Living on a teacher's salary can be tough. Reality often sinks in when you realize you only have $2.10 left in your bank account and have to eat ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—or has that only happened to me? Luckily, there are a number of online teaching jobs to help supplement your income. Here are a few ways to earn extra cash on a flexible teacher's schedule.
1. Sell Resources and Lesson Plans Online
As teachers, we're consistently creating fun and engaging lessons for our students, and differentiating our instruction to meet the needs of our students. Why not upload your resources and lessons online to reap some financial benefits?
Further reading: Financial Planning for Teachers: 10 Tips I Wish I Knew
Using Teachers Pay Teachers, an open marketplace where teachers sell digital lesson plans and activities, is a perfect way to earn extra money with very little effort. Simply create an account, upload a lesson plan or activity, choose a price for your product, and wait for teachers from all around the world to buy it. I have found that, with a little work, this is a great way to utilize my creativity and make a sensible income each month.
2. Teach from Home
There are a number of online teaching jobs that allow full-time or part-time teachers to maintain a flexible schedule. One way is teaching from the comfort of our homes by becoming part of an online, part-time teaching community like VIPKID. VIPKID provides Chinese children with an international learning experience. Teachers simply use a webcam and headset to teach English, as well as American culture and tradition, to these students.
Many teachers participate in the VIPKID community during both the school year and the summer because they're able to choose their schedule and the number of courses they teach. This is a great way to earn some extra cash while making a difference in the lives of children all around the world.
3. Become a Freelance Writer or Blogger
Starting a blog was the best decision I have ever made. After being inspired by Greg Smedley-Warren from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard, I decided to start my first teaching blog: Male Kindergarten Teacher. I didn't know what I would write about—let alone who would read my blog posts (other than my mom)—but I went for it anyway.
After starting my blog almost three years ago, I'm now a freelance writer and blogger for some of the largest and well-known educational companies. How did I do it? Well, it wasn't easy, so here are some tips to help you be successful.
- Start your own blog and write about what you're doing in your classroom. Share your successes, failures, creativity, and passion, make your writing unique, and always be yourself.
- Promote some of your favorite brands or companies on social media and in blog posts.
- Reach out to companies you stand by. Let them know what you can offer them and how your involvement can help them reach their own goals.
- Check company websites and social media accounts. Many companies will share if they're looking for brand ambassadors or freelance bloggers. Be sure to have a portfolio of blog posts to show them what you're capable of.
4. Become an Affiliate Partner
Another useful way to earn extra income if you have a blog, website, or large number of teacher friends is to become an affiliate partner with online companies. As teachers, we love to shop! Why not turn that shopping into cash? One of the largest and most well-known affiliate marketing networks is Amazon, and it makes earning extra cash easy by generating links on your page to various products. You just have to cross your fingers that people click on them and purchase the item.
Further reading: How to Fill the Service Gap in Your Teaching Resume
Whether you're teaching summer school or earning extra cash in the comfort of your own home, all these online teaching jobs require is a little time, energy, and commitment. Try out any of these ideas and see what works out best for you. You'd be surprised at how fun and easy it can be to supplement your income. No ramen for you tonight—unless you go to a fancy pho restaurant because you can now afford it!