House need painting? Call Larry Brooks, self-employed contractor by summer, high school teacher this fall.

Want to know who announces the departure of Continental Express Flight 2818 to New York? It's Kim Friel, second grade teacher-turned-summertime airline agent.

And if one's interest tends toward helium neon lasers, talk to summer scientist Dave Myers, working at a U.S. Army research complex outside the Capital Beltway. But that's not his regular job. He'll be teaching at Eleanor Roosevelt High School this fall.

In the Washington region, many of the more than 33,000 teachers can soon report on how they spent their summer vacations: working in jobs from furniture movers to military researchers to clerks and construction workers.

For many, summer employment is a tradition that eases summer doldrums and pads pocketbooks, and more and more teachers are opting for it, national and local school officials said.

"The outside {summer} employment of teachers is at an all-time high," according to National Education Association spokesman Howard Carroll. "Like everything else, it's {meant to raise} the standard of living. Everybody's out there wanting to make more money."

"If you have a family," says Myers, who'll be paid $4,000 for 10 weeks of work at the Army's Harry Diamond Laboratories in Adelphi, "you need to have something in the summer."

Although local figures are not available on the proportion of teachers who work outside schools during the summer, the NEA estimates that nearly 20 percent of all teachers have such jobs, a figure that has doubled since 1981. Additionally, 13 percent of teachers teach summer school, and 13 percent of all teachers moonlight during the school year, the NEA said.

Wider opportunities, the teen-agers' labor shortage, and cutbacks in the regular summer programs of some school systems are among the reasons that the number of teachers in the employment pool is increasing.

Teachers union leaders say part of the problem is that contracts have significantly improved teachers' starting salaries, but veteran teachers' pay, averaging $26,000 nationally, has not increased proportionately.

When Montgomery County slashed its summer school program in June, Paula Stephan found herself without the additional income she said she had depended on for the past five years.

"I'm my own provider," said Stephan, who teaches fifth and sixth grades at William Tyler Page Elementary School in Silver Spring. "I was left up the creek without a paddle."

To tide her over, she signed up with three temporary employment agencies. "It sees me through the summer, it pays my mortgage," she said.

Some use the summer to live out career fantasies. Friel, who teaches at Rose Hill Elementary School in Fairfax, wanted to be a flight attendant, so she got a job with Continental Express.

Others seek the simplicity of low-skilled, presumably low-stress, jobs while other educators seek positions that will give them first-hand experience they can use in teaching. For some the jobs mean a chance to learn a new skill and meet new people, they said.

Oxon Hill High School English teacher Carol Williams has spent much of the summer gathering data for a community resource bank for the county's public library system.

"I just want to see what other people do," Williams said.

In some parts of the Washington area, employers have gone to school systems looking for teachers, a more mature and better educated group than the typical summer labor pool. Business councils established to promote the schools in Fairfax and Prince George's counties this year identified more than 500 jobs for teachers with local businesses.

The Harry Diamond Laboratories employs both Myers and Oxon Hill High School biology teacher Diana McCusker. Supervisor Dorothy Aldrich said getting teachers during the summer is a bonus for employers. "We get quality people," said Aldrich. "They can just step into the job."

Many teachers, including those in the District's Public/Private Partnership program, work in internships that introduce them to the world of work for which they are preparing students.

"When I teach students how to conduct an experiment, I can say to them, 'This is really the way scientists work,' " McCusker said one day recently in a fusion laboratory on the military research complex in Adelphi.

"They have things here we haven't dreamed of having in high school," Myers said. "This little gadget," he said, holding a little black box, "cost $1,500. That's more than my entire {classroom} budget."

What about teachers who choose not to work?

"Those somewhat established, go to school," explained Fairfax Education Association Director Rick Willis. "Those who've gone as far {in school} as they want to, travel. There's a variety of things they can do."

In the sciences and technology, significant numbers of science teachers have been lured out of the classroom to higher-paying jobs. And some apparently are tempted to stay when the summer is over.

"We get offered jobs all the time," McCusker said. She and Myers have put in a total of 32 years teaching in Prince George's County.

"You make a decision," she said, noting that hers is not likely to change soon. "I like to teach."