10 Side Hustles for the Struggling Teacher

Teaching doesn’t pay well. Whether you consider this the punchline of a joke or a social injustice deserving of change, you know it to be true. In fact, teaching pays so poorly that educators around the country have participated in walkouts and marches to demand better wages and resources for their schools.

Until local and federal legislators listen and provide the much-needed funds, most teachers need to find additional income elsewhere. Any of the following side-hustles might help teachers gain the earnings they need to thrive inside and outside the classroom.Teachers pay teachers

Advanced Teaching

Elementary, middle and high school teachers across the country earn average salaries in the $50,000 range – but teachers at community colleges earn substantially more, between $70,000 and $100,000, depending on their area, subject, experience, and credentials. Teachers can supplement their income by picking up night classes at local community colleges or transition to advanced education full-time.

Lesson Plan Sales

A good teacher knows that for every hour in the classroom, they must spend at least three hours building and practicing their lesson plans. However, plenty of teachers lacking time, experience or energy will pay money for lesson plans that are already constructed. Teachers bent on building their own lesson plans or teaching resources should consider selling them on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers or Educents.

eBook Sales

Similar to lesson plan sales, teachers can write and sell eBooks for profit. There is no limit to the type of eBook a teacher can publish; though many teachers following this side hustle produce textbooks, teacher aids, and similar educational materials, it isn’t inconceivable that a teacher can create a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. Thanks to retailers like Amazon, it is easier than ever to self-publish, so eBooks are a more accessible form of side income than traditional publishing.

Curriculum Writing

Also called curriculum development or instructional coordination, curriculum writing is the process of creating a curriculum, which teachers in various schools and districts will adhere to when crafting lesson plans. If this kind of work is appealing, teachers might also consider pursuing a Master’s in Education Administration, which allows access to jobs with even greater administrative responsibility.


Plenty of students fall behind, even when they are afforded the best education resources imaginable. Teachers can pick up some extra cash by tutoring struggling students. However, teachers should never demand payment for assisting students in their own classes; instead, they should find work through third-party tutoring agencies, online or through other teachers in their or nearby districts.

Teachers pay teachers

ESL Teaching

People around the world are desperate to learn English, and native English speakers with experience in education are best-equipped to teach them. Teachers can offer night classes to immigrants or non-native English speakers, or they can teach English courses over the Web. It is possible to pursue advanced credentials in TESOL or teaching English as a Second Language, to enhance one’s abilities and earning potential in this gig.

Freelance Writing

Teachers with verbal skills can peddle them on the side as freelance writers. Freelance writers set their own schedules – which is ideal for the time-pressed teacher – set their own pay and choose what type of written content they will produce. Most often, freelance writers generate Web copy, which consists of content featured on web pages or blogs, but freelance writing opportunities abound.


Contrary to popular belief, most school sports coaches do get paid, but the exact amounts vary from school to school and sport to sport. Teachers with some sort of athletic experience can supplement their income by signing up to coach or assistant coach for their schools’ teams.


Teachers with enough time and energy might consider devoting their free periods to childcare. Either by babysitting neighborhood little ones or operating a larger-scale childcare facility, teachers can increase their earnings significantly. Even better, childcare gives teachers more opportunities to spend time with young learners, which is often why teachers choose their profession initially.

Bus Driving

Though it seems to be a relatively unskilled position, bus drivers do take in a sizeable chunk of change: between $23,000 and $64,000, depending on area and expertise. Even better, recent shortages in bus drivers have left dozens of open positions unfilled, leaving plenty of opportunity for teachers with an hour or two of spare time before and after school.

Is It Worth It?

Most teachers are not just underpaid, they are also undervalued and pressed for time. Thus, when considering taking on a side gig to bring in extra cash, plenty of educators wonder: is the effort worthwhile?

According to teachers with second jobs, the key to finding and keeping a satisfying side hustle is choosing one that supports and enhances an educator’s primary career. Teachers will need to determine for themselves what secondary occupation will recharge their bank accounts and their drive to teach well. Once they find it, they will enjoy greater earnings and greater success in the classroom.