I often think back to my childhood and reminiscence about the days where I would look forward to every seasonal break from school. It seemed like one was already just around the corner: fall break, winter break, spring break, and the grand finale of summer break. Of course, back then I didn’t have to worry about finances. After all, my biggest concern was typically how to fit as much fun as possible into the day! But now as an adult who’d love to get several weeks of vacation scattered across the year, that made me wonder how teachers pay their bills during these seasonal breaks? Do teachers get paid in the summer?
While it depends on the school district’s policy, most districts will automatically spread out teacher pay evenly over the 12 month period. It’s also possible that teachers can request to be paid over just the 10 month period they’re working. This is often done when teachers have a side hustle or second job during the summer. If you’re a teacher, check with your Principal or your district’s payroll department to find out what options are available to you!
Personally, I think spreading out the paycheck over a period of 12 months makes the most sense. It allows for teachers to easily budget their expenses and receive a consistent paycheck throughout the year. I’d definitely choose this option if I was a teacher!
What Happens to Their Paycheck if a Teacher Resigns During the Summer?
There are many reasons why a teacher may decide to leave their position. It could be anything from switching to a different school district closer to home or it could be a decision to change careers. Whatever the case may be, these changes often occur over the summer when school is out of session.
The good news is resigning from a teaching position during the summer will typically not cause any interruption in pay! This is because teachers are usually under contract for a set amount of pay, beginning from the first day of school to the last day of the school year. Once a teacher has finished out the school year, they’ve technically fulfilled their contract and are entitled to the full amount of pay regardless of whether they plan to return the next school year.
Because teachers in most states are unionized, they often have opportunities to leave their current position with a guaranteed position if they return in the next year or two. For example, the teacher’s contract for my local school district is posted online. In looking through it, the district allows a teacher to take a one year sabbatical to explore other career opportunities. They are also allowed to take up to two semesters of maternity leave with a guarantee to get their position back when they return. While neither of these leaves are paid, they do give teachers the freedom to explore career options or raise a family with the guarantee of being able to return to their past job in the future. Of course these are just examples of what schools in my area do – these policies vary greatly by district and state. If you’re a teacher, I would recommend checking with your union rep or human resources department about what options are available to you.
What Are Some Good Summer Side Hustle Ideas for Teachers?
As a kid, I used to enjoy going to the swimming pool, playing at the park, and hanging out with friends outside during the summer. It was nice to have that time to relax and not be stuck at a desk in a classroom all day. But for many teachers, summer break is an opportunity to work on a side hustle or a second job to bring in extra income over the summer.
I personally remember my high school economics teacher had his own business. He and his sons had a full service lawn care business that they’d run during the summer. They would just load up a pickup truck with all the equipment needed and mow dozens of lawns per day. I never found out how much they charged but it might have even paid better than his actual teaching job!
Another seasonal side hustle for teachers during the summer is sports coaching. Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors – there’s no better way for kids to burn off energy than running around a baseball diamond or kicking a soccer ball across a giant field. Coaching provides some nice supplemental income over the summer without having to work full time. Many coaching positions only require a few hours per week and can easily add a few hundred dollars a month to your income.
Lastly, not all kids like to play sports. Many local parks and recreation departments put on summer camps for the community. Nature camps, robotics camps, you name it. All these camps need staff to help run the educational activities and teachers are often their first choice for these positions given their experience with students. While these positions will not pay as well as teaching, this type of side hustle is a natural fit for teachers and is a great opportunity to change things up a bit by moving outside the typical classroom.
Do Teachers Have to Work Over Summer Break?
Let’s say a teacher doesn’t have a side hustle during summer break. You might picture them laying back in a chair on the beach, just enjoying life without a care in the world. Well as nice as that sounds, the reality is a bit more complicated! While teachers don’t have to teach students during the summer, there are some other little things that need done around the classroom.
For example, all states have requirements for continuing education for teachers. These requirements vary by state. In my state, teachers are required to get 90 hours of training each year to maintain their teaching license. These hours can be accrued by attending conferences, educational events, training seminars, or even college credits. Many teachers use their time out of the classroom in the summer to work on their school’s specific professional development requirements.
Also there’s a lot of extra work for teachers at both the end of the school year and at the start of the school year, particularly when it comes to organizing their classroom. Most schools do a deep cleaning of the building during the summer. This often consists of removing all items from a classroom so that carpets can be cleaned, desks sanitized, and other custodial duties. While teachers are not responsible for the cleaning, they are typically responsible for packing up any personal belongings at the end of each school year. Not only do they need to gather up their belongings for cleaning, they may end up moving to an entirely new classroom the following year. At the beginning of the year, teachers then have to set up their classroom again, prepare lesson plans, and special “get to know you” activities for the students during their first week of school.
Do Districts Offer Opportunities for Teachers to Earn Money During the Summer?
Yes, many districts offer summer school programs for high school students. This gives some teachers a way to work nearly year round. Because not all courses are taught during the summer, schools do not need to have nearly as many teachers for summer school compared to the typical school year.
Also at the high school level, there are several extracurricular activities that continue during the summer. For instance, marching band competitions are often held in the late summer and early fall. Students often hold daily practices for these competitions during the summer. Also many clubs, such as yearbook or web design, continue meeting during the summer and require a faculty sponsor to facilitate and run these activities.
Lastly, there are some higher level positions that work year round. One such position is the department head or lead teacher position. Department heads and lead teachers often have duties to attend to over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. For example, the department head for the high school science department may need to work with suppliers to ensure they have chemistry supplies on hand for upcoming lab work. Teachers in these positions may also have departmental budgets they need to manage and track. While these positions are hard to come by, they often have the benefit of an extra stipend being added to their teaching contract, leading to a bit higher pay over the course of the year.
Conclusion – Do Teachers Get Paid In the Summer?
The good news for most teachers is you will likely not go hungry over the summer – you will continue receiving a paycheck! If you are one of the unlucky teachers without an option to have your paycheck spread out over a 12 month period, you may consider taking up a side hustle during the summer or putting some money aside each month to prepare yourself for the summer.