One of the few things I hate about my profession is that there are few to no opportunities to increase your income based on good, old fashioned hard work and overtime.
As much as I love my job; I also like money – and in today’s world a teacher’s salary isn’t exactly keeping up with inflation. I’ll be honest – at times I also get little pangs of guilt about why I didn’t pursue a more financially rewarding career.
Through watching the Gail Vaz-Oxlade on the Slice television show, Til Debt Do Us Part, I learned one vital lesson about home economics: if you can’t balance your budget, you need to make more money. So that’s what I’ve figured out how to do.
Stay tuned for the five easy peasy ways I increase my teaching income between approximately $10,000-$15,000/year.
#1 Writing About Teaching
In one of my all time favourite novels, Anne of Green Gables, Diana Barry gives Anne advice on her stumbling writing career, telling her to “write what she knows”. I’ve always keep that bit of advice in mind when writing anything at school, home or work. Since I love writing, and have lots of ideas, opinions, thoughts and teaching strategies to share I thought that this was a natural way to try and earn some extra cash.
I started with my own blog, Teacherevolution, to test out the waters of blog writing. Then, I moved on to pitching editors of paid teaching blogs, using my own blogs as writing exemplars. Before long, I started getting interest and since then have written for a variety of teaching blogs, including: Bakpax, We Are Teachers and Edutopia.
On average, I make anywhere from $50-$300USD for a blog of approximately 600-800 words and write about one paid article every month or two. Yearly, my side income for writing would be around $1500CAD. Some years I’ve made closer to $2000CAD.
#2 Writing Teaching Resources
In addition to writing about teaching, I’ve also written teaching resources for my own school board, as well as the Ministry of Education here in Ontario when they are proofing and rolling out new curriculum. Usually, these types of contracts are posted towards the end of the school year (May/June) for summer writing work.
Prior to the Ford government’s austerity practices, there were writing projects yearly at my school board, and I usually jumped on them. Depending on the task (resource writing, supervising a group of writers or editing), these types of jobs can take anywhere from 4-8weeks.
Since these types of opportunities are only available once a year, the yearly take home would depend on the job at hand, but usually in the ball park of $1500CAD.
#3 Selling Teaching Resources on Teachers Pay Teachers
I’ve been selling my own teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers since 2010, and slowly growing the units over the years. I wish I had more time to spend working on uploading and collating documents for this site, but although it is always on my summer to do list, I never seem to get to it.
Regardless, by doing absolutely nothing other than uploading resources to my ‘online storefront’, I make on average $100USD/month, or approximately $1500CAD/year. I could probably make considerably more if I had time to upload more resources and actually promote them via social media mediums, but I just can’t find the time to do that at the moment – maybe one day soon.
#4 Teaching Online Summer School
I’m one of those teachers who doesn’t do well with too much downtime; I like to stay in a routine, even in the summer months. Although I haven’t taught in person summer school since early in my career, I have taught online summer school for my school board, in conjunction with elearning Ontario for the past 7 years.
In my school board, these teaching opportunities are posted internally in May and June each school year, and usually involve a quick interview. However, since very few teachers in my board actually know how to use the VLE (online teaching platform), there isn’t much interest – lucky me.
The duration of the summer school period is the month of July, and I work remotely – often from the dock at our family cottage. The take home income for this gig is pretty sweet – $3500CAD.
#5 Organizing/Running Sports Camps/Leagues
One of the reasons I became a teacher was to pursue my love of sports and coaching. When my own kids came of age to start playing my favourite sports (volleyball and basketball), I quickly realized there were few to no opportunities for short term, fun learning and game play in our community. As a result, I created my own business – Hoops and Spikes – to provide these opportunities to my own children and others in our community.
Despite the setbacks from COVID (ugh), through Hoops and Spikes, I’ve been able to run short term training leagues, adult learn to play, adult leagues and summer camps. Although we have yet to have a full operating year free of COVID (we launched in spring 2019), even working at half capacity this business translates to approximately $7000-$10,000CAD of extra income yearly – not bad at all for doing something I love!
Although teaching isn’t the most financially rewarding career, there are many opportunities to use your abilities as a teacher to make some more cash. Sure, it can be time consuming at times, but so is overtime.
What have you done as a side gig to increase your teaching income? Comment below!