A recent survey from the National Education Association revealed some pretty wild stats. For example, 55 percent of the teachers polled stated that they are now planning on the classroom sooner than they had originally planned leaving. That percentage definitely spells trouble for education in the future, but it also reveals that many of us will be remaining in our classroom, at least for the time being. That doesn’t mean, however, that many of us aren’t on the lookout for a good side gig. Online tutoring is one side gig option that provides a surprising amount of perks for full-time educators. We spoke to several teachers who supplement their teaching salary with a part-time job tutoring students online. Here’s what they shared were the biggest advantages.
1. Online tutoring works with my crazy schedule
After teaching all day, advising after-school clubs, and getting home to spend time with family, a teacher’s schedule is often packed incredibly full. One of the most common benefits of working as an online tutor is the flexibility teachers have in making their own schedules. Want to work only on weeknights after your little ones go to bed? Chances are, there will be kids in different time zones looking for tutoring at those times. Want to fill your Saturdays with tutoring sessions, so your weeknights and Sundays are yours alone? No problem. Online tutoring can fit pretty much any schedule.
2. I can work from home
We have become somewhat of a “side gig society.” In fact, some reports state that 35 percent of the workforce does some sort of freelance or part-time work. While many of these jobs might be fantastic, few offer the ability to work from the comfort of home. The benefit of being able to end a tutoring session in time to make dinner, help with homework, or even binge watch an episode of your favorite show before your next tutoring session begins can’t be overstated.
3. You get to see way more of those “lightbulb” moments
I can’t even fathom the number of times I thought to myself, “If I just had more time to sit down with this student one-on-one, I know I could help them understand this better.” One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is trying to find time to make sure each student in your class has received enough attention and instruction each day. Because of this, one of the most obvious benefits of online tutoring is the ability to work with just one student at a time. When you focus on just one student, those moments when they finally “get it” are a bit more frequent than when you’re trying to reach a classroom full of kids all at the same time.
4. Let’s get real. The money can be great, especially for a side gig
It’s tough enough to teach all day and then go to an entirely different job afterwards. If the pay isn’t worth it, why put yourself through it? Many online tutors state that the money that can be made working with students online is one of the best perks of the job. Rates vary widely depending upon the tutoring company and the number of students you work with, but most are highly competitive. Online tutors working with iTutor, for example, make $35 per hour on average. iTutor’s starting rate is $27 per hour. With minimum wage rates ranging from approximately $7.25 to $14.00 depending upon state, it’s easy to see how online tutoring is a highly attractive choice.
5. It’s fun to have students from all over the country
We all know that kids are the main reason why we love this job. Take them out of the equation, and we’re just left with all the stuff we have to do before we get to hang out with and teach our students again. Many teachers who tutor online spoke about how easy it was to form positive teacher-student bonds with their students, even though they only met with them online. They enjoy the opportunity to meet students from different parts of the nation and learning more about their lives. If you teach because you love kids, online teaching might be a perfect side gig for you.
6. It’s definitely making me a better in-person teacher
The ability to use the tools and tricks we use in our classrooms each day to help one student online learn a concept is awesome. The ability to take a trick or tool we learned about from online tutoring back into our classroom to help our in-person students? Equally awesome. I love that there is a side-gig out there that can actually help teachers do their full-time job while also providing them with a supplemental income.