It’s the summer holidays! No more getting up early and no more classroom duties. Also, no more payslips for a while. What can you do with these few weeks to make a bit of extra cash and get yourself prepared for September?
1. Spare room? Become a student host. Remember to check your home insurance arrangements if you do this.
2. Check out this long list of possibilities from the Moneysaving Expert site. You’ll find ways to make cash you didn’t know existed, like renting out your parking space!
3. Work in a summer camp or school. This is particularly good for those who enjoy physical activities and the great outdoors. This example includes first aid training, subsidised DBS checks and flexible working, but a quick internet search will bring up many more options.
4. Mark exams. Too late for this year, but look into it now and you could be a 2019 examiner. Try this and this site.
5. Lucky enough to be able to speak another language, or just want to offer English conversation? You can still use this site if you do not have a TEFL qualification, and work at times that suit you. Not just during summer!
6. Fancy yourself as a proofreader? If you often read novels in your summer holidays and notice irritating errors, then maybe this is for you. You can easily search for yourself, but try this list of educational publishers. If you bombard enough of them with a CV, you might get a hit!
Preparing for next year
Have a financial ‘spring’ (well, OK, summer) clean. Where could you save money, and are you getting the best out of everything? Are you maximising your future finances? It’s easier than you think to do this, and it can actually be quite fun once you get into it.
Important things to check include your pension plans and your National Insurance contributions. Supply teaching can create a complex tax situation, particularly if you have more than one source of income. Make sure you have a Government Gateway account and check that your contributions are up to date and your tax record is accurate. If it isn’t, seek advice NOW rather than wait until you’re trying to claim a state pension, when it’ll be impossible to remember or rectify! Any pension schemes that you contribute to will have a website where you can go and read about your options and see what the size of your pot is likely to be. All a bit much? Arrange a consultation with an expert and let someone else talk you through it all.
Other things you could consider, depending on your circumstances, include getting a water meter and reducing bills. Aqkwa helps you to see how you could save in your area, and what freebies your local water company offers. You could also try haggling with your mobile phone or TV/phone/broadband provider (threaten to leave, and have another deal ready to go to) and getting rid of any profitable clutter. Will you really wear those trousers again? What about that gadget you bought but haven’t bothered to use? If you have decent cast-offs, get them on ebay and make a few quid.
Get yourself super-organised for the year ahead. Whether you’re looking for long term employment or happy to stay on the supply list, getting your CV updated is never a bad thing.
Also, what did you wish you had with you, during the last year? Especially on that really difficult day? Get it sorted now. I am currently filling a large ‘bum bag’ with dry wipe pens, pencils, rubbers, sharpeners and emergency coffee sachets. There will also be room in there for my valuables, which we all know are sometimes not safely stashed away.
Do you keep notes on schools? If not, start now. Create a notebook or a file on your computer and as you go through next year, make notes on the important things that will help you be better prepared, should you go back to the same school, such as the parking situation, the school structure, the colours for marking or the basics of the behaviour policy. Don’t keep confidential information, but this can really help you to remember useful things for a second visit if you go to a lot of schools. In addition to the above, I have notes about how long it takes to cycle to the school and whether or not they have a microwave! Think about what’s important to you.
Finally, and most importantly, remember that teaching is hard work. Take a break, because you have most certainly earned one.