American Association of Blind Teachers

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Ever since Socrates taught philosophy to the young men of Athens for free, the public has generally thought that the best teacher was an underpaid teacher. While this assumption is still alive and well, recent changes in education have created some new opportunities for making additional income. Best of all, these opportunities may be realistic options for a visually impaired teacher.

To begin with, you might leverage your professional knowledge and experience by teaching a part-time course at a nearby community college or university. In recent years, these institutions, whether public or private, have experienced strong financial pressures forcing a great many of them to staff classes with less expensive part-time adjunct faculty rather than employ full-time teachers. The bad news for the profession is, of course, that this means lower salaries and fewer fringe benefits; however, the silver lining is that it simultaneously opens up significantly more positions for part-timers.

Teaching a class at a four-year university may pay between $1,000 and $6,000, depending on the institution and the part of the country. Not surprisingly, private institutions are at the higher end of this range. A minimum of a masterís degree is almost certainly required, although instructors with MAs are frequently employed to teach part- time classes which would otherwise require a PhD.

Teaching an additional course will, of course, mean additional work. How burdensome this will be depends on whether this is a wholly new preparation or not. Experts say that it is not uncommon for someone teaching a class for the first time to require 10 hours a week for a three hour course. Online courses can be even more work since web classrooms are open around the clock.

To locate possible employment opportunities, you may want to visit
Adjunct Professor Online
and
Higher Education Jobs
as well as websites of local schools. Many jobs, like those for noncredit or extension classes or continuing education, may not be posted online. Remember that a great many institutions now offer afternoon, evening, and week-end courses on everything from flower arranging to local history. Even senior citizen centers and high-end retirement communities have jumped on the education bandwagon. Knowledge and ability to interest a nonprofessional audience is more important than degrees and certification for these audiences. For continuing education and extension classes, you may want to contact the relevant department chair with a resume. A duplicate should also be sent to the institutionís human resources department.

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