Teachers burnout is real and pervasive. And as state mandates and bureaucracy continue to close in on classroom teachers, they wonder if there is not a better way. Can they practice their profession in ways that do not involve dealing with unreasonable administrators and school boards, ways that let them be free?
Unfortunately, many teachers stay way beyond their burnout – they have pensions, benefits, and the job security that tenure brings. So, every day, they drag themselves to work, unmotivated and stressed. This, of course, is not good for them or the students they teach.
Teachers should know that there are many ways to make money online, by the teaching of course, but in a variety of other ways as well. You can leave your vested pension right where it sits and strike out in other directions. And you can even do this part-time until you build up an income that lets you “turn in that red pen” permanently. Here are six ways to make money online that can get you the income you need. Many teachers use several and find that they can earn as much, if not more, minus the stress.
- Online tutoring
You don’t even have to get out of your grubby clothes for this one. You can market yourself (although this takes time) or you can sign up with a national or global service that specializes in online tutoring. You need Skype or a similar platform, can work with your students face-to-face, establish relationships just as you did in the classroom, and take part in the celebratory cheer when your students reach their learning goals and do well on those assignments and tests. There is a great deal of gratification here for teachers who want to feel that they are making a difference in kids’ lives.
- Sell Your Work Product
You have spent years developing curriculum and unit and lesson plans. You have refined and improved them every year, developing great activities for students and ensuring that you meet state standards. You now have a “gold mine” for new teachers just entering the profession. Advertise these and sell them – many times over. It’s not plagiarism when another teacher buys and uses them. They are not copyrighted and you are transferring ownership over to whoever buys them. You might want to create a website, especially if you have years of materials to market.
- Develop Your Own Courses and Market Them
There are plenty of for-profit online schools – elementary and secondary. If you have a graduate degree, the possibilities are even more numerous. Many of these online schools/programs cater to parents who home-school their children, and companies are always looking for curricula that are well-organized and of high quality.
With a Master’s degree, you can market your online courses to online college programs and even get hired as an independent contractor delivering the course yourself.
- Use Your College Major/Subject Expertise to Produce Essays and Papers
There are literally thousands of online academic writing services. You can use your subject field expertise to write essays and papers for student clients. A reputable one will require that you submit your credentials and pass a grammar/composition exam, but this can be a lucrative freelance opportunity.
- Start Your Own Online Tutoring Business
You can market your tutoring expertise on lots of websites, including Craigslist. Or, gather other degreed teachers and begin your own company, offering to tutor in a range of subjects. Homework help is in high demand, particularly in math and English. Set your rates based upon the overall market for such services. The best method to establish such a service is to create a website, offer as wide a range of tutoring and assistance as possible, and then market these services through social media and other channels. Fortunately, once you get a core group of clients, word will spread, as students recommend you to their peers. This takes the time to establish, of course, but if you are patient and stick with it, you can have a pretty lucrative business.
- Use Established Sources for Teaching Courses
There are a number of sites/businesses that recruit and use teachers in every content field. Hook up with some of these, and you can add some income:
- BrainMass: If you have a graduate degree in your content field, this may be a good source. You can sign up in your content area and provide help to high school and college students with their academic work. Register on the site, watch a video tutorial and take a test.
- Clarity: If you have a degree in business and believe that you can help others who are just starting up and need advice, you can create a profile on LinkedIn, set your rates, and link to Clarity. The company will take 15% of your fees.
- Ether: Here, you can sell advice and content. You hook up an Ether phone number and calls are forwarded to you. Set your own rates and hours. 15% is Ether’s fee.
- Odijoo: This is an online campus. You can create a course and sell it to enrollees. Odijoo does all of the marketing through its course catalog and takes a 10% commission on your enrollment.
- Udemy: you create your own curriculum and publish it on the site, but you are responsible for promoting it yourself if you want to keep 100% of the proceeds. If Udemy promotes your course, it will take 50%. Udemy says that most of its instructors make about $7000 a year. Obviously, this cannot be a single income source, but it will contribute. Udemy has a great reputation, and you can promote several courses at the same time.
There you have it – six potential sources of income. If you are really serious about striking out on your own or with a group of stressed and dissatisfied teachers, take a long hard look at your options. You can always begin small and build your enterprise until you feel secure that enough income is there.
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