With the holidays officially behind us, you can begin to think about bigger and better things--summer vacation. In 5 short months, teachers will enjoy their well-earned freedom to do absolutely nothing at all.
And while that sounds great, let’s be real. Restlessness sets in about week three.
Luckily, there are a ton of ways to stay busy, have fun and earn some extra cash through the summer months. You will probably even snag some new material for next year’s lesson plans.
Here is a list of the 13 best summer jobs for teachers (with pros and cons) sure to keep your summer self your best self.
These jobs are broken down into three categories: education-related gigs, jobs that may involve kids but will still give you a break from the classroom and volunteer experiences that never go out of style, albeit unpaid.
Let’s start with education-related gigs. This is a great option for those who want to carry their end-of-year high into the summer. Or better put, those of you who had an end-of-year success story and have the momentum for future student victories.
Either join a local tutoring company near you or stretch your entrepreneurial muscles by starting your own business. The choice is up to you.
- Pros: You get to decide your subject and availability, giving you plenty of room for self-care and fun. And, because most of your students will be struggling learners in the subject, this option contains the most potential for fulfilling your student needs.
- Cons: The flexibility is great...except when it’s not. When starting out, you may find yourself accommodating any schedule you are given while you build your clientele. Also, imagine having parent-teacher conferences every week.
Summer school is not what it once was. In lieu of a Breakfast Club picturesque, you can now find your classroom filled with motivated learners trying to get ahead in their education plan.
- Pros: Where there is great need comes great job security. And if you can snag an online position, not only will you get to teach in yoga pants, but you will also have more flexibility than a traditional classroom.
- Cons: You still operate around a school schedule, so there is not as much flexibility as tutoring-especially if you are in a classroom. And while some students are over-achievers, you may still find a classroom full of unmotivated teens.
If you can get past the time difference and are ready for a change of scenery, teaching English to students in China through VIPKid might be the job for you. Because you will be working with ESL learners, plan on using hand gestures.
Note: It’s recommended to view the application notes if you want to move through the application stages.
- Pros: Depending on where you live, you can get in a few lessons before the day begins, leaving you more time to play in the sun. Also, your students are highly motivated to learn, giving you room to be silly because you can rather than to try to squeeze out every painful ounce of motivation.
- Cons: The hours can be pretty rough, especially if you live on the west coast. It’s common practice to teach from your closet to avoid waking everyone in the house up. And it can take a while to get your clientele built up, making it a slow start.
Jobs Outside of the Classroom
If you are planning on spending all summer recovering from your last class, here are some jobs that may still involve kids, but are outside of the classroom.
Think about spending your day with bundles of unconditional love, silliness and cuddles. Who doesn’t want that? A quick google search on millennials will reveal that we really love our pets. So there is no better time than now to start providing a quality pet experience. Sign up with a service like Rover or Wag to get started.
- Pros: Petting a dog produces serotonin, the chemical that keeps us happy. Combine that with the Vitamin D from being outside and your brain will be ecstatic, making it nearly impossible to be miserable all summer.
- Cons: Building up clientele can be a pretty slow process, not to mention the potential hazards of running dogs. And animals aren’t always glamorous. Poop duty, anyone?
Somewhere between mentor and friend, camp counselors make a world of difference to the kiddos they serve, long after camp is over.
- Pros: Being outside and teaching things like canoeing and pottery make you an instant favorite counselor. Plus, it is a great way to invest in yourself as well as the campers.
- Cons: You can kiss your privacy goodbye with shared showers, bunks, and meals. And there is always that one clingy, homesick kid. So basically, it’s kind of like a classroom on steroids.
What can be better than sharing your passion with a group of kiddos? With indoor rinks and arenas, options range from hockey & football to dance & swim.
- Pros: You will have the satisfaction of teaching a life-long skill and get in some good exercise. Plus, few things are as adorable as watching kids stumble past coordination problems in gear that’s too big.
- Cons: The only thing worse than parent-teacher conferences are sports parents. Plan on explaining why you are/aren’t putting their son/daughter in the right spot about a thousand times in the season. And while the idea of spending a summer in a pool sounds awesome, three words: chlorine & swim diapers.
Summer months are a great time to finish (or start) that book that’s been swirling around in your head. If a book isn’t your thing, you can still spread your creative wings with a blog or check out freelance opportunities on Upwork.
- Pros: On a scale of flexibility and freedom, this is definitely of the best ranking options. And the benefits of having time to work on something you love will last far into the next school year.
- Cons: Your paychecks will be based on published pieces, and therefore may be sporadic.
You’ve probably heard that the best way to earn some cash is to work with what you got. And one thing we all have is a house or apartment. So clean things up, list it on Airbnb or VRBO and watch what happens.
- Pros: Aside from keeping your house clean and appealing, it is a pretty low maintenance way to earn some cash. Plus, you can use the time and money earned to fund your own travels.
- Cons: Sharing your house is hard. Sharing it with strangers is even harder. You will want to make sure to secure your valuables. And you should plan on doing some deep cleaning when you get back. Also, if your neighbors are troublesome, you could end up with unhappy customers.
If you aren’t already volunteering in your local community, there’s still time for you to give back.
Not only will you build up your resume and network, but most importantly, you will gain new perspectives. Serving others is a great way to step out of our routines and find satisfaction in our lives.
So if you are dabbling in a slow-to-start summer job, need some change of scenery or just want to get filled up, consider helping out somewhere.
There are a ton of ways to volunteer and here are just a few:
Cleaning kennels isn’t glamorous, but cuddling scared cats, walking dogs and even reading to animals is a great way to help reduce kennel stress and make the animals more adoptable. And a lot of shelters have an education program that would love to work with your class next year.
Your local library may need help cleaning, sorting, and reshelving books. And, if you are lucky, you may get to help with a community-outreach program showing kids how cool books are and read them a few of your favorite stories.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
You will probably have to undergo some background checks and will definitely be with kids. But because you will be investing in just one (or a few) children, you will find reprieve from the classroom while making a world of difference to a lonely child.
Can we stop the Boomer vs. Millennial arguments long enough to remember the Silent Generation sitting in retirement/nursing homes?
Studies have shown a correlation between loneliness and dementia in seniors, and most residents receive very few visitors. Pack up the whole family to deliver cookies, play games or just chat with residents. It is a great way to teach your children about honoring others and will never be time regretted.
You can help at the front desk, give tours, or do whatever else needs to be done. Not only will you be filling a need, but you will get to spend all day with beauty, history and inspiration for future lesson plans.
As you can see, there are a ton of ways to keep yourself busy, happy and with some extra cash in the summer months. And since teachers are multi-task masters, you can probably even pick a few avenues to explore.
If you are looking to expand outside of working with kids or looking for something year round, you might also like 51 Side Hustles To Bring In Extra Money.
And, the best part is you still have a few months to get your bearings and build up clientele if you decide to get an early start.