Make money without leaving home


Junior Sam Rubinstein tutors students online for $25 or $35 per hour. Over the summer, junior Megan Wang tutored at Code Ninjas. Graphic by Baeyoung Yoo

Brooke Falk, Editor-at-Large

While on a McDonald’s trip, junior Megan Wang noticed a nearby business and grew curious. After emailing the manager and expressing interest, she landed a tutoring job at Code Ninjas, a business that teaches kids coding skills. Wang gained interest in coding last year in Advanced Placement Computer Science A, and continued coding by tutoring students through Zoom this past summer.

“The hardest part for me was probably having to learn all the curriculum before … because I didn’t really know how to code in those languages before,” Wang said in a video conference.

For two courses every weekday, Wang taught five to six students how to code in JavaScript and HTML. Wang showed them how to create websites and video games, earning $10 per hour. People can apply online on the Code Ninjas website. Applicants need prior experience working with children and must be mildly knowledgeable about coding or able to quickly pick up basic concepts.

Junior Sam Rubinstein also earns money virtually. He began tutoring middle school students over a year ago with the help of a family friend who tutors kids. She referred Rubinstein to some of her clients, and his client list grew through word of mouth, Rubinstein said in a video conference.

Initially, Rubinstein charged $25 per hour, but now he charges new clients $35 per hour, while original clients still pay $25. Rubinstein has built relationships with some clients’ families, who have told him they will continue using his services until he leaves for college.

When the pandemic hit, Rubinstein decided to continue his job online, tutoring in math, Spanish, reading and writing. Rubinstein said transitioning to Zoom was tricky because he could not see students’ reactions as clearly.

“Over Zoom, their work is on their own paper and you can’t see what they’re doing, so it’s hard to fully know if they’re understanding or not,” Rubinstein said.

Rubinstein creates practice problems, and he or the student screen shares. He also writes on a whiteboard in front of his camera to explain concepts, Rubinstein said.

According to Wang, working online is something to get used to, but despite the difficulties, she is glad she was able to make money in a virtual setting.

“I thought it was really cool that I could teach all the Zoom classes from my house, and I didn’t have to actually go anywhere for work,” Wang said.