is learning about the other opportunities that are available for teachers to earn extra money.  Things like summer school, tutoring, after and before school programs, etc.

Do you have any resources that would help me determine what I might be able to earn extra as a first year teacher?  Do you know of any averages that work here in Texas?  These resources are hard to find and I was hoping you could help.

While I’ve never been inclined to teach summer school (and my 6-12 music certification isn’t the best for summer school anyway), I know there are a lot of teachers out there who do it. Other options I can think of off the top of my head include:

  • Turotials/private music (or art) lessons
  • Pizza delivery
  • Computer tech/repair stuff
  • Web design

I don’t have much experience with any of these besides private music lessons and a little bit of tinkering with web design. With nearly 1,000 RSS subscribers, I’m sure a handful of you have some experience with these things. What kinds of rates do you set? What are some things I’ve left off?

I wrote about this back in my first month of full-fledged blogging: Creating Additional Income While Teaching

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

7 Comments on Transitioning To A Teaching Career And Making Ends Meet

  1. Another extra-income possibility is working in the before & after school childcare programs. They vary WIDELY by district. Some pay a pittance because they charge a pittance to the parents. (and are just babysitting) Others are wonderful programs that provide tutoring & awesome enrichment activities after school and pay double digits to certified staffers. The ones in my region that do this are funded by grants (watch out for funding expiration) and are free to the parents. Grant-funded programs may also have a “season” due to funding and not run the same length as the school year.

  2. This is my second year of teaching, and I taught several after school sessions, as well as summer school. Combined these programs upped my salary nearly 10% this year.

    However, I did neither of these last year, simply because my first year of teaching was so overwhelming. I didn’t have the time or energy!

    Also, another thought, my school contract prohibits me from tutoring outside of my contract, so be careful in that regard.

  3. In Dallas, before and after school functions net you twenty bucks an hour. Of course, you don’t always have control over when those opportunities arise, and they are not always ongoing throughout the year. But when we DO tutor after school or on Saturdays, it’s $20/hour. And at my school, we have the option of signing up for before-school monitoring (thus my cross walk job). That is an everyday stipend.
    Your writer should also be thinking about behavior and classroom management, because they are going to be like nothing that he/she has encountered teaching martial arts or at the church.
    Maybe he/she would enjoy the unique corporate-world-to-education story of Learn Me Good? ;)

    • I remember a couple of years ago that I signed up for detention on Fridays. It was half an hour, but I ended up getting like $9.50 for each day that I did it. The reasoning behind doing it was that I got out of cafeteria duty on Wednesday afternoons by doing detention on Friday.

      I was also able to use those Friday afternoons to read my personally signed copy of Learn Me Good. Great fun, I had!

  4. Private businesses like Huntington Learning and Sylvan allow for a few extra hours a week at $10/hr +.

    Teachers recycle EVERYTHING: cans, paper, old books, forgotten pens & pencils & crayons, decorations, etc. If you can’t absolutely find another use for it, maybe you can throw it away!

    Donate plasma – up to $55+/wk.

    Participate in research studies at universities – up to several hundred $$ a month depending on the type.

    Pet sitting/house sitting for friends/neighbors.

    Pick up every loose change you find. I read an article about one family that found $1000 over a year by going to parking lots, drive thru windows, searching couchs/cars/old purses/pockets.

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