You became a teacher because you wanted to work in a rewarding profession. It was your dream to change young lives, but you discovered along the way that there was a lot more to it that you didn’t like. The politics, the paperwork, the high expectations, and the workload.
If you’ve been feeling overworked, overwhelmed, exhausted, and like work has cut into your home life, you’re not alone. Teachers around the world are finding that any sense of work-life balance is diminishing.
Any additional work they do for the love of it has started to become expected of them.
Or, perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones, and you love everything about teaching, but you have an urge to do something else, a strong pull to follow a dream. Maybe you’ve stopped teaching to have children of your own, and you would like to be able to gain more control over your working hours.
Whatever your reason for leaving the teaching profession, there are plenty of great work-from-home business opportunities that would be perfect for you. Teachers have an amazingly extensive skill set, so all of those years of study are certainly not wasted learning.
Teaching provides transferable skills like improvisation, public speaking, critical thinking, time management, imagination, approachableness, empathy, communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, a sense of humor, organization, enthusiasm, behavior management, a desire to learn, an ability to work in a team, project management, and patience.
Teachers, therefore, make fantastic entrepreneurs! I asked around several online forums, as well as teachers I know personally, and put together this list of businesses that have been created by teachers. I have to stress this point: The following suggestions are GENUINE businesses that teachers have started and with which they’ve been successful. Your opportunities are countless, so don’t give up on your idea of a career change.
You can still teach, but instead of in a classroom setting, you can work one-on-one with children. You’ll set the schedule and the delivery method. The type of tutoring is up to you and whether you do it online or in-home.
You could be a school readiness tutoring, helping build confidence and creating a positive mindset towards school. Or you might prefer primary instruction, where you’ll use games and materials to develop a lifelong love of literacy and mathematics. You might help high school students at exam time or special needs children who find the standard school curriculum challenging. Tutoring possibilities are endless, and the work is flexible and fulfilling.
2. Teach Workshops
What’s your teaching specialty or passion? Why not create fun workshops for children or teens doing what you love, and imparting that specialized knowledge? Whether it’s art, science, creative writing, cooking, messy play, nature play programs, music, sensory play programs, drama classes, or S.T.E.M. classes…there’s always a market for it.
I personally know two former teachers who started up preschooler classes, which encompass many of these subjects. They hold the sessions in a function room of a café so that the moms can leave the kids and grab a coffee and have a chat with other moms. It’s a win-win for everyone and proving to be very popular!
3. Event Planner
Put those excellent project management skills into practice and start up a party planning business, from birthdays and bar mitzvahs to science parties and pamper parties.
Or, since you have a natural rapport with kids, you might make a fabulous party entertainer. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dress up as a princess (unless you want to!). You could host baking parties, put on a magic show, a karaoke party, or a girl-power party. Kids parties will always happen, and parents are always looking for something fun and different for their little one’s special day.
Related Content: How to Work From Home as an Event Planner
4. Create and Sell a Product
With your innate creativity, you could create a unique product and sell it online. The opportunities are endless: Home décor, children’s goods, handmade bags, art, tableware, pregnancy wear, accessories, floristry, wedding accessories, toys, learning games, educational resources, greeting cards, journals, calendars, and more.
How about becoming an author? Maybe you’d like to write a children’s picture book, a self-help book for parents, or a guide to lesson planning for teachers? Perhaps subscription-based educational or craft packs for kids that they receive in the mail every month? Most of us lack innovative ideas and appreciate (and are willing to pay for) any help in this department!
Related Content: How to Be Successful on Etsy
5. Create a Service
Expand on your current skills or learn a new one. Offer a service like photography, catering, or infant sleep consulting. You might even like to develop some excursions or incursions for preschool or school-aged kids, such as nature immersion or sustainability excursions.
Working as a freelancer allows you plenty of flexibility, and there’s always a demand for proofreading, copy or content writing, editing, marketing, web design, and social media management. Starting up a nanny agency is also another great business idea.
Related Content: 20 Businesses in the Parenting Niche You Can Start from Home
6. Start a Blog
Have you considered starting a blog? You can quite easily make money from blogging if you are passionate about something or want to use blogging as a platform to share your knowledge with the world. Follow this guide to set up a blog in nine easy steps.
Topics you might like to blog about could be kids, food, travel, craft ideas. You could start a guide, featuring local businesses, parks, and child-friendly cafes. Ask yourself: What do you find yourself regularly researching and reading about over and over again? What would you find helpful? Bingo! There’s your niche.
7. Return to Study
Read this if you’re a parent who’s considering going back to college. Adding to your existing skills can take you on a different career path entirely. How exciting is that?! Studying counseling and psychology is popular among teachers, and many go on to specialize in working with children.
You may be considering something entirely new, like interior design or horticulture. It’s never too late, and your talents as a teacher are hugely beneficial!
8. Educational Consultant
You understand how the education system operates, so you could work with families to better understand the differing needs of individual children and be the catalyst that makes essential changes. An educational consultant might, for example, create wellbeing programs for kids and educators suffering from anxiety, using yoga or music therapy.
You recognize that massive changes need to be made within the field, but they won’t happen without idealistic and passionate people like you.
9. Start a Home-Based Daycare
With a shortage of available spaces in many daycare centers, starting a home-based daycare is an ideal way to be able to continue teaching while being home with your children. Possessing a background in teaching will make you an in-demand childcare option for many families.
If the long days are something you’re keen to avoid, you could provide after-school care or even short sessions on days that work for you. I know of a Montessori-trained teacher who held three-hour sessions for a few toddlers at a time in her home. She charged huge fees but had a long waiting list. What could be your niche education option for parents wanting a couple of hours to themselves each week?
10. Start a Class for Adults
How about teaching new skills to adults instead of kids? You can teach, and not just anyone possesses that skill. You could teach English or another language online. Perhaps you could teach your other hidden talents like yoga, art, or meditation.
You could even take groups of adults away for weekend adventures, sports trips, or health retreats. Create online courses on any topic you’re an expert on and market them through social media.
11. Become a Coach
Train to become a life coach or career coach. Or help teachers pursue their passion and purpose or ultimately to leave teaching (providing them with this list, of course!). Alternatively, you could use your skills to coach women to grow their businesses or to improve their customer service, public speaking, and team-building skills.
Related Content: How to Work From Home as a Coach
This list is only the beginning of the types of work-from-home businesses you could potentially start as a teacher or former teacher. The possibilities are endless with the skills a teacher possesses, so never doubt your potential.
Comment below why you want to leave teaching and what businesses you have in mind. Believe that there is a future for you beyond teaching! Please don’t stay in a career that’s unfulfilling, you’ve lost the passion for, or if you’re feeling institutionalized or demoralized. No one deserves that.
Do what your heart’s telling you and move forward with confidence.
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Kara Wilson is a mama, parenting writer, and early childhood consultant. If she had some spare time, you would find her either cooking, reading, daydreaming about traveling, or sleeping. You can check out her other published articles at KaraWilson.com.