The Cost of Teaching
According to the Australian Salary Survey the average primary school teacher earns an average salary of $61,055 per year while the average Australian earns $60,892.
The profession we have chosen is an expensive one, having up to date and relevant resources is either going to cost you time or money, both of which teachers don’t have much of. Whether it’s buying educational resource subscriptions or tangible resources for students, the average teacher in Australia spends between $500 to $2000 each year on their classroom.
With these extra costs in mind the average teacher is actually earning LESS than the average wage in Australia. We love teaching and putting time into our classrooms but we need to learn how to work smarter so we can earn a salary that reflects the effort we put into our passion.
The Truth about Leadership
Teachers chose this profession to teach. It’s our passion, it’s the reason we get out of bed in the morning. However once we reach the end of our pay scale we are looking for more options to provide an income for our family and stationary habit. A lot of teachers begin to consider leadership options within their school and see a pathway for leading their school to educational success, unfortunately most who take up these leadership positions quickly learn that accompanied with the responsibilities of this position is more stress, paperwork, late nights, emails and dealing with disgruntled parents.
The position gives you less time to prepare fun and engaging experiences for your students and with that comes doubt filled questions; are you doing enough for your students? are you catering to their individual needs? is your differentiation allowing students to go deeper within a topic? These experiences were not the reason we entered our profession.
What other options are out there?
Teachers are now looking for other options where they can continue to spend time in the classroom and use their passion for teaching to earn a second income. Teachers are developing their own personal teaching brand and using their experience, knowledge and passion for learning to earn a second income.
Annie Moffatt from the sister teaching duo of www.themoffattgirls.com started as a primary school teacher and decided to create some of her own resources. Annie used graphic art bought online to create teaching products while also continuing her teaching profession. Over time Annie developed her teacher brand to a million dollar business, selling online resources and classroom décor downloads. She now spends her time at home raising her children and designing and marketing her online products is now her only source of income.
Erin from Louisiana has developed her own teacher brand Lovin Lit from her passion of literature. She too has developed a multimillion dollar business. Erin now works fulltime on her teacher branded business. You can find her online products and blog at imlovinlit.com.
I must admit the American teachers are ahead of the Australian teachers at creating their online teacher brands and catering for students globally not just in your own classroom. But there has never been a better time to start your online teaching brand as the social marketing options available to teachers now allow teachers to create and develop their own small business from the comfort of their own lounge room.
Jem a teacher from Geelong has developed her brand Bright Buttons and uses social media to advertise her products for free online. Jem has developed products over many curriculum areas. Some of her products range from Mathematics assessment sheets ($5), learning intension displays ($2) and comprehension cards ($3) for teachers to purchase. Jem creates products that are useful to her in the classroom. Once she has trialed and tested her products in the classroom she is able to share photos of these experiences to show her followers. You can find Bright Buttons and her products at @jemluck
There are many other options to earn money on the side of your teaching profession other than selling online resources. Some teachers have used their creative talents to sell jewellery or polymer clay lanyards. Mrs Edgar used her passion for stationary to sell beautiful planners to teachers. She used vibrant colours and patterns, including the popular donut design. She printed and binded her planners before photographing and sharing them on social media. Teachers who purchased her planners were so excited to receive them in the mail they photographed them and shared the images on social media. Mrs Edgar hasn’t had to waste money on marketing as her product sells themselves. You can find her products at @mrsedgarsclass.
Teacher blogs also help teachers to create an online reputation. Not to mention the added bonus of paid advertisements and sponsors.
Is a Teacher Brand for Me?
Creating a teacher brand is not for everyone. It is not a get rich quick scheme. Much like studying for a degree it takes time, research and dedication but has the possibility to set you up for the future. There are many You Tube videos and blogs on how to create your own online resources or how to write a blog to help you get started.
Teachers considering this path should ask themselves, what is my niche? What do I stand for as a teacher? What are my dreams, passions and goals for the future? Your teacher brand should encompass your teaching ideals and your personality because it is your personality that will help you to stand out from the crowd. Do you have what it takes to become a teacherpreneur?
How do you want to earn that extra cash to put towards that next visit to Kmart? Do you want to put your time and energy into a leadership position that takes you away from the classroom or can you use your classroom passion for something more?
For more information on how you can develop your own teacher brand see article, ‘5 Steps to developing Your Teacher Brand and Earn a Second Income’
Founder and Director of Tip the Teacher