Teachers are the bedrock of society. Yet, with schools across the country being shut down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, even the workers who teach our children are under threat.
Employees in the education system are being furloughed or laid off, sometimes with little-to-no warning. From custodians and teaching assistants to swimming educators and after-school teachers, no one is immune to the economic impact of COVID-19.
While some school districts are successfully pivoting to online learning, many are not, leaving furloughed employees in the lurch. Luckily, some sectors of the economy are hiring (including online education), and teachers and school staff have top-shelf skills any employer would be happy to have.
If you were laid off or furloughed from your job in education, we’ve found several career routes you can explore. Let’s take a look.
How to get a job in online teaching
The shift to online education was already underway, but it has been massively accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the new openings created by the pandemic are with digital companies in the private sector.
Here are two companies currently pushing to sign up teachers:
- Outschool: This live educational platform is hiring 5,000 new freelance part-time teachers to meet the demand created by COVID-19. Outschool offers live online classes for kids ages 3 to 18. Enrollees live-video chat with teachers and classmates on a platform powered by Zoom. To join, you must fill out an application form, record a brief introduction video and pass a background check.If you're approved, you can create classes, and students have the option of enrolling in them. Outschool does not require formal teaching credentials with the belief that "many adults can offer rewarding classes based on their experiences and interests." You can apply here.
- W Tutors is a tutoring platform that is expanding its workforce of part-time online tutors. W Tutors is a digital marketplace in which anyone can sign up and select from tutors all around the world to meet their learning needs. Sessions are conducted over video. To apply, you must have finished at least a high school diploma (or its equivalent) and received a minimum A grade in the subjects you are teaching. You can apply here.
- Additionally, English teachers and educators with a background in English instruction may want to consider looking into remote writing and editing jobs. Upwork, for example, connects freelancers and independent contractors with businesses who have writing and editing work. It’s a great way to continue flexing and marketing your skills while between teaching jobs.
Transferable skills to emphasize on your resume
As someone working in education, whether you’re a teacher or an administrator, you’ve cultivated experiences and skills valued in other fields. Skills that can be used in multiple fields are known as transferable skills.
Some of these abilities are soft skills, some are hard skills and others are technical skills. Soft skills are hard-to-teach interpersonal traits, like good communication and strong work ethic, that help you do your job well. Hard skills involve knowledge and training, such as being fluent in a foreign language. Technical skills include skills such as a mastery of educational software and experience using Zoom.
Here’s a rundown of some skills you might have picked up during your education career:
Soft skills: Emotional intelligence, verbal and written communication, public speaking, creativity, teamwork, time management, leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking
Hard skills: Education plans, grading exams, course management tools, whiteboard applications, foreign languages
Technical skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Google Apps, Moodle, Blackboard, SMART Notebook, Zoom
Certifications and training: Your state’s teacher certification degree (find a state-by-state breakdown), as well as American Red Cross certifications in CPR, Heimlich maneuver and automated external defibrillator (AED) use
These industries are hiring people with your skills
If you were a school teacher (including preschool, K–12, teaching assistant, adult or secondary education, substitute teacher, after-school care), you might consider the following roles:
- Online teacher (for example, at an online-only education program, like Outschool)
- Online tutor (for example, at an online-only tutoring program, like W Tutors)
If you were a member of the staff (including cook, custodian, crossing guard, coach, career counselor, school nurse, librarian), you might consider the following roles:
- Sales associate (for example, at an essential retail store, like Home Depot)
- Customer service associate (for example, at a hospital)
- Cook (for example, at a restaurant open for take out, like Applebee’s)
- Receptionist (for example, at a transportation company, like FedEx Freight)
- Cleaning technician (for example, at a nursing home)
- Caregiver (for example, at a nursing home)
- Delivery driver (for example, using a delivery app, like Instacart)
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store, like Kroger)
- Bank teller (for example, at a financial institution, like Chase)
- Warehouse associate (for example, at an ecommerce company, like Amazon)
How to apply for these roles and what you’ll need
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- Identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- A brief cover letter
How to find these jobs in your community
- LiveCareer Jobs
- Top School Jobs
- U.S. Department of Education
Do I need a resume during the COVID crisis?
Whenever the waters of your career get choppy, your resume is your life raft. It’s an opportunity to put your best foot forward and impress the hiring manager. While the coronavirus has changed many things, it hasn’t done away with the need for a well-crafted resume.
Additionally, cover letters are yet one more way to grab the employer's attention. Keep it simple, to the point and compelling. Your cover letter is your chance to say what the resume can't. Don’t regurgitate the details available on your resume. Rather, use this valuable real estate to explain how your skills will translate in this new role.
As you begin your job search, here’s a sample education resume for your review.
Text resume example: Math teacher applying for an online math tutor role
Name: Rebecca Reese
Address: Hebron, IN 46341
Charismatic and dependable secondary education math teacher with over three years of experience delivering outstanding educational assistance seeking a role as an online math tutor. Successful in designing engaging lesson plans and integrating educational technology to drive retention, comprehension and participation. Adept in application of excellent communication and problem solving skills.
Summary of Skills
- Classroom management
- Interdisciplinary collaboration
- Behavior management
- Audio-visual aid implementation
- Student-centered learning
- Curriculum and lesson planning
7th Grade Math Teacher
Hebron Middle School
- Boosted student grasp of materials by designing a new curriculum, improving test scores on state math test by 20 percent in one year period.
- Collaborated with faculty to develop after-school tutorial program for students in need of extra help.
- Supported student teachers by mentoring on classroom management, lesson planning and activity organization.
- Served on school committee for STEM curriculum development.
Hobart Middle School
- Prepared teaching materials and set up audio-visual equipment for lead teacher.
- Oversaw groups of up to 20 students at school and off-site locations, maintaining optimal safety and security.
- Distributed learning materials such as worksheets, textbooks and supplemental activities.
Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Science in Education
Indiana University Northwest
Indiana Teacher Certification (Grades 7–12)
CPR-Heimlich Maneuver-AED Certificate
American Red Cross
LiveCareer Resume Builder example: Math teacher applying for an online math tutor role