Becoming a teacher is your dream job. You want to have an impact on the lives of children, help them become productive citizens and set them up for a lifetime of learning. Those are noble goals from September to June.
But then what? You get a break! That’s great right? Well, yes … and no. Relaxing by the pool and catching up on this year’s must-read novel does sound amazing. But remember, summer break is the perfect opportunity to make some extra money!
Don’t worry. There are plenty of part-time opportunities for educators out there. Whether you want a summer job related to your career, or something totally new, here are 25 ideas for summer jobs for teachers.
Summer jobs for teachers: Use your skills
Sometimes sticking to what you know can be a good thing. If you truly enjoy teaching, you can carry that passion into the summer months.
Kids need extra help, even in the summer. Maybe they’re falling behind, or maybe their parents are concerned about summer learning loss—either way, you can be there to help.
Whether you set up your own tutoring business or join an already established one, you’d be helping kids who are having trouble with math, science, reading—nearly any subject that’s offered. You’d obviously be using your teaching skills, albeit in a one-on-one setting as opposed to, say, 20-on-one.
2. English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor
Adults learning English don’t often do so on their own. Usually, they take classes or hire tutors. Although teaching adults is a little different than what you’re used to, it can be rewarding teaching those who are invested in learning because they signed up for classes themselves.
Check with your local community college or community center to see if they’re already teaching such classes—if they are, see if they need more instructors. And if not, convince them such classes would be worthwhile if there’s a need in your community.
3. Extracurricular activity instructor
This one’s probably a no-brainer if you’re a music or art instructor—teach kids in the summer! Even if you’re not a teacher with an easily identifiable activity, there still may be something out there for you. Do you play a lot of tennis on the weekends? Do you still remember all of that high school French? Put your teaching skills to use!
4. Test prep instructor
Nearly every teen gets help before taking the ACTs or SATs, whether in the form of thick books or tutors. If you’re open to working with college students as well, they have the MCAT and GRE to worry about.
This summer job also offers flexibility. There are plenty of national and local companies that offer prep services and need instructors, so you could join up with them. Two to check with are Kaplan Test Prep and Sylvan Learning. Alternatively, you can pave your own path by finding clients through friends or on Craigslist.
5. Sunday school teacher
If you’re active in a religious organization, teaching Sunday school might be a good summer job option. During Sunday school, kids learn about religious principals, usually in a fun setting that includes stories and games.
For this job you’d still be working with kids and putting your teaching skills to use, just not in the traditional sense.
6. Online teacher
You probably know that many college students are turning to the Internet for classes these days, but did you know the same is true of K-12 students? It’s particularly popular in some states. For example, the number of online students in Michigan has grown 52 percent in the last three years.
Online teaching offers a variety of pros such as schedule flexibility and working with students one-on-one. Of course, consider the cons, too – you need to have great self-management and work well within strict guidelines.
7. Teaching abroad
If you’re considering a summer job but are afraid it’ll interfere with the fun usually associated with summer, consider teaching abroad. A quick Internet search reveals countless companies offering various programs in locales around the world.
One popular option is teaching English. Just like teaching it at home, you’ll likely have motivated adult learners in your classes. But as a bonus, you get to explore a totally new country when your working day is done.
8. Summer school teacher
Teaching summer school is a lot like what you’re already used to, but usually with the benefit of shorter hours. In some cities, teachers even have the option of offering unique classes or teaching classes outside, neither of which might be practical during a normal school day.
Summer jobs for teachers: Try something new
Being a summer babysitter means you can still make a little extra money but not have that commitment of a temporary full-time job. If babysitting was one of your first jobs you probably already have a good idea of what it entails.
Parents spend a lot of time considering the right person for a babysitting job, and some are hesitant to leave their kids with the traditional teenage babysitter. Let friends know you’re open for the summer, or take out an ad on Craigslist to find prospects.
If you want to make a more permanent short-term commitment, consider being a nanny. You’ll still be working with kids, obviously, but the difference is you’ll be working with one family consistently as opposed to many families for a few hours.
The benefits of being a nanny include working closely with one family and their children and likely working in a relaxed atmosphere in a comfortable home.
11. House sitter
So, you want to travel and work, but you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on pricey hotels? House sitting might be for you.
You’d stay in someone else’s house while they’re away, usually doing things like bringing in mail or watering plants. Often taking care of the owner’s pets is included as well. You’ll probably need to sign up with a site that specializes in house sitting.
Two veteran house sitters say that to win jobs you should respond to an ad soon after it’s posted, write an opening email that highlights important information and have good references.
12. Camp counselor
Some year-round jobs may be hard to break into for the summer because they already staffed. That’s not usually the case with summer camps, since they only operate during the summer.
Jeff Carter, camp director at Rockbrook Camp, said teachers at his camp enjoy working with kids in a relaxed atmosphere that doesn’t have academic deadlines.
“At its core, camp is about being together in a beautiful place, enjoying each other's company and have lots of fun things to do,” he says. “For a person who enjoys the company of children— like all great teachers —there's no better way to spend a week, or a few weeks of the summer.”
13. Freelance writer
You may think you can’t be a freelance writer because you have no professional writing experience, but don’t worry—it turns out you don’t need any specific credentials to become one.
You need to be a good writer, of course, but beyond that you simply need to find writing jobs for which you’re qualified. As a teacher you have a lot of insight others don’t. Some niches to consider are education, child-related topics or parenting issues.
14. Virtual assistant
Busy people will outsource nearly anything these days—including bookkeeping, scheduling and travel research. You’re good at managing the little things, and it would probably be a breeze for you to handle those types of tasks. Consider becoming a personal assistant.
Starting your own personal assistant business means you decide what services you offer, what hours you work, and what types of people you want to work with.
15. Pet sitter or dog walker
People love their pets, but they also have other responsibilities or want to travel. That’s where pet sitters and dog walkers come in.
As a pet sitter, you’ll watch someone’s cat or dog in your home, or visit theirs several times a day. In addition to play, food and bathroom duties, you’re sometimes tasked with bringing in mail or watering plants. PetMD says you may be able to score more clients by offering special services like training or therapy.
As a dog walker you’d take the dog on their necessary walk, sometimes with other client’s dogs. This job gives you the flexibility of deciding how much you want to work—simply raise or lower your number of clients accordingly.
Before you start, be sure to check out your city’s requirements; some have special licenses for dog walkers.
16. Online store owner
More than 80 percent of people online have used the Internet to buy something. Anything you want to sell, people are probably buying, so your options are numerous.
If you like antiques, consider an eBay store. If your hobby is making jewelry or stationery, set up shop on Etsy. An online store is perfect for summer when you have more time, but can also be a source of a little extra income during the school year, too.
17. Tour guide
The term “tour guide” actually encompasses several different possibilities, but all use the same basic skills.
If you want to travel, considering becoming a tour guide to lead groups on international trips. If you’d prefer to stay closer to home, check out what’s in your local area. Historical homes, gardens and museums all usually employ tour guides. And if you live in a popular city, some groups even lead walking tours of the main attractions.
In any of these cases, you’ll need to be willing to learn everything about your venue or location, articulate when answering questions and comfortable working with people.
18. Sports coach
Many kids play sports during the school year, and summer can be a great time for them to refine those skills. Whether it’s baseball, basketball or volleyball … all of them need a coach.
This job puts you in the demographic you usually work with—kids! But coaching sports is different than teaching in a classroom setting. Coaches need to help kids improve their skills, motivate them and focus on every member of the team.
Community recreation centers and camps are often in need of coaches, so check with them to see if there’s a position that fits your skills.
19. Elderly companion care
As a teacher you obviously love working with kids. If you think you’d enjoy working with other age groups, too, you can consider elderly companion care.
Important qualities of those working in elderly care include patience, tact, discretion and empathy. In general, you’d be tasked with many everyday activities that the elderly need just a little extra help with, like meal preparation, running errands or light housekeeping.
This one might seem a little far-fetched, but think about it: As a teacher, you’re a pro at organization, and you’re likely used to cleaning up after others.
As a housekeeper you decide on the number of clients you want to take on, what your rates will be and what you will – or, more importantly won’t – clean. That’s if you decide to go it on your own, that is. There are likely plenty of cleaning companies in your city that could use a little summer help, though you have less flexibility that way.
21. Theater or sporting event usher
This one doesn’t likely need much explanation. Theater or sporting event ushers help keep things running smoothly and deal with people of all ages. Free movies or games can be a fun benefit, depending upon the organization.
22. Retail sales
This job might not bring to mind the somewhat relaxing summer you were hoping for. But don’t worry—just be picky about where you apply. After all, you want to make good use of your employee discount, right? A survey found that some stores, like Sephora and Nordstrom, are both well-paying and have happy employees.
23. Library assistant
If you love books, check with your local public or college libraries for assistant job openings. Library assistants help librarians organize library resources and check out books at the circulation desk.
Requirements vary per job, but helpful skills to have include handling money, communicating with library patrons and ability to work with computers.
24. Personal chef
If you have cooking skills that go beyond ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese, maybe your summer job should be that of a personal chef. True, you’re not a professional chef, but that doesn’t mean friends, family—or nearly anyone else, for that matter—wouldn’t appreciate a home cooked meal after a hard day of work.
One consideration for this position: licensing. Look into the rules in your area to see if you need a business license before getting started.
Do you want to soak up some much-needed summer sun while keeping a watch out for anyone who might be in trouble in the water? If so, the obvious summer job is lifeguard.
Check job listings at any location with a pool—most need multiple lifeguards per season. If you’re a strong swimmer but still need some tips, the American Red Cross offers classes. In fact, some locations will require you to be certified before you start.
In conclusion …
So what’ll it be? Do you want to help college-bound kids ace their SATs? Do you think forming a bond with a family as a nanny sounds fun? Or maybe you want to work with some furry friends as a pet sitter or dog walker?
It’s obvious that there’s no shortage of summer jobs for teachers, whether you want to use your current skill set or gain a new one.
Now that you’re not worried about having a little extra cash, consider what you need to do to make that full-time teaching career a reality. Check out Get on the Fast Track to an Early Childhood Job to see what education you need and what the job outlook is like!