Tips for Teachers and Classroom Resources Updated July 15, 2020

Money-Making Alternatives to Teaching Summer School

By The Editorial Team

Many people are under the impression that teachers live a life of leisure during the summer. In most cases, that’s not the case. Because teachers do not draw a salary during the summer, most educators look for seasonal employment, or teach summer school. But there are other things teachers can do to earn money during the summer months, even in the current pandemic environment. Here are a few suggestions:

Freelance work

Let the summer be your time to explore interests outside teaching. If you love to write, look into taking on freelance writing work from home. Or, if your strengths are more technical and design in nature, seek out freelancing gigs in web design. Options abound depending on your skills, and thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find a good fit. There’s often a need for temporary clerical work. Check out sites like Upwork or CrowdContent.


Just because you’re not in front of a class at summer school doesn’t mean you can’t continue educating. Many summer school students need extra help. On websites like and AirTasker, you can apply for a job as a tutor by taking exams in the subjects of your choice, and if you pass, you’re placed into a database of available tutors. There’s no fee to sign up, and depending on the demand for tutors in specific subjects, you could start tutoring immediately.

Teaching abroad

Technically, this means getting back in the classroom over your summer vacation, but it also means seeing and experiencing a new country while providing an important service and making money at the same time. Websites like Abbey Road and Japan’s JET Program pair teachers with classroom opportunities overseas where English as Second Language (ESL) teachers are in great demand. Most programs are open to accepting online applicants since international travel is very limited at the moment. You can read this blog post about English teaching abroad programs to learn more about requirements.

You can also teach abroad from your couch, without holding active classes. Create a course in a subject where you have expertise. Online course marketplaces such as Udemy allows anyone with a webcam to sell their own courses. There’s even a section dedicated to demonstrating the best ways of creating best-selling courses.

Seasonal outdoor conservation work

Many state and local conservation agencies hire seasonal employees to build and maintain trails, serve as tour guides, work concessions, or lead crews of student conservation groups. Many of these agencies and departments also run summer camps, where you can get a job as a counselor or activities director. Aside from summer camps, there are opportunities to teach outdoor and environmental education classes. Check out sites like or for available outdoor jobs around the country. Do take extra precautions such as maintaining social distance, wearing protective equipment (gloves, N95 mask, sunshades, etc.), and keeping your hands washed to avoid catching COVID-19.

Take a retail job

Do you have a favorite bookstore, grocery store, home improvement center, or clothing store where you enjoy shopping? Many retailers hire summer workers and offer flexible schedules and employee product discounts.

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