Should teachers be using summer time to side hustle?
If you’re teaching and not completely Financially Independent yet, and without a family, then the Teacher’s Side Hustle is for you. What does this side hustle actually include? Well, besides the fairly regular list of side jobs posted on most blogs and websites, teachers are free to pursue a variety of well-paying side jobs. These can really make you some solid money. There is about $13,600 of side hustle money in this post alone. And that is starting pay!
Coaching is probably the best side hustle in history! You get to go play some sports with your students, and after 5-6 weeks (for middle school) you can get $800. This pay goes up in my district every year you consecutively coach, up to $1,200! Sure, there is some pain in coaching. You have to cut students from the team, which is the worst feeling. You have to make some schedules, attend meetings, clean up after games, etc. But all of that pales in comparison with getting to see your students in a different light. Those kids always getting in trouble in the back of your room are sometimes the most dedicated athletes. Through coaching you get to see them as such and they begin to respect you as their coach. This connection is huge.
In addition to connecting with your students, you also get some exercise and fun! If you play with your kids (I’m about to start Soccer season. I LOVE playing soccer), then you are basically getting paid to workout and have fun. If you are just starting and you only get that $800 for the 5 week season, then you are making almost $23/hour!* And all for having some fun for another hour and a half everyday after school. If you sign up for all the open coaching positions, you can coach 4-6 times a year. I’m currently coaching 4 sports a year, at $800 each. $3,200 a year extra for playing some sports with kids.
2. Stipend Classes/Professional Development
There is such a thing as bureaucracy personified: it is the absurd, day-long, blah-blah-blah fest known as the Professional Development Day with Stipend Pay. My district has maybe 8 Saturdays a year in which they invite everybody from the district, whoever wants to come (only about 400 people show up each time) to a day-long lecture about the newest topic that is going to “revolutionize” teaching.
For every one of these days that you can force yourself to sit through without holding your breath purposefully so long that you pass out, you can earn $225. Not bad. Hourly it comes out to $28. Not bad at all!**
So, wise teachers out there, keep a lookout for these. If you go to the 5 of these a year, plus the 4-5 other days similar to this (other classes with stipend pay), you can make an extra $2,000 a year!
3. Summer School Teaching
Summer–the ultimate time to side hustle. If you aren’t working for some family members, doing some woodworking for yourself, or maybe some gardening, if you aren’t working with Habitat for Humanity to learn how to build your own house in the future (really an investment side hustle), then you should sign up to teach summer school.
Summer school can be a very lucrative side hustle. The program offered through my district pays teachers $30/hour. Usually, again in my program, you will work for 4 hours a day (just the mornings, you can still enjoy those summer days after 11 a.m.) Doing the math, that leaves us with $30 x4, which equals $120/day. Times this number by 5 for one week and you get $600/week. My program usually runs for 4-5 weeks. So 4 weeks at $600 leaves you with an extra $2,400 in one summer! Just for working mornings, too!
4. Department Leadership Roles
I’ve been considering taking on the role as my department chair. If I did, it would mean another $1,000 per year. This isn’t a ton compared to how much administrative work you have to do for the department. You have to sit through a bunch of boring meetings and deal with problem colleagues. However, you do get to add this to your resume, help build a better program at your school, impact future hiring decisions, and have a larger influence in your school overall.
Besides the money, this side hustle can be quite a boon for teachers. I’m excited to move forward in my career and start leading my department toward goals that I think are more noteworthy. Of course, realistically, day-to-day work as the department chair is fairly boring and non-consequential. Still though, an extra grand isn’t anything to disregard. Definitely more than $10, and we know how powerful only 10 dollars can be.
5. Master’s Classes and National Board Certification
This is the true investment side hustle. Some side hustles get you immediate cash that you can put towards those debts or add to those investments. But the real money in teaching comes from having your Master’s degree, moving all the way over on the pay scale, then getting an 8% raise on top of everything (including your retirement account supplements!) for being Nationally Board Certified.
I’m finishing up my Master’s program right now. I’m in a program that takes 10 months, a class per month, and $14,000, not including books. Say I’m working on it 2 hours per week, plus 5 hours every weekend. This leaves me with 28 hours of work for each class. 10 classes at 28 hours each is 280 hours for the whole shebang. If you want to include your hours worked as part of the overall price of the master’s degree, then multiply that 280 by $25 (which is about an average for all those other side hustles, but less than what our time is really worth.) This comes to $14,000 for tuition, plus another $7,000 for hours worked. $21,000 for this Master’s degree isn’t too bad when you consider that I’ll immediately make $5,000 more this year. In the future, that 5 grand will increase up to about $12,000 more per year than the salary of teachers without the degree.
From what I understand, the National Boards Cert is fairly similar in terms of workload, but the “tuition” is a tenth of the price of a Master’s. Both of these side hustles are really large investments in the future. After 4 years I’ll have earned back the price of it all. Then I’ll be making way more every year after that for the current amount of work I’m doing now.
Get Busy, Teachers!
It is up to you, of course, but I’m scrounging to work and hustle as much as possible. As I’ve said before, I’m coaching every sport they’ll let me, I’m signing up for every Saturday stipend class possible, every workshop, every extra duty, etc. I’m working through my Master’s to get a pay bump. I’m down to hustle. But just because I am doesn’t mean all teachers are.
As always, share your experiences in the comments! What do you do as a side hustle? How do you get creative with the opportunities available in your district?
*A five week season, for me, means working 4 days a week for an hour and a half after school each time. This leaves you with 30 hours of work for a season. You have to add on another 5 hours or so for the coaches meeting, lining the fields (soccer), and other scheduling/admin duties. 35 hours for $800 = $23/hour.
**Really not bad if you are the teacher. For the district? HUGE WASTE. 400 people x $225 = $90,000! That doesn’t include the space rental fee, the charge for all the staff to set up, the ridiculous central staff (who work for the district, make more money than teachers, and never actually see students), AND the keynote speaker fee, which has got to be huge. All of this is for just one Saturday. The district does this particular stipend day at least 5 times a year. Huh.