Recruit and Retain: The Future of Education

Teacher Side Jobs

A teaching credential is the ticket to a public school teaching position. It's also valued in other education-related jobs. Teachers who want to earn some side money may find themselves with quite a few options! Opportunities include tutoring, enrichment classes, assessment, curriculum development, and resource creation.

Opportunities Available Through One’s School or District

Sometimes that extra side gig is for one’s own district. Teachers often put in many hours beyond what they are contracted for. Most don't increase pay. However, certain types of formal activity can. Teachers coach softball, lead competitive teams, sponsor clubs, direct orchestras, put on performances, travel with their kids. What, if any, money they receive will vary. Stipend moneys are location-dependent. A defining question is whether the role is outside the scope of one's job duties. Also at issue is the school’s budget. The state or local education authority may have a list of stipend amounts that can be paid, but school budgets can significantly limit selections, so additional extra-curricular activities are generally a labor of love.

At the elementary level, some teachers receive extra moneys for providing after school classes (enrichment or support). Sometimes on-site activities are tuition-based.

Teachers who teach summer school through their districts can expect to be paid for the work. The educational authority may have a separate hiring process for these positions. They can be popular!


A classic side job: tutoring students other than one's own! Some teachers tutor online. Among the many options: TESOL (teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Students may be at that moment on the other side of the world. Online platforms have grown sophisticated indeed. Online teachers provide presentations and work out equations on a shared platform.

Tutoring in the surrounding areas can be lucrative if one has adequate space or has transportation to travel to students. Sometimes teachers tutor outside their own field. An elementary teacher, for example, might enjoy tutoring budding writers at a slightly older grade level. Test prep tutoring can be lucrative. Teaching experience is valued, but for some high level tests, the crucial thing is having scored high oneself.

Assessment Scoring

Scoring assessments is a common seasonal gig. Open-ended assessment questions need human readers. Degreed professionals score state assessments as well as SAT and ACT essays. There are different types of free response questions: short answer, essay, even math. In an open-ended math assessment, the reader might consider the steps the test taker took and the level of mathematical reasoning involved.

Pearson and ETS are big names in scoring. The pay per hour will depend on the particular assessment project. So will the working conditions. Many projects will pay quite a bit less per hour than what a teacher earns in the classroom. On the other hand, there can be perks. Some projects are scored online from a personal computer; the hours can be quite flexible.

Scorers are trained to a rubric. They can expect training and calibration not just at the beginning but throughout. There may be a certification process.

There are many little protections built into the process of scoring high stakes assessments fairly: having the same response scored by more than one person, monitoring inter-scorer agreement, and resolving discrepancies. Some assessment questions are more cut and dry than others. This is true for writing as well as for other content areas. Individual scorers may have their preferences

AP scoring through ETS offers a unique opportunity for educators. Teachers who apply should be prepared to spend a week or more at a reader event, stay in double occupancy quarters provided, and earn professional development credit. AP reading events can be popular; being hired doesn't mean one will be invited to attend an event that year (or every year). In some subject areas, there are also score-from-home opportunities during reader events. ETS has provided a list of high needs subject areas and subjects that have at-home opportunities (

Scoring also provides opportunities for advancement: Some are available to temporary employees, for example, being a lead score/ supervisor.

In some cases, a person need to decide between scoring assessments and providing test prep. Being an assessment scorer means following confidentiality regulations. There are regulations in place about who can score certain assessments; an individual could be excluded due to other work activity.

Assessment Development

Teachers may write assessment items for organizations that contract with state and national agencies. Again, work may be submitted on a personal computer. Large scale assessment writing is very different than classroom assessment writing. The multi-step writing and review process can be very analytical. Many projects are short term gigs, though a person may participate in a number of them. There can be some pressure involved in meeting deadlines. On the other hand, there can be a lot of choice about what projects to join – and when.

Curriculum and Materials

There are additional opportunities developing curriculum and instructional materials. Curriculum positions are typically master’s level, but teachers who don’t have graduate degrees sometimes participate in curriculum writing classes or events at the district level and earn small stipends. Contracted work for outside organizations can also include development of materials other than assessments.

A related gig is preparing resources that support the standards; these can include games, illustrated booklets and worksheets. In an internet age, one can be one's own agent. Many teachers enjoy uploading materials they design to sites like Teachers Pay Teachers. A small portion of teachers who dabble in these enterprises bring in a nice side pay check. For others, the activity can be a creative outlet and a source of pleasure.

Teachers who are engaged in business activity on the side need to make sure that they are following their district's ethics standards.