Teaching is probably one of the noblest professions one can get into. You get to shape young children at a stage in their lives when you can make the most difference.
Teaching, however, can have many challenges that can leave you feeling discouraged despite the crucial role you play in society. If you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or bored, a hobby can greatly enrich your teaching experience.
Choose your hobbies strategically so that you can improve multiple areas of your life at a go. This is especially important if you are at the beginning or the end of your education career.
The following list of teacher-friendly hobbies and interests I have collected will help you to:
- Look good on your CV: It helps to have special skills and extra-curricular activities on your resume. These can give you a leg up in an interview when you are looking for a job, a promotion, or when you want to change jobs. See The Best Hobbies for a Teacher’s Resume for more.
- Make some extra money: Money can be tight in the teaching profession so it doesn’t hurt to have a few hundred extra dollars coming in at the end of the month.
- Gain skills that will make you a better teacher: Some hobbies can provide you with skills that will help you to make teaching fun and memorable.
- Help you relax and have fun: Teaching can be stressful and you need a way to unwind after a hard day’s work. A good hobby can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
- Explore your interests and passions. Unless you make time for your interests and passions, life can feel monotonous and dull. Developing your passions is especially important as you near retirement.
- Get something to do during the long summer holidays. If you want to keep boredom at bay during the summer holidays, these teacher-friendly activities will keep you occupied.
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Before we begin, if you are having trouble finding a hobby, check out the articles below.
What are good hobbies and interests for teachers?
Here are 20 of the best hobbies for teachers.
Blogging is a hobby that can transform your life as a teacher in a big way. For example, Melyssa Griffin started her hobby blog while working as a high school teacher in 2013 and three years later, she was making over $280,000 a month from it (see highest earning bloggers).
Here’s why blogging is a great hobby for teachers.
- You can make a decent side-income. Even if you are an average blogger, you could make an extra $200-$1,000 a month by blogging part-time about what you enjoy (see how to calculate blog earnings). This beats trying to ask your boss for a pay raise.
- You can have a big impact on others. The average teacher impacts about 3,000 students in a life time. Even with a fairly small blog, you can impact roughly 10,000 people a month. So, why not share your knowledge, interests, experience, and skills with others who desperately need them?
- You can use your blog to advance your career. When you build your blog around your area of expertise, you show the world what you can offer. This can open many opportunities for collaborations, consultancies, and scholarships.
How to get started with blogging
If you are interested in starting a successful blog, these resources that will teach you everything you need to know about blogging.
- How to start a profitable Teacher Blog (step by step)
- A quickstart guide to setting up your blog
- Blogging 101: A free blogging course for beginners
- 105+ blogging tips for new bloggers
2. YouTube or TikTok
Video isn’t just for millennials or Gen Z. As with blogging, there are a lot of opportunities that you can leverage with video. If blogging is not for you, consider starting a YouTube or TikTok channel. Video can help you to:
- Spread your teaching beyond the classroom. If you are passionate about teaching and are good at it, why restrict your talents to the classroom?
- You can make some money. If your channel becomes eligible for monetization, you can start to make a bit of money every month. Not bad considering that you are spending one or two hours working on something you enjoy.
- Improve your communication skills. As a teacher, you are probably quite good at communication already, but YouTube is a whole different ball game. If you have any deficiencies in your communication style, you will quickly learn about them.
To start with video, you can simply use your phone to record your lessons and upload them to YouTube or TikTok. Just ensure that you have a decent microphone.
The simple things in life tend to give the most joy. Gardening certainly falls in this category. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from gardening.
- It is a great stress buster. Working outside with your hands can be quite therapeutic. It helps you to become more mindful and present in your life.
- You can grow healthy food. Good organic vegetables can be expensive or difficult to get. With a bit of time invested, you can eat healthy while saving a ton of cash.
- It is an activity you can share with your students. Gardening can help your students appreciate the simpler things in life. It can also help them to develop a sense of pride from successfully growing plants.
Even if you don’t have space for gardening, you can do urban gardening or potted gardens. Alternatively, you can volunteer to help someone that has a garden in exchange for some of the produce.
Journaling is an underrated activity that can make you a much better teacher. Journaling helps you to:
- Be more observant and mindful of things that are happening. For example, you can note down when your students are having difficulties understanding a concept. This can help you come up with a strategy to teach it better.
- Capture ideas before you forget them. Imagine how creative you can be if you can capture at least 50% of ideas that come to you every day.
- Sort through difficult situations and emotions that come up in the course of your teaching.
The easiest way to get started with journaling is to use pen and paper. You can also journal online using a blog.
Reading is probably one of the most important things a teacher can do. It comes with many benefits.
- It helps you to keep up with new knowledge in your field and related fields. When you become a voracious reader, you greatly diminish the possibility of teaching your students wrong or outdated information.
- It exercises the brain. When you get exposed to new information, your brain creates new pathways linking the new information to what you already know. This can greatly boost your creative powers.
- It can help you to relax and unwind after a hard day. With a good fiction book, you can detach from the realities of everyday life and lose yourself in a fantasy world.
These days, there is no excuse for not reading. Even if you don’t have time to read, you can listen to audiobooks as you do something else. There are many affordable services like Audible where you can get a wide variety of audiobooks.
Experts recommend getting 10,000 steps a day to remain healthy. How many steps do you take in a day? If you don’t know, get yourself a Fitbit, or a step-counting app for your phone.
A walking routine can help you escape many of the physical ills that are brought about by our modern lifestyle. The great thing about walking it is free and easy to stick with. Walking has some incredible health benefits such as:
- It can help you to lose weight if done consistently.
- It can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- It can help you to sleep better.
- It can strengthen your muscles and bones, making you less susceptible to injuries.
Being good at a particular sport can enrich your teaching career in various ways. For example:
- Sports will open up opportunities to earn some extra money as a coach. And if you do a great job, other schools will compete to hire you.
- Sports will help keep you fit. If you get a chance to teach a particular sport, you can get your workouts done in school.
- Sports can help you bond better with your students. This can open up opportunities for you to be a mentor or a counselor.
Some of the popular sports that you can consider learning or getting good at include: Swimming, Basketball, Athletics, Gymnastics, and Soccer.
When is the last time you volunteered to do something for others? While you may argue that you don’t have time, you could be missing out on some important benefits. Volunteering:
- Sets a good example for your students. If 20% of your students follow your lead and start volunteering for things that are important to them, the world can be a much better place.
- Helps you make connections. When you volunteer, you meet a diverse group of people and get to exchange ideas. You never know what kind of opportunities can arise from such interactions.
- Looks good on your resume. Don’t be shy about putting your volunteer activities on your CV, after all, it shows that you are a multi-dimensional kind of person.
You can volunteer in soup kitchens, as an EMT, firefighter, or cleaner.
9. Magic Tricks
Magic tricks can be a great teaching aid especially if you teach younger children in kindergarten or elementary school. You can use magic tricks to:
- Hold your student’s attention, especially when boredom sets in.
- Boost engagement and interaction. This can be especially helpful with shy or quiet kids.
- Make lessons memorable. Your magic tricks may be what they remember long after they graduate.
- Teach scientific concepts. Many scientific concepts may intersect with magic or be used to enhance magic. Therefore, an interest in magic may translate to an interest in science.
You can start with easy tricks such as card or coin tricks and then move on to more complicated tricks.
Dancing is a great hobby even if you think you are terrible at it. Plus you can quickly get better at dancing if you work at it. Dancing has the following awesome benefits.
- It can help keep you fit. If you find it difficult to stick with the popular fitness activities like running, try dancing. It is fun, easy to stick to, and doesn’t require any special equipment.
- It can help with engagement in class. Dancing in class can help liven things up, especially when the kids start to lose concentration.
- It can help with socializing. Dancing is great for making new friends or dating. It can also come in handy during school social events such as teacher’s day or during team-building events.
Some of the dances you can try out are Zumba, Hip-hop, Breakdance, Tango, or Tap dance. You can take a class or learn online.
Learning to cook well is quickly becoming a necessary skill. Eating out is super expensive and take-out is loaded with junk that will make you fat and deprive you of energy. With cooking:
- You can learn to make delicious food at a fraction of the cost of restaurant food. You save a lot of money by cooking at home.
- You learn to make healthy food that will nourish your body.
- You can exercise your creativity. You can explore food from different cultures and combine them to create your own unique recipes.
If you look at cooking as an activity that will boost your health and creativity (and not a chore), you will make more effort to create time for it, even if you are busy.
Listening to music is great, but you can take music to a whole new level by learning how to make it. Making music will help you to bring joy to people or soothe them when things are tough. Music has many other benefits.
- Music is fun. It is something you can do with or for your friends. Making music is a skill that can greatly boost your social life.
- You can make some extra cash. There are endless ways to make some money with music such as teaching, busking, DJing, or selling beats.
- You get a deeper appreciation for music when you try and make it yourself. This can help you to enjoy music in a whole new way.
To get started with music, choose one aspect that you may find interesting. Some ideas include: Learning to DJ, playing a musical instrument, making beats, and acapella singing.
Taking up a craft will help you to re-discover your creative side. Crafts are lots of fun and have many benefits. For example, crafts are great for:
- Making money. You can sell your crafts in marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon Handmade. Alternatively, you can create an online shop using Shopify.
- Achieving mastery. Mastering a craft, especially a difficult one, will help you to develop a deep respect for yourself. Plus you get to wow anyone you meet.
- Keeping your brain sharp. As you grow older, you need to keep your brain active by learning new skills. As the saying goes, use it or lose it.
There are numerous crafts you can take up including pottery, sculpture, knitting, sewing, glass blowing, and origami among many others.
Further reading: Arts and Crafts are often lumped together but it is important to distinguish between the two because it can help you choose a path that suits your skills and interests. See my article on the difference between arts and crafts for more.
14. Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a small, cheap, single-board computer that can be used to build all kinds of projects. A whole ecosystem of projects has grown around it. A Raspberry Pi hobby can help you to:
- Teach STEM subjects or topics. It can provide you with a fun way to teach difficult technical and scientific concepts.
- Tap into your imagination. Once you learn the basics of creating Raspberry Pi projects, you can take your creativity in many different directions.
- Look smarter. You can brag to your friends about how you build robots, home security systems, or other cool projects.
Even if you are not a geek or a techy person, you can create many interesting things by following instructions from other people’s projects (much like assembling IKEA furniture).
Photography is a hobby that you can easily pick up; all you need is a relatively decent camera. Learning how to take memorable photos is certainly beneficial.
- You can earn some extra money photographing school events, graduations, birthday parties, or weddings.
- You can capture precious moments. You don’t want to look at your old photos and cringe at the thought of showing them to anyone else.
- It can give you an excuse to travel. There are plenty of places with unique natural or cultural features that you can explore through photography.
Photography is a skill that improves with practice. Pick one kind of photography (wedding, portrait, wildlife, underwater, drone) and go for it.
If you are one of those lucky teachers that get long summer breaks, traveling can be a great hobby to pick up. Traveling is a great hobby because:
- It helps you to have an appreciation for other places and cultures.
- It creates wonderful memories. Find ways to travel while you are still young so that you can reminisce when you are older.
- It can help you create more meaningful relationships with people you travel with whether it is your family, friends, or students.
To get started with traveling, make a list of all the places you have always wanted to visit. If money is tight, choose places that are close to you or start with cheap destinations. Alternatively, you can organize school trips to get group discounts.
As a teacher, you are either sitting too much or standing too long. This can lead to imbalances in your muscles which can lead to neck, back, or knee pain. Yoga can help you to stretch those tight muscles while strengthening weak muscles. Try Yoga if you:
- Have unexplained muscle or joint pains (make sure you consult your doctor first).
- You have a stressful work schedule. Yoga can help calm you down.
- You want to improve your level of fitness.
You can learn Yoga from YouTube or take a dedicated online or offline class.
18. Adult coloring
Coloring is generally viewed as an activity for kids but it is an excellent stress buster.
- It is an easy way to start exercising your creative muscles. There are numerous patterns you can follow to create great artwork.
- If you are stressed, coloring can put you into a state of flow enabling you to detach from your thoughts for a little while.
- It can help you to be more mindful and focus on the present.
19. DIY (Do It Yourself)
You are probably paying for repair jobs that you could easily do yourself with a bit of training. Save yourself some money and learn basic DIY skills.
Some of the repairs are so simple that you will wonder why you ever paid someone to do them. The benefits of picking a DIY hobby extend beyond saving money.
- You can use it as a chance to bond with your spouse or your kids.
- You can exercise your creativity.
- You can use it as a way to relax and forget the stresses of the day.
Look around your house and see what needs to get fixed (leaky taps, drab walls, torn clothes). This will give you a list of DIY ideas you can start with.
For more ideas on DIY projects you can do, check out my article on the best DIY hobbies. In the article, I also recommend some good courses to get you started on your journey.
Learning a new language can open up new opportunities in your teaching career. For example:
- It can give you a leg up when opportunities for exchange programs come up.
- You can make a bit of extra money teaching languages online.
- It will make you more tolerant of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. There is so much to learn from others if you are willing to explore their languages and cultures.
- It can enhance your traveling experience. This is great if you intend to travel as a hobby.
Some of the popular languages you can learn are English (if you are not a native speaker), Spanish and French.
Teaching can be a hectic and under-appreciated job; however, with a bit of creativity, you can enhance your quality of life with carefully selected hobbies.
Even if you feel like you have no time, try and pick one or two hobbies from this list to try out every month. Once you get one that you like, stick with it.
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