If you could have outside help with school stuff...what would it be?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SouthernBuckeye, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Jul 18, 2014

    Hi all,

    Maybe you guys remember me? I left teaching last December after the way they were treating teachers in NC got to be way too ridiculous. I managed to find a different job in January with a small startup where I get to work entirely from home.

    However, I've been thinking about how busy teachers are and I've been trying to come up with niche ideas where I could help, as an extra pair of hands, with my own small business.

    I was a special ed teacher, so I thought about a service for IEP consulting or even just taking care of small things like scheduling the meetings/printing invitations and mailing them. But then on the other side of that, there are confidentiality restrictions and principals probably would not let their teachers pay for a service that does this because obviously I'd need the parent and student names and their contact info as well as information like the annual review due date to be sure the meeting is scheduled before that. I keep thinking about all the hours that would save people. In the years I did special ed, there was never an assistant available who had time to take care things like that but I would willingly pay a flat fee to have that taken care of for the entire school year just to get it off my plate.

    IEP consulting won't work for me--if we were going to stay in NC it might, since I'm familiar with their statewide system for IEP's, but we are moving to Florida, so if I was going to get into that I'd need to work in Florida for a few years to build up some contacts and familiarity with how they do their process. I would then offer my services to parents - where I'd attend IEP meetings with the parent as an advocate on their side and be generally available for questions. Confidentiality would be less of an issue if it's the parents hiring me, rather than the teacher or the school district.

    I also thought about creating a field trip planning service: teachers send me the dates and locations of their field trips. I call the location and make the group reservation and even call back to confirm everything the day before the trip. I create an itinerary that goes to the teacher for the day, and create the pre- and post- lesson plans aligned with Common Core (or whatever state standards are in place). This one seems more doable as no confidential information has to change hands. I know how tedious field trip planning can be! Plan options could be an annual single subscription (1 teacher), school wide (2-50 teachers or 50-100 teachers depending on school size), or district wide (250+ teachers).

    I haven't considered a lesson plan writing service - I feel like those are already ubiquitous and especially because there are so many free resources already.

    But ideally, whatever I come up with I'd like to try from a home office at first, and grow from there...can you guys tell me anything else you would pay a former teacher to do that would make your classroom run more smoothly and probably wouldn't be flagged by a principal?
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Unfortunately, I don't think many teachers would pay for the types of services you mentioned. I get parent and teammate help with field trips (and the places we go usually have an ed consultant who offers lesson ideas), and IEP info is way too confidential.
    Also, my district has a paid parent mentor for parents with special needs children.

    Perhaps you could write things and sell them on TPT?
     
  4. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Nah, I'm not interested in TPT. I am looking for a business idea where I could actually make money, not like $2.00 here and there for worksheets lol.
     
  5. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I absolutely hate writing emergency sub plans b/c we can't just give the kids packets of worksheets. They have to be actual, real work, not busy work. I would love a self contained box of like 2 weeks of emergency sub plans I could leave on my desk. Like it has read-a-louds, 30 copies of any handouts, etc. All I'd have to add are crayons, pencils and tell the kids to use their journals.

    I would also pay for ready made reading/math centers that align with common core.
     
  6. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Yes!!! I hated sub plans too. We had to submit 2 weeks worth to our principal 4 times a year because she wanted them aligned with what we were currently doing.

    On another note going back to the IEP help idea with just admin side of it (scheduling, mailing invites): what if I did a signed NDA which I gave to the school administration? My current job (which has nothing to do with education) had me sign an NDA because my clients have me work on a lot of tasks that deal with personal information. This increases the trust of our clients because they know all their information is safe with us. Hmm.

    I'm obviously just brainstorming. :D
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I don't know what an NDA is, but I am familiar with ESE in Florida. Most of the services you want to offer are already completed by paid district personnel. Also, I agree that confidentiality would prohibit an outside source from being involved.

    I love your intentions and wish I could find something like that to do at home!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have a friend who makes beaucoup on TPT...she's one of the top sellers in NJ.:thumb:

    I can't think of any services I'd spend my money on to outsource. Going the advocate route and marketing yourself to parents might be a better route.
     
  9. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I second the centers thing. If someone designed different centers that went with TEKS( Texas Standards) I would definitely by it to save myself some time. All of this printing, laminating, and cutting, is getting on my last nerve lol
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Good luck!
     
  11. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Just trying to help!
     
  12. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Jul 18, 2014

    NDA = Non-Disclosure Agreement. Meaning if I were to breach confidentiality and tell other people my client's names, credit card numbers, addresses, employers, etc. I would be held legally liable with some not-so-fun consequences. ;)
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 18, 2014

    I've always said I would pay someone to set up my room for me while we are in meetings at the beginning of the year. We pack everything up so they can wax the floors and then it literally takes me about 2 days to put up all the bulletin boards and unpack all my tubs again. Unfortunately that would only be the beginning and end of the year, but if you were offering a number of different services.....
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    There's not really much I'd pay for. Most of the things I dislike doing are still things that I have to do.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :thumb: and undoubtedly part of our job descriptions!

    Having a hard time imagining teachers who are scraping by with their salaries, buying supplies for their classrooms, paying more into pensions and healthcare would be willing to part with too many of their hard won dollars to have an outside source to do random, piecemeal tasks.:2cents::sorry:
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't pay for any type of outsourcing.

    I teach an uncommon subject, so the odds of anyone being able to write even the most generic sub plans for me are pretty slim. Honestly, having an outsourcing company do anything related to my subject area would be out of the question.

    The thing that I could use help on is setting up a more effective (for me) system for documenting student behaviors and parent contact. I've researched all sorts of different documentation systems, but all of them fall short for one reason or another. Even though I'm struggling with this, I still can't imagine paying someone to do this for me. It just seems like a big waste of money.
     
  17. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    What if there was an Android or Apple store app for something like this? If it was a paid app, but reasonable in cost ($10 or $15), this would be an excellent idea.

    e: thanks for all your input everyone. I know (having been a teacher) that the pay isn't what we deserve and that we don't want to pay for extra stuff all the time.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have downloaded other (free) apps for the classroom, but I find that I just don't use them. I don't keep my phone out during class, so I would only be able to access the apps after class. For documentation purposes, that wouldn't work for me.

    If I had access to an iPad or something during class, I might be more open to the idea. I probably wouldn't want to pay more than about 6 bucks for it, though.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Grading services is the only thing I can think of, but it would be tricky. It would probably be most useful on time-consuming things like essays, but it would be nice if a rubric was given to have someone use it to grade, and even check for plagiarism.

    That said, I probably wouldn't pay for anything either because I'm cheap. Teachers aren't the best demographic to market much to, because we tend to be penny pinchers.
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Classcharts makes pretty good free behavior management and communication systems, but the best way to access it would be an iPad during class.
     
  21. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    ESE advocates are reasonably popular in FL. They are paid, by the parent, to attend meetings, review documents, etc. something to consider.
     
  22. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I wouldn't outsource anything, but I am always willing to pay for quality resources made by experience teachers. I had to chuckle at your TPT comment. I think you would be surprised if you knew the potential of how much income it can bring in. Give it a try.
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Our director of Special Ed doesn't usually have help. She hired someone for a couple of weeks to help her get caught up on some things. I don't know what the person did, more of a secretary type of position.
     

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