You can teach physics as an instructor or lecturer both within and outside the department. Senior graduate students (post-comprehensive exam) can teach an introductory physics course over the summer. Below is a message from Professor Robinett sent in Fall 2018:
“Each Summer, the Physics Department offers five of our intro-level (21x and 25x) courses over an extended 9-week period. These classes are not nearly as large as our Fall and Spring offerings, with lecture sizes ranging from 30-60 in most cases. We often have opportunities for ‘instructor’ type positions available for senior graduate students (and sometimes postdocs) to cover these courses and this is the first email I’ll be sending out asking for ‘expressions of interest’ from our current graduate students to see who might be interested in taking on such positions.
Some of our recent Ph. D. graduates have reported back that the experience of having done this was beneficial in getting junior faculty positions (most often at smaller, teaching focused) universities. Some aspects of such a position include:
- ‘Instructors’ in these courses would be responsible for delivering the lectures, having office hours, helping select homework, exam, and possibly recitation and lab activities.
- For each course for which we need coverage, there are two 75 minute lectures per week. The courses for the Summer 2019 term that we are looking for ‘instructors’ are PHYS 211, PHYS 212, PHYS 213/214 (one instructor does both, in sequence), and PHYS 251.
- The instructional period for all of our summer courses is Monday, June 10th – Friday, August 9th (classes end on Wednesday, August 7th, but there is a study day on Thursday, August 8th, and final exams on Friday, August 9th).
- PHYS 213/214 are two ‘half-term’ courses, taught ‘back-to-back’ over the same dates as above and are taught by the same instructor
- Members of our Introductory Course Committee (ICC staff) are in place to provide administrative support during the entire summer period (and advice on how best to prepare beforehand)
- The pay for such an assignment is $4,000
- In order to make sure that taking on such responsibilities does not negatively impact a students research progress, we ask that anyone interested in applying for such duties:
- have passed their comprehensive exam (for graduate students)
- and receive permission/approval from their research mentor/postdoctoral mentor”
Outside the Department of Physics, you might be able to find positions at psu.jobs (no .edu or anything). For example, each year since 2016 (3 years as of the time of this writing) the Department of Engineering has hired physics graduate students as instructors and facilitators (like a secondary instructor or all-class study session leader) for its Jump Start summer program. Another example is the Upward Bound program, where applicants from many STEM disciplines including physics can submit a proposed curriculum to engage K-12 students in science. Positions like these are usually also shared by the department to the graduate student listserv.