School teachers – you work hard! And since you’re spending so much time working not only in school but also outside of school, grading high school or school papers and planning lessons, it’s important to have a hobby that gives you a break.
The following 15 hobbies for teachers give you lots of options for different hobby styles in your free time, like creative, active, or social hobbies.
Read more to learn which new hobby resonates the most with you and your classroom management, or try out a few to see which is your favorite. You’ll find some unique ideas on this list too that might even make you a better teacher regardless of if you are a high school or elementary teacher. Let’s get started looking at different kinds of hobbies and leisure activities!
15 Hobbies For Teachers You Can Start Right Now!
1. Jigsaw Puzzles
One of the first teacher hobbies is jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles can range from very easy kids puzzles to adult boxes of 500 to 1000 pieces (or more) where you slowly piece together a beautiful picture of a landscape, portrait, object, or anything else.
Anyone can do a jigsaw puzzle – you just need time and patience to complete it, and some space where you can place the puzzle without packing it up until it is complete.
Doing Jigsaw puzzles is a great hobby for teachers to with the personal interest to unwind and focus on something simple during the school year. This is especially helpful for teachers who handle lots of students and lesson plans and need a break. All you need to get started with this relaxing hobby is a puzzle (no social media required!) – you can find some here. Quick learners will enjoy this!
Highly Rated Course: Create and sell coloring books, sudokus & puzzles on Amazon (Udemy)
2. Adult Coloring
Next on my list is adult coloring, which is an incredibly rewarding and relaxing hobby that allows you to create stunning pieces of art while potentially improving your mental health.
This is another great hobby for teachers that is super simple and accessible for all people to start. All you need is pencils, markers, or paints, and to choose a book that looks interesting. There are even iPad and trending smartphone apps for doing that same in your pursuit of self-care!
To get started, there are a lot of books to try – from mandala patterns to landscapes or scenes from books or movies that you may like to help your work/life balance.
Try A Digital Course: Illustrator: Coloring Artwork (LinkedIn Learning)
A level up from the coloring book hobby is painting, which is another great relaxing and creative hobby for teachers. You can actually start with painting-by-numbers as a way to get comfortable using paint if you haven’t done so much painting before.
All you need is a few art materials – basic paints, a canvas, or art paper, and brushes. Acrylic paint is the easiest to start with, and then you could progress to watercolor or oil painting, which requires a little more skill. To learn more, check out my guide here on oil painting classes!
Bestseller: How To Paint From Beginner to Master (Udemy)
4. Digital Art
If you are a little more tech-savvy, but also want a creative hobby, try out digital art as your way to relax in your downtime away from school. Digital art is where you create graphic imagery and artwork with a digital app or device.
You could start out learning how to use art programs on your laptop, like adobe illustrator or photoshop, and later progress to using a device like a Wacom tablet for handheld creating.
Top Course: Digital Background Painting for Animation (Domestika)
If you already love capturing moments and you find yourself taking a lot of iPhone pictures, then consider taking up photography as a hobby.
Not only will you be able to take stunning photos, but you will also learn the art behind photography such as composition, leading lines, storytelling, technical skills, developing, editing, and tons more!
To begin, you can enroll in a photography course (in person or online) to get the most out of your hobby.
Bestseller: Professional Photography For Instagram (Domestika)
Next on my list of hobbies for teachers is embroidery, which is where the fabric or other materials are decorated using a needle to apply yarn, or thread, in intricate patterns and details.
Attention to detail and the ability to focus for a long period of time are needed to take up embroidery as a hobby, as it requires patience to master the skill and to work on the pieces. You will also have the ability to create art pieces, blankets, fashion clothing, and tons more!
Top Rated Course: Painting with Thread: Modern Embroidery for Beginners (Skillshare)
Baking isn’t just a relaxing and creative hobby, it also gives you a tasty result from your efforts! Not to mention you’ll get to enjoy your baked goods or share them with your loved ones.
Baking doesn’t require a certain skill level – especially when you start out with simple, easy-to-follow recipes. All you need is an oven, some simple baking tools, and basic ingredients in your kitchen.
Top Instructor: Apollonia Poilâne Teaches Bread Baking (Masterclass)
Chess is a two-player board game based on highly skilled strategy. On a checkerboard, players move around pieces that each have their own rules of action and consequences, with the goal of checkmating your opponent.
Though chess requires skill and the ability to strategize, Chess is a surprisingly easy game to learn and is a great challenge for those who like to tackle mental obstacles.
For hobbyists who get very good at chess, there are meet-ups and competitions for them to take part in, which adds some more fun to the hobby. For beginners learning how chess works, take a look at this YouTube channel.
Learn From A Grandmaster: Gary Kasparov Teaches Chess (Masterclass)
As one of the more exciting hobbies for teachers, traveling is different from the daily hobbies that teachers can do after school. Travel takes planning and time, which can also be seen as part of the enjoyment of the hobby.
You’ll need transport (like a car) and to save up some money (for longer travel) as you plan little getaways on the weekend to explore new places, and then longer vacations to different destinations around the world.
Travel enthusiasts love learning about different places around the world to discover where they want to go, and Lonely Planet is the best resource for travel guides.
Highest Rated: Full Guide to TRAVEL Hacking: Cheap, Smart & Fun Travel (Udemy)
10. Book Club
Books clubs are a great hobby for teachers to connect with others and to make new friends or strengthen their friendships. Essentially, all people read the same book and then speak about the book weekly, or fortnightly.
One thing that many teachers have to deal with is spending most of their time with children, or teens, rather than adults their age with common interests, so this is perfect for all teachers who work with young kids especially.
All you need to do to start is to choose a book and get some friends to join and typically works best with more than three people. Here’s a helpful blog about starting a book club!
Back to Basics: Reading: How To Read A Book! (Skillshare)
Teachers spend a great deal of time indoors, so getting outside in their spare time to do some gardening is a great way to do some light exercise, and spend time in the sun breathing in the fresh air.
To get started, you can choose to plant flowers, or vegetables (or both!) Take a look at the following guide for beginner vegetable gardeners here and can also see my guide on the top online gardening courses!
Top Course: Ron Finley Teaches Gardening (Masterclass)
We also have some more active exercise-based hobbies for teachers, with dancing being an easy and accessible one to begin.
You can learn new moves, dance styles, routines, and more by taking online dance classes or in-person classes at a local studio. All you need to get started is an open mind! Having some rhythm will be helpful too.
Sample some online dance classes if you’re a little nervous about signing up to your local studio, and find a style that is fun for you! Take a look at some online dances classes to get you inspired!
New Course: Learn Country Swing Dancing for Beginners (Udemy)
Running is an easy active hobby in terms of what you need to get started. Everyone who is able to walk can go out and run, and you don’t even need to leave the house if you have a treadmill.
It is nice to get outdoors, however, as teachers are generally inside a lot. Start simple, if you don’t have the fitness yet, and you’ll soon build up the fitness to be able to run for longer and longer.
If you need some inspiration to get out and run, set yourself a milestone, like 3km, then 5km, then 10km, and maybe even a marathon! This YouTube channel is super inspiring and also helpful for beginners.
Free Guide: How to Start Running: 9 Tips on Running for Beginners (Masterclass)
Teachers can get in shape, whilst also having some social time (with someone other than their students) by playing tennis as a hobby. This sport requires a tennis court, racquets, and a ball. You hit the ball over the net to the opponent, with the goal to get the most points.
If you haven’t played before, you’ll need some hand-eye coordination. You can learn this with practice, or taking a few lessons, and then all you need is to hire a court and a friend to play. You can also play doubles if you have three more willing friends.
Learning the right technique will help you greatly with picking up this hobby, and you can get some tips here.
Star Instructor: Serena Williams Teaches Tennis (Masterclass)
Swimming is a great sport for teachers as this hobby gets you in a very different environment from being inside a classroom. You can swim at an outdoor pool, at the beach, in a local indoor pool, or even a local lake or river!
If you don’t yet know how to swim, that’s ok! There are adult classes available at your local swimming pool. If you know how to swim and want to make it a hobby, start going after or before school a few days a week and go a little longer each time.
To avoid injury and to make your swimming enjoyable and efficient, it’s good to know how to perform the strokes properly. Learn some swimming tips here.
Free Course: Learn To Swim The Basics Of Freestyle Swimming (Udemy)
More Hobbies For Teachers
Maybe you’re not looking to relax but rather find a hobby that’s more social where you can meet new people over the age of 7?
Or perhaps you’re teaching from home and need an indoor hobby you can hop right into once you turn off zoom?
Or maybe you’re tired from thinking all day and just want a tried and true popular hobby?
Regardless, we hope you find something that lights you up. You deserve it.