Sonny Sapien Brings the First Coffee Break of 2019

I would advise parents to always remember that they are their child’s first and most important teacher. And even when their children head off to school, the learning that they do together will never stop. This is a significantly important concept to remember because parents are the support system that students need to teach them right from wrong, to teach them that character matters, and to teach them that striving for academic success is the necessary blueprint for making a remarkable life for themselves.

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Special Educator Shari Hicks Settles the Green Chile Debate Once and for All

I want students with special needs to know that their disability doesn't define them. I want them to know that they are special because of their talents, not because of their disability. Students with disabilities need to know that their academic weaknesses are also their super powers. Many students possess problem-solving skills they have developed because of their academic challenges.

I want families to know that their children are amazing blessings who I feel honored to teach and learn from. I enjoy seeing the light go on when they understand a concept. The best feeling I get is when, on their own, my students dig deeper into a lesson and discover something that even I didn’t know before.

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Coffee Break with 2019 Golden Apple Winner Brittany Behenna Griffith

The best teachers share great ideas with each other and tweak those ideas to meet the individual needs of their students. My partner teacher has great ideas and is constantly inspiring me with her creativity, making me think and causing me to raise the bar for my students. I wouldn’t be a Golden Apple teacher if it weren’t for strong collaboration with my peers and a vision for excellence instilled by my school administrator.

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(No) Coffee Break with New Mexican Renaissance Man Joe Dan Lovato

I also owe a great deal of my who I am to my grandparents; they were critical in my upbringing. My grandfather, and “cowboy legend”, Levi Garcia didn’t have much of a formal education and worked his fingers to the bone to find great success. Although he loved what he did, and was darn good at it, he valued a formal education. He wanted his kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren to finish school and receive the education that he never had. Since I was a young man, my grandpa would always remind me that an education would allow me to work with my mind. Though he has since passed on from this life, this is where the root of hard work was instilled into me and where the constant quest for knowledge began.

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Coffee Break with Christopher Jones: A Burqueño Seeks Impact in His Hometown

Coffee for me is equally as important to my survival as water or oxygen. The first thing I do each morning is make myself a cup of coffee. I would have to say my favorite coffee drink comes from Starbucks, especially when I can enjoy it with my girls. Mocha Frappuccino with an extra shot of espresso for me please!

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Bringing a Passion for Science to the Classroom: Coffee Break with Jessica Sanders, New Mexico's 2019 Teacher of the Year

“I wanted to be just like my role models: engaging, connected, and passionate. I wanted to do for others what these fine professionals had done for me. I wanted to open the minds of my students by creating personal connections and engaging each student as an individual person and learner.”

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New Mexico Teachers: Let's Be Heard

Often when education is discussed or debated, vital and necessary voices are left out: us teachers. Who better to provide perspective on schools than those of us working with students every day? Who better to speak about teacher pay, class sizes, educational spending, and many other topics than those of us who personally grapple with these issues?

It seems as though some policy makers want teachers to use their voice, but only while we are in the classroom. I’ve seen first-hand that those days are over and the time for direct teacher voice has arrived.

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Coffee Break With Hope Morales

As a parent, I’m excited that the mindset of my children is focused on grit. This mindset is going to help them throughout their educational career and beyond. I think of the possibilities for other children with the same mindset. As a teacher, I always loved looking at data. I’m excited about our state data and those pockets of excellence throughout our state. I am hopeful that these pockets will continue to grow. The most exciting thing of all is understanding the high standards we hold for our students and knowing that more and more students are rising each year. I know firsthand how education can be life- changing and hope to see that many more of our students have more opportunities as a result.

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Summer Side Hustles for Teachers

By Joyce Wilson│Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Side "hustles" have become more popular as people realize they can easily make a little extra money to make ends meet or save away. You may have heard of the sharing economy, which allows you to make money doing things like driving for a ride-sharing service or renting out your home to tourists. These types of opportunities have grown exponentially over the past decade.

Many teachers are in a unique position for side gigs because of summer vacation, which leaves them with some rare extra time. Teachers also tend to be masters of multi-tasking, often working on many things at once. Money aside, pursuing interests outside of the classroom provides a great creative and intellectual outlet.


A side gig doesn’t have to be all about the sharing economy though. There are plenty of good-paying gigs out there that allow teachers to work for themselves and set their own hours. You might even incorporate a hobby you love into your new job, such as making jewelry or selling vintage clothing in an online shop. A helpful aspect about these part-time gigs is that you can keep them all year if you decide to.

Keep reading to find out more about side gigs that can work this summer, or any time of the year.


Become A Tutor

Tutoring is often a natural transition for teachers during summer months. Talk to parents of your students and let them know you’re available for tutoring sessions. You can even spread the word on social media. This is the kind of side hustle that permits you to set your own hours, and you may be able to do it from the comfort of your own home in some cases. Just make sure you keep your lesson plans transparent and keep communication open with your clients.

Be A Tour Guide

Museums, historical locations, and cities with high tourism rates are great places to find a summer gig that could turn into a year-round side job if you enjoy it. Put all your knowledge to good use as a tour guide, which will often allow for flexible hours and seasonal work. Just be prepared to be on your feet for several hours at a time.

Teach English Online

There are several online tutoring and teaching jobs that can help you earn quite a bit of extra cash over the summer, including teaching English as a second language. The great aspect of this job is that you can do it from home while you’re in sweats. Visit here for more information.

Freelance and Contract Work

Many teachers make great writers; not only because they’re knowledgeable about so many subjects, but because they have so many great stories to tell! If you have a flair for writing and have something to say, consider doing some freelance work.

There are plenty of blogs and online companies who are willing to pay good money for your words. Just watch out for scams and companies that promise to make you thousands of dollars in a week. Freelancing won’t make you rich, but it can certainly help pay the bills. You can also start a blog of your own, although monetizing it can take a while.


For teachers serious about making money outside the classroom, it’s important to remember to create an ideal workspace that can help you stay on-task. An uncluttered desk in a room free of distractions can be your best friend. Check out these great tips on how to make a workspace that boosts your productivity.

Finding the right side job for you can take a little time, so try to be patient. Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for you. A side gig should be both fulfilling and worth your time in order to become a success.

With a little research and a good plan, you can find a side hustle you enjoy and that will sustain you all year round.

Joyce Wilson - Retired Teacher and Co-Founder of

Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandma and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.