Jennifer Henson is a teacher turned entrepreneur.
After 22 years in the high school English classroom, she left to run her own ACT/SAT test prep company.
Jen says she's busier with this than she ever was with teaching.
You can find her test prep offerings at her Goal Digger site.
Tell us a little about your work.
I work with students coast to coast via FaceTime or Skype (or in person) to improve their performance on standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT tests. I work from home, coffee shops, or anywhere with WiFi! Oddly enough, I’ve discovered that at Nordstrom’s at the mall that happens to be in their restroom lounge. But that’s a long story.
What led you to working outside the classroom?
I knew I had to make the jump to full-time test prep when I just couldn’t do both. I was turning away opportunities to help students who needed me… and that didn’t seem right. I got started in this work when a young man where I taught needed help with a score for a football scholarship; we were successful and I was hooked.
What advice do you have for other teachers who want to do what you do?
Follow your passion. I truly feel I have the best job in the world.
What's the biggest mistake you've made and what did you learn?
I’ve let people “pay me later” and was never paid. I’ve learned to advocate for payment and refuse to continue sessions if unpaid.
If you could go back and give your 20-year old self some advice, what would it be?
Unlock the keys to these tests NOW! You have doors to open for so many students.
If your FUTURE self in 20 years could look back at where you are today, what advice might the Future You offer the Current You?
You should have expanded your business sooner.
Which resources do you rely on the most?
I rely on Facebook for networking and I count on my four favorite ACT prep books to help students.
When are you the happiest?
I’m happiest when I’m with my family with nothing to do but enjoy them. Test score release day is a close second!
Do you have a favorite quote or expression?
She said she would… so she did.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do, be, or try?
I believe that my path was purposeful. My teaching background gave me the skills I need to be successful with this business.
What are the 2-3 most important work-related purchases you've made in the last year?
My iPad and my websites.
Anything else you'd like to share with other teachers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Follow your passion— and trust your gut!
If you have any questions for Jennifer, 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 related extra teacher income article, see what Heather Brandon is up to with blogging and educational consulting.