Most who have pursued careers in education find a natural calling to the occupation. Many want to genuinely do good in their communities and neighborhoods by teaching the next generation. Everybody remembers at least a handful of teachers who shaped their lives and taught them valuable lessons: this is where the true value of an educator lies. It’s hard for those who have such a calling to do good to ignore their responsibilities in making the world a better place.
Yet all too often, the rigors and realities of the job can gradually wear down educators. Particularly in conventional classroom settings, a combination of factors can leave teachers feeling drained and demoralized. From having to dip into their own pockets to pay for school supplies, to excessively large class sizes, many classrooms – particularly in the public sector – are being squeezed from all ends. This, in turn, puts stress on educators and can ruin the enjoyment and idealism that many teachers bring with them into the classroom.
Because of this and many other reasons, some teachers are looking to find new and exciting ways to provide their services to the world. As it turns out, there are many opportunities where a passion for teaching and entrepreneurial spirit overlap. For those who are ready to move into a different phase of education, let’s examine some options that exist that combine education and entrepreneurship.
As the world becomes increasingly more competitive in both school and the workforce, people need all the skills they can acquire in order to be at their best. From acing college entrance exams to passing basic primary courses, children and young adults from all backgrounds are finding the path to success increasingly difficult. Teachers know just how important performance in the classroom can be in impacting long-term prosperity – and many parents know this as well.
Teachers who are fed up with the pressures of traditional instruction are now finding ample opportunities in the world of online tutoring. With a huge amount of flexibility (working your own hours, setting your pay and no dress code) and the knowledge that all enrolled students actually care about their studies, some teachers find this business idea to be a very rewarding way to continue contributing in the world of education.
This business idea is perfect for teachers with specific training in one or more subjects. Those seeking to pursue this course of action have multiple options. Perhaps most easily, a variety of online tutoring platforms allow teachers and trainers to offer their services, set their own prices and easily find students without having to build a traditional business. Likewise, some teachers set out to create more traditional tutoring businesses, marketing directly to prospective clients and building a reputation. Both methods, when pursued with vigor, can be financially lucrative.
Early Childhood Special Education
Most public-school systems provide an array of facilities and services for children of all needs. From the brightest pupils to those who need a bit of extra help, tax dollars funneled into school systems are used to ensure no student is left behind. With that being said, there are some difficulties. Perhaps most obvious to teachers is the relative lack of funding that is given to special education needs. This, when compounded over time, can create dramatically unequal outcomes.
Another crucial area in which special education services are lacking is in the 0-5 age range. For children with special needs, parents have very few options. While some daycare services may accommodate those with special needs, they are often substantially more expensive and lack vital services that are crucial to child development. Because of this need, many educators seeking to move into a new career – but staying true to their teaching roots – are opening private enterprises that focus on early childhood special education.
Ideally, teachers who seek to pursue this line of business should have completed a special ed masters program (along with possessing a solid knowledge of business in general). While this particular type of business may be niche, there is a huge demand in many urban areas for early childhood education as it pertains to those with special needs. This business idea is great for those who love working with special needs children but who no longer want to work in understaffed situations with minimal resources.
After School Instruction
Not all children learn at the same rate: this is one of the most common and universal facts that teachers soon discover when working in the classroom. Inherently, it doesn’t mean anything, as some children are very intelligent but simply require more time to absorb concepts. Others need a bit of help in order to stay caught up with their rest of their peers. Whatever the reason, many parents do not have the time or ability to provide this kind of supplemental instruction.
For teachers looking to embrace a more flexible and entrepreneurial teaching path, after school instruction services could be just the thing. Primarily focused on those in primary school, teachers can supply services after school to children who need that extra push and/or consultation. This type of business would ideally be suited for teachers who have experience in grades K through 5, as this is the target audience for such services.
Even when there is no big upcoming test or imminent threshold, educationally-speaking, many parents understand that their children need a bit of help. From math and language to social studies and science, parents are willing to pay top-dollar for experienced teachers to tutor and challenge their students on a one-on-one basis.
With the cost of college now higher than ever, more and more students are looking for every scholarship, grant and benefit they can find. Despite this, most students have to borrow at least some money to meet basic living expenses, tuition and other expenses (such as room and board) that college life requires. As a result, many students seek to perform as well on tests such as the SAT and ACT as possible, in the hopes that the college will provide partial or full tuition coverage.
As such, the demand for exam prep in today’s competitive enrollment and admissions environment is fierce. Many teachers are now finding entrepreneurial opportunities in the world of exam prep for this very reason. Such a business model can be quite lucrative, and the incentive to spend money now as a parent (or student) to save much more money later is strong.
Likewise, it isn’t just getting into college that requires students to be prepared and well-informed. Various high school exams and exams once in college can impact performance greatly as well; students from all backgrounds in both high school and college have a reason to embrace exam prep. Teachers who want to continue providing vital educational services can do so via exam prep, and unlike other forms of tutoring, can assist multiple students simultaneously.
Educators who have spent their careers teaching children mostly do so because they have a love for teaching – and a love for children. However, it’s perfectly natural that tastes and preferences can change over time. What may have been a passion at one point may sooner or later become a nuisance – something many educators may feel guilty about at one point or another. Fortunately for educators who love their calling – but would prefer a change of proverbial scenery – it’s not just children who need help with learning.
Increasingly, educators who want to work in a more mature environment, be financially independent, and earn bigger salaries are turning to the world of corporate training. Virtually every major business on the planet has a need for instructors at various points; from new hire orientation to general course instruction, some businesses require these services on a full-time basis.
Entrepreneurs who have a background in teaching can find great success in building their own very corporate training firms. These firms provide services as needed to multiple businesses, and can be successful both as a sole proprietorship or a multi-employee business. Regardless of the exact trajectory pursued, there is ample demand for educational services in the corporate world – why not take advantage of this need?
Those who love working with small children in an educational setting understand just how big of an impact those formative years can have on the rest of their lives. While most teachers do not interact with children until they enter preschool at the earliest, a variety of educational opportunities exist for children from day one. Teachers and educators who enjoy instructing young children don’t have to wait until grade school to begin the process of teaching.
A huge demand for daycare businesses exists in most markets – in large part because daycare is an expensive concept for parents. As such, teachers and educators who want to pursue an educationally-friendly business are increasingly looking into education-oriented daycare centers. Even children who are only one to two years old can begin learning a substantial amount of information, improving social skills and getting ready for grade school.
Teachers who are capable of working well with small children can combine the educational aspects of their experience with the need for daycare to produce a viable business model. Given the sheer cost of daycare in most markets, undercutting the competition isn’t difficult. Most parents would love for their small children to be enrolled in a daycare where education experts are stimulating their minds, making it a very appealing idea for both parents and entrepreneurs alike.
Proofreading and Writing
With the sheer amount of content teachers have to read, grade and judge on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that there often doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. All too often, teachers spend hours at home reviewing student work – particularly for those in the fields of literature and language, this can be exhausting. Nevertheless, teachers do this because they believe in the importance of knowledge, education and component writing skills.
Outside of school, the need for these services is just as vast. As of late, more teachers are discovering that their core skills can be put to good use in the world of proofreading and writing. Everybody – from college students preparing essays to corporations handling press releases – has a need for content. Whether written from scratch or simply proofread, people are willing to pay top-dollar for these services under the right circumstances.
Teachers and educators who want to pursue a new entrepreneurial pathway can consider working in these fields as a freelancer or via a firm. With ample demand online for proofreading and writing services, virtually any teacher can begin building a portfolio of work to lure in more lucrative clients. Likewise, writing firms are quite popular and provide vital business-to-business services.
Some educators specialize in teaching others about the world of business. Professors and instructors on college campuses in particular provide an array of needed skills to those who plan to enter the business world as entrepreneurs. But what about teachers with business skills who want to go into business?
As it turns out, arguably the most “meta” thing to do in this situation is to offer entrepreneurial education to a variety of students and clients. Teachers who have specific business knowledge can abandon the traditional classroom and instead open their very own consulting and educational agencies focused on providing others with business skills.
By doing so, these instructors are putting their own areas of expertise to use while still providing valuable educational services to those who need them. Given that the desire for entrepreneurship is common, educators can leverage their expertise and experience into a solid business model that furthers entrepreneurship while providing personal benefit as well.
Not every teacher or educator has to remain in a traditional classroom in order to make the world a better place. Some have ambition above and beyond the standard teaching positions – but nevertheless want to continue giving back to students of all ages. These eight business ideas are just a few of the many possibilities that teachers can use to transform their careers into entrepreneurial success stories.