Extra Money? Added Benefits?

I am a firm believer in making a little extra cash, a little extra money, on the side. Somehow. Whenever possible.

I don’t necessarily want a part-time job on top of teaching–though I have done it. I am not advocating it either, per se–I know we all have physical, emotional, and time constraints. However, if you are curious and you are interested, here are some education-based, money-making endeavors I have done . . . to earn just a little more money . . . and maybe a little more experience.

  • summer school: classic (great way to dip your toes into another grade!)
  • tutoring:
    • after-school tutoring: classic (can be at your school, can be at another school–at another school is a great way to scout out other schools, or see how other schools in your neighborhood are doing)
    • unaffiliated tutoring: this is what you find through your own network and is not necessarily affiliated with your school or your dominant subject matter. For instance, while I taught elementary I tutored a friend’s daughter in Algebra II, which led to tutoring a few of her daughter’s friends, once rumor spread I was helpful 😁.
    • online tutoring: this can take many forms. I joined WyzAnt one year, I had some success. I have recently looked into VIPKid, DaDa ABC, and EF (Education First)–though I haven’t started anything on any of these platforms yet. The beauty of online tutoring is not being tied to a particular location, you don’t have to travel anywhere to earn money.
  • district training(s): during my second year of teaching I finally had room to breathe, to have some shorter days. I could have enjoyed some me-time away from work; instead, I pursued every kindergarten training available within the district. I earned a few hours of added pay, I gained a whole new world of ideas and professional development, I expanded my primary teacher network. Win-win-win!
  • teacher store: I have known a few teachers who have worked at their local teacher store — Lakeshore, Learning is Fun. It was not an option for me, given my schedule and needs, but I will add it to the list for inspiration.

If you have the time and the energy, if your schedule and life circumstances permit it, I like to encourage you, people, anyone, to pursue added money-makers. Every little bit helps–and sometimes it’s not even the money that becomes the goal or the achievement, sometimes these added pursuits can lead to a new job opportunity, more ideas,  and more connections–and these are some amazing added benefits too.

Monthly Advice–September

Give yourself a goal.

What do you hope to accomplish this year? What do you want to learn this year?

We are wrapped up in student learning goals, their presence and the pressure around them, that sometimes we forget to think about our own learning. We forget to sit back and think deeply about our professional development. We also forget to take care of ourselves–personally and professionally.

I know we have observations, but they aren’t daily or weekly–usually.

So, I challenge you to give yourself a goal. Create a weekly or monthly goal for yourself. Create a singular goal for yourself. Do something that enhances your work. Do something that ensures you operate at an optimal level.

Say: This year I will . . .

  • make sure to complete all my lesson plans by Thursdays, so I can go home right away on Friday 😉
  • collaborate with another teacher on a reading unit
  • make sure that my student folders have two items per month
  • attend one professional development training, of my choosing, that is outside my comfort zone
  • schedule tests on different days, not just Fridays
  • park in the last spot to get more steps in
  • only allow one day a week to work and eat lunch, every other day I will just eat lunch
  • create a more diverse classroom library

The goal does not have to be lofty, or even completely teaching-centered.

What I desire is a goal that provides you the opportunity to enliven your personal and/or professional experience. Whatever that looks like for you, whatever you decide, I support you. So, go ahead, think of something–and go for it.

Why do I teach?

Installment #5:

This is the time in the school year where I am most reminded, most excited, most content about teaching.

I teach for right now, this moment, when I can sit back and look at my students and marvel at their progress.

This is the time of year when I am most reminded of the purpose, beauty, and benefits of teaching. My students each year were different people at the end of the year, my class was completely different from the first day of school. My students were more mature, more independent, and more lively at the end of the year. I would look at their work I had saved during the first couple of weeks and compare it to now, the end of the year, and feel accomplished and proud–not just of them, but of myself. We had come a long way, we had achieved so much.

Teaching is hard. It is exhausting. It can be trying. At the end of the year, during those final weeks, I am reminded that I teach in order to grow and help others grow. That duty, and that service, is challenging and rewarding; so, I keep teaching, I keep choosing this amazing profession.