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7 Options That Teachers Can Use to Make Money on the Side


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Teaching is surely one of the most recognized professions. Unfortunately, not one of the best-paid ones. Are you looking for a side job to cover living expenses or afford some extras? In this post, you’ll find seven practical ideas for side jobs for teachers.

Teaching abroad is a great idea: an enriching, rewarding and life-changing experience. You’re given the unique platform to educate and impact young minds while becoming immersed in diverse cultures and worldviews. As a teacher, this is an excellent opportunity to combine your passion for the classroom with your desire to travel across the globe.

But depending on where you choose to teach abroad, the living expenses can often be higher than the cash-flow you generate each month. From groceries and accommodations to entertainment and public transportation, maximizing your time spent overseas can be rough on the wallet.

Fortunately, there are various side hustles that teachers can take advantage of to supplement their income and subsidize their wanderlust. The following side jobs for a teacher can help you earn some extra money while continuing to pursue that dream of teaching abroad.

Find out the 11 countries paying the highest salaries for ESL teachers.

1. Private Tutoring

As this world becomes more globalized, being fluent in English is a sought-after skill you can segue into a profitable tutoring business. Many students and often their family members could be eager to receive more intensive English training outside the classroom, so offer private sessions to help them expand their comprehension of your native language while boosting that paycheck at the same time.

You can also think beyond just English lessons and tutor in other subjects that you have an aptitude for such as algebra, history or science. Another option is to increase your bandwidth outside academics and capitalize on other talents you might have too.

Whether it’s teaching the ukulele, hosting a pottery class or leading group fitness, advertise it on social media, a local community center, websites like Craigslist, and even hand out fliers. If you put in the marketing legwork, then word of mouth is going to spread and make your side job a bountiful source of income.

Read our huge starter guide on teaching English online.

2. Freelance Writing

Since you’re more than likely going to document the experience to keep family and friends back home updated on your adventures, you might as well get paid for the writing. Even if you’ve never written anything besides a sporadic journal entry, numerous travel websites or blogs are interested in publishing original pieces from any globe-trotter with a fresh and dynamic perspective to share.

Reflect on the different cultural nuances you’ve encountered, the laughable communication barriers you’ve fumbled through, or the eye-opening lessons you’ve been exposed to, and brainstorm a creative angle from which to tell that story. Next, familiarize yourself with travel-centric media outlets and which types of content they look for. Then find an email address for article submissions and pitch your idea to the editor.

You never know who might want to read about your life as a teacher in a foreign country or about your most effective methods in teaching and classroom management. Besides that, you can always make quick cash by editing and writing students’ papers or doing other ghostwriting jobs.

3. Guiding Local Tours

Once you know the regional customs, attractions, and scenery that make your area unique, share that knowledge with tourists. You’re passionate about where you live and want visitors to feel that same energy, so register as an independent tour guide on websites, like Show Around and Vayable, which connect you to sightseers and eliminate the guesswork of building a client base on your own.

You might be required to complete an interview process, undergo a background check or obtain a license, but becoming a tour guide is a simple and interactive money-making option which also taps into your existing skills as a teacher.

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You don’t have to be an expert on the country to provide educational and cultural enrichment for people. Just introduce them to the festivals, traditions, architecture, cuisine, music, artwork and other points of interest that made you fall in love with this distinct corner of the world.

4. Affiliate Marketing

While it takes dedication, time and effort to carve out a niche for yourself in the affiliate marketing sector, once you’re established, it’s one of the most lucrative side jobs for teachers out there. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, affiliate marketing is when you endorse another brand’s product and earn a commission if someone orders it through your promotion.

After becoming an affiliate, you’ll receive a customized link to share on your blog or social media accounts, so when people make a transaction using that link, a percentage of the sale is yours. This is called generating passive income which means that if you work hard on the front-end, over time you could bring in a consistent revenue stream with minimal exertion.

Just be selective about which brands you choose to support — it goes without saying that if you don’t have firsthand experience with a product, you won’t come across as reliable or authentic.

5. Selling Lesson Plans

Instead of discarding last year’s teaching materials, turn them into an e-commerce business that benefits other teachers and serves as extra income for you. Monetizing your lesson plans, student activities, worksheets and other forms of a curriculum is a resourceful way to earn back the money spent out-of-pocket for classroom supplies – and even turn a profit.

There are multiple websites that streamline the process of retailing these items and allow you to keep as much as 85% of the revenue. Teachers Pay Teachers certainly is the most popular marketplace.

You’ll receive the earnings through PayPal, making it simple and direct to cash out anytime, and you can choose between a free option or a premium subscription with nominal membership fees. The one caveat is the lesson plans must be your intellectual property, giving you the right to sell them.

6. Online Translating

If you can write and speak fluently in another language besides English, you could secure an online translator gig on a flexible and remote basis. Whether you’re proficient in a mainstream language such as Chinese, Spanish, and French or a less common language such as Farsi, Urdu and Amharic, teachers who are bilingual have a competitive edge when it comes to finding work online. So use this marketable skill to translate both oral and written materials for numerous industries.

From software and engineering to finance and medicine, you can offer a wide range of translation services which makes this job not only versatile but always in high demand. To start locating companies that need to hire a translator, join websites like Verbalize It, Gengo or Translators Café that resource you with training tools and help match you with clients who require the particular language you’re fluent in.

7. Taking Photographs

The competition is fierce as more people capitalize on the photography trend, but if you invest in a camera and hone the craft, this hobby could pay-off. To become a serious photographer, take and edit as many pictures as you can, assemble a portfolio, then submit your work travel magazines, websites and tourism boards.

Some publications host photo contests with monetary prizes and other publications will compensate directly for each of your photos they’re interested in printing. The more creative, original, distinctive and polished your photographs, the better chance you’ll have of standing out from the crowd and drawing the attention of editors.

So when you’re not in the classroom, grab that camera, roam the streets, and be on the lookout for eye-catching sights to capture on film. Not to mention, the more pictures you take, the more visual reminders you’ll have of this experience abroad.

It´s Not Only About Money – But About the Experience

Above mentioned are a few ways of getting a steady flow of side income to support your living abroad. If you have hard times deciding what to go for, try asking the fellow teachers from your community. They will point you to the most promising activity in your particular location and position.

Teaching abroad (and in your home country, too) is an amazing opportunity to embrace the global mindset and boost your life skills. Make sure to use your flexible hours to the most. Not only these side jobs for teachers bring you money for the mundane expenses, but also become a noteworthy line in your resume or a superb story to tell.

About Marcel Jimmy

After graduating in Industrial Engineering, from day one, Marcel has been working as a freelance writer, digital marketer, and business trainer. Since the beginning of 2018, he doubles as a jack of all trades for his heart project JIMMYESL. He's very much into foreign cultures, learning languages and traveling -- and heavily doubts there is life inside the cubicle. He lives in South-Western Germany.

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