Use your Education Degree outside the Classroom

by bizilady

Experienced and new teachers are finding it harder to land a good paying job. Traditional teaching positions are being eliminated.Don't give up on your career.

The economy has left many experienced educators and new grads behind. School districts had to tighten their belts and make some painful cuts. Positions deemed unnecessary forced teachers out of work, and hard pressed to find a job. After all that hard work, two years of student teaching, term papers, and a huge college bill to pay off, what's a new teacher to do?

Unemployed Teachers have Choices

introduction to tutoring

Unemployed teachers must realize that they have choices to make a living.  A new graduate or seasoned educator can carve out their own niche without a public or private school position.

There is a viable solution to make money if a job isn't offered. I found tutoring to the one of the best ways to stay busy and sharpen your skills. Students will always need extra help and it doesn't matter their age. Elementary educators are needed to help beginner learn to read and accomplish homework. High school and college specialists are needed to proctor in essay writing, mathematics, science and test taking.

There are numerous options to find work so be flexible. The traditional in-home, on-line and volunteer tutor are three excellent choices for the unemployed. I've worked at all of these situations and they do help those new and laid off educators who need work.


The personal touch

mentor students face to face

Signing up for an in-home position is the first step an unemployed teacher can do. There are various companies in larger metropolitan areas that need specialized subjects mentors. This type of job requires people skills and organization. You must carry the books and materials to the home or library to do your job. If you like driving, then this may be for you.

Another advantage to this type of work, is to gain experience dealing with parents first hand.

If you've never worked in a school setting, then getting to know some parents and helping their child may help you immensely. Parents have enormous influence in the school hiring process so some may put in a good word when an opening comes up. Also getting a recommendation from satisfied customers is another bonus .

Skype for teachers introduction

become familair with technology

On line teaching has become the norm

The next best thing to being there

On line lessons has become the most popular method to work for both student and trainer.  it provides a great convenience to both the student and trainer. The parents can get need reports immediately and the students receives instant gratification. On line companies are training new teachers and experienced ones to use the technology required to accomplish the job.

Of course, those who already are tech savvy will have first dibs on any openings. There are many companies catering to the after-school student in need of homework help. School districts need more help, especially with remedial students, so having someone on line to give help at the library is a life saver. Although, the hourly rate is low, it may be worth it to you since there's no traveling involved.

The more in-demand subjects such as English, high school math and science pay better.  A good instrutor that is certified and with some experience can earn enough to make it worthwhile. Overall, this may not pay as well as a full time position, but you'll add more experience on your resume'.

Subjects in demand

help high school and college student achieve

The higher level sciences and math courses are the most in demand and they usually pay the best. I've received many requests for chemistry, physics,and biology courses at the high school and college levels. Calculus, trigonometry and statistics are also requested.

Another area that many youngsters are lacking in is grammar and essay writing. It appears that the modern-day student is text savvy and unaccustomed to actually writing in full sentences. Aiding them in English and writing are always needed. High-schoolers need to practice essay writing for college entrance exams. College freshmen and undergrads are also in need as I have witnessed. Basic writing skills are not evident which means a need for writing help will always prevail.

Non-English speaking new-comers are increasing each year, so the field is open. The certification for this area usually requires the TESOL or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or ENL, English as a New Language. There are on line companies that do not require this and some that may take you and help earn the certification as you tutor.


With the advent of applications such as Idroo whiteboard, Skype, Gchat, Instant messaging with your email service provider and the good 'ole phone, out of work teachers can hone their skills and stay active.

Companies to Work With

Putting your teaching skills to use

Online tutoring

Several large online tutoring companies have been on the internet and provide legitimate work. They usually don't hire employees, but rather  contract independent workers. They act as a intermediary and use a teacher registry to help parents and students find the right educator. Each teacher fills out a profile with references,work history, philosophy, specialties, background check and educational background.

Some of the better known ones are,,,, and  to name a few.

There are foreign companies from China, Korea, Japan and Russia that need English tutors and they will assist you in learning the use the technology. Granted, the work is not high paying, but it's a start.

In person tutoring

Sylvan, Wyzant and are a few franchises around the country that have an in-store and in-home registry of teachers. Check out the local private companies that may hire a new or experienced teacher. Science and math graduates often do not need certification as they are in high demand.

I think it's wise for remedial and handicapped pupils to receive face to face help. The use of the Internet and screen is too difficult for many to navigate. Many  react more positively with a person than a screen. A physically handicapped, younger child, or an autistic individual is a prime candidate for in-person help.

I worked for a few private companies and for myself, so be flexible. Non-franchised tutoring agencies help you get jobs so try them first. They make a commission and it;s in their best interest to find you work. The agencies are the first contact with school districts and know the ins and outs.Get your experience working with them.

When you work for yourself, you are responsible for finding your own students and getting paid. You also must keep a schedule, do some bookkeeping, and write reports to school personnel from time to time. As you gain experience you may want to start a service with others in the field, which is a great option to make a living.

Summary of how educators can work for themselves

the new reality of the teaching field

If you are looking for a traditional teaching position and can't find work, try tutoring instead. Don't be headstrong and resist this idea because you're afraid you'll miss out on a possible job; you can do both!

Stress is a major factor in determining if public or private school teaching is the right fit for you. Working for yourself may not always bring in lots of money but your mental and emotional health may improve.

Experienced teachers now enjoy being in charge of their lives.

Technology has made working online easier and viable. Become tech savvy if you need to learn how to use Skype and other methods of communication.. Volunteer one to two days a week at a local adult education center or library. Start a study group to help kids with their homework.

The job market has changed drastically. Experienced educators as well as new ones are having a tough time getting any work. I've presented some ideas that are relevant to keep your skills sharp and contacts growing. Don't give up your expensive education and dream. You may have to work a part time minimum wage job on the side to make ends meet. With some effort, there should be no teacher left behind.



Do you think tutors provide a good service?

Updated: 03/05/2017, bizilady
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bizilady on 07/19/2012

sheilamarie: I think that is so sad and not uncommon in the world of Academia.Educators are not looked upon as valuable;rather as glorified baby-sitters and that image needs to change.Thanks for sharing your experiences.

sheilamarie on 07/19/2012

I think there are many of us in this same boat. I agree -- it really does matter where you live if you want to make a living as a tutor. I have lived in rural areas where even the classroom teachers can get very low pay. Once I was an English tutor at an ivy league college in a rural town that paid me less than $10 an hour, and when one of my colleagues, who had a master's degree and was a single mom trying to raise her kids, complained, she was told it was an honor to work for the university as it would look good on her resume. The next year she and I were both out of a job. They got graduate students to replace us so they wouldn't have to increase the pay. I'm sure, however, the graduate students didn't put in the extra hours and care that we did, as they wouldn't have had either the time or the experience. The working world is no piece of cake.
Online seems to be a good option. I've been focusing on writing, but I miss the connection with students.

bizilady on 07/18/2012

Well we have a lot in common Brenda. I too was a special ed teacher and tutored. California will pay $60. but not Kentucky.You're in a major city but I'm in the countryside and they wont pay $10! Thanks for the comments.

BrendaReeves on 07/18/2012

I had a tutoring business in CA. I'm a former special education teacher. I tutored mostly general ed. I charged $60 an hour and had no trouble getting it. I shouldn't have moved to KY. If you are a credentialed teacher, it's easy to start your own one woman/man business. Don't go work for companies that pay you peanuts.

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