Finding a summer job during the pandemic

As most teachers know, the popular perception of teachers enjoying long, lazy summer days is not quite accurate. Many teachers’ jobs require extra work during the summer, such as curriculum planning and professional development. And outside the classroom, it’s quite common for teachers to take on summer jobs.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 16% of teachers take a summer job, accounting for 7% of their income. The trend is even more pronounced among teachers with less experience: 32% of teachers with 1 year or less of experience had a summer job, as well as 20% of teachers with 2 to 4 years’ experience. Similarly, younger teachers were more likely to have summer jobs, with 26% of teachers under 30 doing so.

But those jobs, which are essential for some teachers’ financial well-being, are likely in jeopardy this year. In many areas, camps are closed for all or part of the summer. Families are reluctant or perhaps not even permitted to have babysitters, depending on local restrictions. Seasonal jobs in restaurants and shops are less likely to be available, and even those that remain will be in high demand with so many people unemployed.

Are there still ways for teachers to earn extra money during the summer, even if lockdown orders are still in place? Here are a few ideas to consider.

  1. Tutoring
    This year, many parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically after several months of distance learning. It’s reasonable to assume more families than usual will be looking for online tutoring this summer, and teachers are a logical choice to meet this need.
  2. English as a second language
    Children and adults around the world are eager to learn English, and there are a number of companies now connecting them to people who can help. Generally, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and demonstrated proficiency in English. Companies vary in the training and support they provide as you start.
  3. Translation
    Do you have language skills besides English? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for interpreters and translators is growing much faster than the average. You can sign up for agencies and online marketplaces to connect you to companies and individuals looking to translate websites, brochures, legal documents, books and articles, and more. 
  4. Transcription
    In addition to needing materials translated, many companies and individuals need video and audio files transcribed into text. Similar to translation, you can find these jobs via agencies and online marketplaces. If you have a good ear and quick typing fingers, this may be an option for you.
  5. Virtual entertainment
    After months at home, parents are desperate to entertain their kids. Do you make puppets? Do yoga? Know how to code? Have plenty of fun facts about animals? Consider reaching out to a local organization, such as a YMCA, the zoo or a library, and ask if you can help them develop their online programming for the summer. Alternately, you could reach out to the local community independently and offer online classes conducted on some of the same platforms you’ve been using for distance learning. 
  6. Micro jobs
    A number of websites offer the opportunity to bid on small, easy jobs that can be done quickly and remotely, earning as little as $3 or as much as $100. They might include:
    Correcting text
    Taking surveys 
    Categorizing and verifying data
    Testing apps
    Processing images and videos

    Most websites allow you to bid on the jobs you want, which lets you keep your schedule flexible.

  7. Focus groups
    Companies use focus groups to test out new products and ideas before they launch them. While many focus groups take place in person, there are also online focus groups that require you to fill out a survey or participate in a virtual conversation. 

Getting a break this summer

In all cases, you should check with administrators at your school to ensure that there’s no conflict of interest with your job. Additionally, if you’re working with a website or agency new to you, read reviews and clarify expectations around payment up front before you make a commitment or share any personal information.

Many teachers are handling a challenging and uncertain work environment, as they manage new ways of working around distance learning and plan for schools to open safely in the fall. A summer job might offer a nice change of pace, as well as the opportunity to cover your bills, boost your savings or allow for some indulgence.

GE- 3079675 (06/2020) (Exp. 06/2022)