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Summer Jobs to Enhance Teacher Marketability

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In this competitive teaching market, success is all about separating yourself from the pack. You can't just be a candidate - you have to be the best candidate. A summer job that will complement what you have been learning in the classroom is a great way to increase your value as a job applicant. Summer jobs can be useful in multiple aspects of your job search. Some of those are listed below.

Resume: The right job can make your resume "pop" and rise to the top of the applicant pile. It can help you to build a work history that makes the resume more interesting and varied.
Interview: You can gain solid experience to explain, when asked, "How you have demonstrated your passion for teaching beyond your academic requirements?"
Contacts: You're going to need, as references, people who have supervised your work with school-aged students. You may also meet people to include in your job-search network.
Confidence: The more experience that you can gain in working with children, the greater your confidence in facing students in the classroom. Consider the potential to exercise discipline, resolve interpersonal conflicts, and to engage in problem-solving.
Earnings: Okay, there are probably jobs out there with higher salaries, but none will have better value. Don't need the money? Consider volunteering (it looks especially good on that resume).

Here are 30 stellar ideas for summer work:
Outdoor
1. Summer camps - residential, day, and special interest camps
2. National, state parks and county parks/nature centers
3. Outward Bound
General Interest
4. Community park district programs
5. YMCAs
6. Community outreach activities
7. Scouting
Academic/Enrichment
8. Tutoring
9. Summer school programs
10. Language programs for ESL/ELL children
11. Children's museums
12. Library/summer reading programs and story hours
Social Service
13. Respite care (short term, temporary care of people with disabilities to give families a break from care-giving. Respite services may sometimes involve overnight care for an extended period of time.)
14. Big Brother/Big Sister programs
15. Hospitals: children's ward aides
16. Mentoring programs for at-risk children and adolescents
17. Social service agency and court service summer programs
18. Habitat for Humanity
19. Service trips - both in the U.S. and abroad
Child Care
20. Nanny programs
21. Day care centers
22. Before and after school programs during summer school
Entertainment
23. Disney internships (apply EARLY for these; they are only available while you are in school)
24. Amusement/theme parks
25. Water parks
26. Resort and cruise ship children's programs
Specialized
27. Religious programs (children's education, teen and pre-teen groups, nursery care)
28. Resident assistant and community assistant programs for university-based athletic camps
29. Special lessons: music, horseback riding, sailing, martial arts
30. Coaching for summer sports programs

Textbook proofreading or editing doesn't provide direct contact with students, but it can give you an inside perspective on education that other candidates won't have. If you are an English major or want to demonstrate your outstanding grammar skills, this might be just the job for you.

Don't know where to start? Contact your Career Services Department for tips and ideas.

Dr. Dawn S. Jones
Assistant Director/Online Advisor, Career Services
Northern Illinois University

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