Unexpected perks of teaching
There are additional perks to teaching that you may not have even considered. Because I am a teacher, I have spent a month on a Japanese Fulbright in Japan studying their education system, traveled to The Galapagos to observe wildlife and do service work, and studied writing at Exeter College, Oxford University, England. I paid a total of $0 for all of those amazing experiences because I am a teacher.
- Travel – Did you know that there are tons of opportunities for free travel for teachers? Often it means that you have a gaggle of students along with you, but hey, if you teach, you like the company of kids anyway. Check out People-to-People. It is a wonderful organization that pairs teachers with students and sends them out to experience amazing sights and cultures around the world. Also check out Teacher’s at Sea, The Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program, EF Tours, and The National Endowment for the Humanities.
- Learn- I’m going to assume you love learning because you are, or want to be, a teacher. Being a teacher allows you tons of opportunities to be a lifelong learner. Check out the tuition reimbursement program through your school system. Many will pay a percentage, or a certain dollar amount, towards higher education classes. Again, look at the National Endowment for the Humanities. They offer amazing learning opportunities which are often paired with travel. Don’t forget you have the summer off. You can spend that time in countless ways that enrich you physically, socially, emotionally, or academically. Use your summer to get trained as an EMT, or learn to scuba dive, or section hike the Appalachian Trail. The options are endless.
- Explore other employment-Here’s to that summer off again. Always wanted to teach swim lessons, or do photography, or write a book? Use your summer to pursue those dreams.
- No down payment loans- Many communities offer no down payment mortgages to teachers. They will often also waive various application fees, etc. Check out what is available in your location.
- Discounts at stores– I bet you had no idea how many stores offer teacher discounts. Some of the big names include: Barnes & Noble, A.C. Moore, JoAnne Fabrics, Banana Republic, New York and Company, J. Crew, Apple, Adobe, Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T. Local businesses in your area likely do as well. Just ask.
- Get a job fast – Baby boomers are retiring at record speeds and teacher shortages have become a real problem in the past couple of years. Schools are desperately looking for good educators. If you want more specifics about teacher shortages in particular geographic areas check out the interactive “Nationwide Teacher Shortage Areas Listing.”