Hello out there, all of you teachers with side gig aspirations!
If you're into children's books, you'll like this story about Patricia Robbins — teacher turned children's books author.
Your Side Gig?
Children's Book Author.
Tell us a little about your work.
I teach 6th grade reading in the Marshfield R-1School District in the Midwest, and I've been at it for 18 years.
What led you to work outside the classroom?
I was finally convinced after attending some writing groups, that my stories were best if put on paper. So, I wrote them in storybook fashion, hired an illustrator, and found a local publisher that would help me self-publish. It does not make me a lot of money, but I totally get paid in craft improvement.
What advice do you have for other teachers who want to do what you do?
Success is what you make of it, and whether it be monetary or personal satisfaction, you have to try to feel the success either way.
What's the biggest mistake you've made and what did you learn?
Taking out school loans… does nothing but give you a debt you have difficulty paying as a teacher.
If you could go back and give your 20-year old self some advice, what would it be?
Get yourself back to college right now young lady. You will graduate earlier and start your career earlier, then you will be free to really pursue writing.
Which resources do you rely on the most?
I rely on a lot of encouragement from my writing group. It is so easy to give up when a book is not selling, but it is so rewarding emotionally when it does.
When are you the happiest?
When I am reading and writing.
What book do you consider a must-read?
Ruby Payne's The Framework of Poverty.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do, be, or try?
I would get my law degree, but I would teach for sure.
What are the 2-3 most important work-related purchases you've made in the last year?
Books, teacher resources, and robots.
You're being shot at dawn; what's your last dinner request?
I would like a chocolate fondue fountain with strawberries. I might need a glass of milk to wash it down.
What's your next goal?
Get back to the Top 10 bestseller list in children's books.
Anything else you'd like to share with other teachers who want to follow in your footsteps?
There is not a lot of time to do other work other than teaching… as a teacher.
What's one additional question we should ask and how would you respond?
What is your author name and where do I buy your books? Willy Robbins, why Amazon of course.
This teacher profile is part of SimpleK12's Extra Teacher Income series, where we interview educators about the things they're doing outside of the classroom, for both enjoyment and also a little bit of cash. To read more in this series go here, or to suggest your own story and a possible profile, go here.
If you have any questions for XXX, or anything else related to this topic (and there will be more extra teacher income profiles and stories coming soon), please leave them below in the Comments.
For a different extra teacher income story, check on what Heather Brandon (blogging and educational consulting) is up to.
Or, follow along with full-time college prof, Dustin York, and his many side gigs.