Six Jobs to Help you Supplement or Replace Your Teaching Income
Do you love teaching, but your circumstances require you to find an alternate career?
Or, are you hoping to leave the classroom, because teaching isn’t what you thought it would be and you want a change, but aren’t sure where to start?
I’ve been where you may be! I loved teaching and taught elementary and middle school for 24 years, but throughout those years, there were times that I wanted to be home with my own children, and that made me want to leave the classroom. And sometimes we needed extra money. AND I wanted to work for myself! So, from as long ago as my second year of teaching, I was always seeking other ways to earn money – especially ways that would let me work from home.
I tried several ways to earn extra money over the years, and I’ll share the most successful of those here (yes, there were some unsuccessful ones too:-).
The jobs I share here are the ones that allowed me to make enough money to replace my teaching income and leave the classroom.
This is the first teaching-related job I took that seriously started me on the path to leaving the classroom. While I was still teaching, I became a math curriculum writer for an online education company. They hired me to write lessons for upper elementary and middle school math, and I was able to do this work from home.
I wrote the content for the lessons; designed the activities that a developer would turn into online, interactive activities; wrote practice problems; and wrote assessments. I worked for this company for several years. After a couple years, the company was bought out, and I continued to working for the new company. Then the manager I worked with left the new company and began her own online learning company (Accelerate Education). I continued to do the same type of work with them for several years. I worked in math, but curriculum writers were hired for all content areas.
There were a lot of late nights during these years, but it was definitely worth it – it was a great experience that taught me a lot.
2) Teach online
I did just a little of this with Accelerate, back when the company was new, while I was writing math curriculum. I have to admit teaching online wasn’t my favorite, and it wasn’t as lucrative as writing, but it was a little extra cash and, again, I was able to do it from home:-) You may find that you really enjoy teaching online!
3) Write for elearning companies
This type of writing doesn’t have to be K-12 education-based. There are elearning companies creating courses for people/businesses in ALL areas!
After my curriculum writing (and while I was still teaching), I started writing storyboards for an elearning company where a friend was a project manager (she’s a former teacher, as were four or five other employees in this company). As teachers, we know how to set objectives for learning and how to organize and teach information. Writing storyboards for a course that teaches something falls right into our wheelhouse.
As a writer, you’re given the content the company needs to teach, and your job is to turn their information into an engaging learning experience. In your storyboard writing, you include presentation of information, activities to practice the information, and questions to assess the information. And this can be done as creatively (or not) as the company wishes it to be!
(This job was a remote one too!)
In addition to writing for elearning, I’ve spent a bit of time copyediting storyboards others have written. As a teacher, proofreading and editing may be a real area of strength for you. You can find many proofreading and editing jobs listed on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
I’ve been working in the elearning industry for six or seven years now (still am), and there are many tasks that teachers can do. You may even be interested in being a course developer! (I’ve done some of that too – it’s how I learned to make the digital activities on my site🙂
(It was actually the work in elearning that gave me the security to leave the classroom. When I left the classroom, I took a job working in elearning 20-30 hours/week and worked on creating teaching resources about 15-20 hours/week.)
5) Become a Teacher-Author
If you love creating your teaching resources and want to share them with teachers and students around the world, you can become a teacher-author on TeachersPayTeachers! There is so much guidance out there to help you get started:-) I started on TPT when I was still in the classroom and working at some of these other side gigs.
Writing curriculum, working in elearning, and being a TPT teacher-author have all complemented each other. I’ve learned so much in each area that I was able to apply in the others.
6) Be a Virtual Assistant
MANY Teacher-Authors hire virtual assistants to help with the numerous tasks they need to get done. And outside the TPT world, there are a plethora of businesses looking for assistance. As teachers, we amass a wealth of knowledge and abilities – in content areas, technology, planning, data analysis, time management, organization…the list goes on and on…..we know how to do so much!
If you know teacher-authors, you can get in touch with them to learn more about Virtual Assistant work, and Virtual Assistant jobs can also be found on Upwork and Fiverr.
This is the one job on the list that I haven’t done, but I know it’s a great job. You can take on as much work as you want and build your business at your own pace.
I hope these suggestions are helpful! There are many more possible avenues of income, but I wanted to share the ones I’ve tried and had success with. Even if these suggestions aren’t quite right for you, I hope they can jump start some brainstorming of additional job ideas to help you reach your goals.
When I started my math curriculum writing adventure, I never thought it would lead me into the elearning and TPT worlds! It’s been so exciting to keep learning new things, meeting new people, and experiencing new roles. I can’t wait to see what comes next!