You are a qualified teacher. You have been unemployed for some time. You’ve been looking for a teaching job, applying to every school you can get hold of. You love to teach and you love making a difference to kids.
You can’t imagine working in any other field but education. You have submitted your qualification details to the NRD (National Recruitment Database). You’ve been to interviews. You have done everything possible to secure a teaching post over the years but nothing seems to go your way.
First of all, let’s get something straight. This post is going to be real because I want you to be successful.
Wouldn’t you rather have someone be honest with you instead of continuously being rejected or ignored without knowing why?
Before I go on to talk about other meaningful career opportunities in Education; let me first provide a piece of advice especially if you are job hunting: Be realistic with yourself.
Are you putting forth your best efforts in the teaching job hunt? Here are a few things to consider…
Is your CV well-written? (Translation; zero typing errors; valid information; recent and relevant teaching experience customized to the particular post you’re applying for; etc.)
How are your interviewing skills? Do you say “um” and “like” too often? Do you talk around a question? We often do little strange things without even realizing it.
Any gaps in your CV? If so, be able to explain them expressively and thoroughly.
Have you done your research? During an interview, it needs to come across that you’ve done your homework about the school. This makes a positive impression to the interview committee.
Do you ask questions during the interview that are easily answered elsewhere, like on the school’s website? Do you have a list of decent questions to ask the committee during the interview? These questions should target information that you couldn’t find elsewhere but are important. (Avoid salary questions the first time around.)
Are you dressing to impress? Clothes should be neat, clean, and appropriate for the occasion.
Do you make eye contact during the interview and greet everyone on the committee upon arrival and not just the principal? This shows respect and puts every individual of the committee on equal footing. You never know who gets the final say in your decision.
This is a short list, but you get the point. If you can look at the above with careful consideration, you will get that job you’ve been looking for.
So with that out of the way, this post mainly talks about other meaningful career opportunities that exist in education besides classroom teaching.
I’ve created this list of alternative careers for unemployed teachers based on what I’ve learned from the teachers I interact with online and in ‘real life’. I’m not saying the jobs are easy to find or obtain, and I’m also not promising that any of these jobs are an improvement on a classroom teacher’s salary—many will actually earn you less money.
However, they are viable alternatives to being a classroom teacher that allows you to use your degree and experience to teach others and make a positive difference in their lives.
Start your own tutoring business.
Working for an established tutoring company usually doesn’t pay much, but if you build up your own clientele, you can make serious money. I know one teacher who tutors children in small groups from 4-6 pm four days a week and makes more than she did as a classroom teacher. If you want help developing your own tutoring business, I highly recommend that you read this article: How to Start a Home-Based Tutoring Business – there are tons of great resources there.
Teach home-bound kids.
Since the start of the Corona Virus pandemic there are a lot of parents who prefer to home-school their kids. These parents get their kids registered for home schooling at the Department of Education, then hire teachers to teach their kids at their homes. These teachers get paid a regular teachers salary but only work with kids one – on – one. I know of three teachers who have this job and they LOVE IT!
Sell your teaching materials on TeachersPayTeachers.
You’ll need to have tons of original ideas, a talent for graphic design, and a pass ion for spending a LOT of time blogging, networking, and doing social media promotion. It’s no get-rich-quick scheme, for sure. But with a lot of hard work, you can join the ranks of a growing number of Teachers pay Teachers who are able to do it full time. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out their website.
Start your own after-school program or activities camp.
You can find work as a teacher or coordinator at an existing after school program for a start, then branch out and create your own business. I have a friend who founded his own company and now runs an after-school sports camp Monday through Thursday from 3-5. He rents out space at his school and makes excellent money teaching the kids how to play sports. I can imagine this would be possible with a variety of after-school activities, so if there’s something you love doing and sharing with kids, an after school program might be for you!
Become an online teacher for Grade R – 12
Africa Teen Geeks has been looking for online teachers at the beginning of the Corona Virus Pandemic. They have now created more than 4000 videos across all subjects and grades. I believe Online teaching is going to be popular and very competitive and its great amount of work, just like classroom teaching. However, the demand for online teachers grows every year, and it’s a terrific way to do what you love AND work from home.
Teach FET or life skills courses in a prison or youth detention centre.
The salary is usually lower than a classroom teacher’s, but every prison teacher I know is a former public school teacher who wouldn’t go back to his or her old position for anything . Often they’re working only with prisoners who want to be in the classes, and since there are always wardens around, discipline and respect issues are nearly non-existent.
I have a friend who has done prison ministry in women’s jails for many years, I can vouch for the fact that teaching prisoners is extremely rewarding, and you have the added bonus of knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of dozens of children by improving the future of their parents.