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Great Jobs for Retired Teachers

Personal training, tutoring provide rewards for those who love to help others learn and grow

After the last school bell rings, retired teachers have a leg up. Opportunities cut a broad swath from tutoring to substitute teaching to jobs a little further afield, such as fitness training.

See also: Great Summer Jobs for Retirees

Teachers have a combination of tools in their kit that many retirees don't — solid degree credentials, expertise in a specific field and a passion for helping people learn something new.

That triple threat proved to be the ticket for Dave Kergaard, a former high school physical education and health teacher. When Kergaard, now 64, retired from his position as assistant superintendent of Kent County Public Schools on Maryland's Eastern Shore, he knew just what he wanted to do: set-up a shingle as a personal fitness coach. "I've always worked out and been involved in sports," he explains.

Dave Kergaard personal trainer

Retired teacher, Dave Kergaard, finds enjoyment working as a personal trainer after retirement. — Charlie Archambault

As a young man, his football and wrestling prowess earned him scholarships to college. And after graduating, he parlayed his bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's degree in psychology into a 30-year career in education. He kicked off a rewarding career by teaching physical education and health in public high schools and coaching high school sport squads in football, soccer, track and basketball before segueing into administrative roles.

Kergaard has had both hips replaced, but this hasn't stopped him. Today, he usually clocks in 12 hours a week as a personal trainer at Club Fitness in Rehoboth Beach, Del., near where he and his wife moved in retirement. Trainers there can pull in anywhere from $30 to $60 an hour. The work runs the gamut from nutrition counseling to designing workout regimes with weights, bikes, balls and resistance bands.

He has embraced his newfound career — helping a wide range of clients, including a 90-year-old woman who ditched her walker after gaining back her strength via the exercise regime he custom-designed for her. Kergaard also works with high school athletes and  the 55-plus crowd alike.  "Some days I use my psychology degree more than my [physical education] one," Kergaard says with a laugh.

Beyond the moderate physical demands, the real challenge for a trainer is giving undivided attention to a student, er, a trainee.

"Many people won't push as hard unless you are there with them 100 percent," Kergaard says. "I love seeing the looks on their faces when they see the change in themselves that comes from what they're learning about fitness and health. You feel their energy and see the smiles — like the ones the kids had as they came down the hallways."

Sure sounds like a day in the life of a teacher.

Here are five great jobs for retired teachers to consider. Pay ranges, which will vary based on factors such as experience and geography, are primarily derived from the U.S. Department of Labor data.

Love staying fit and inspiring others? >>

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