- The Student-Teaching Model Is Outdated: Here's How We Can Do Better - September 15, 2021
- Visualize: How Seeing What's Coming Changed My Teaching - August 16, 2021
- 10 Lessons About Teaching from My Youngest Son - June 24, 2021
- Ending the Epithet “Try-Hard” Once and for All in Classrooms - June 18, 2021
- From STEM, Let's Pivot to the BRANCHES of the Humanities - May 25, 2021
- Would Education Collapse If Teachers Stopped Working for Free? - May 20, 2021
- 10 Ways to Teach Like Ted Lasso: Part II - April 21, 2021
- 8 Tips So Your Substitute Plans Don't Suck - April 14, 2021
- 10 Ways to Teach Like Ted Lasso: Part I - March 12, 2021
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers: Habit 3 - First Things First - February 26, 2021
Let’s face a fact here – the average reader of The Educator’s Room isn’t your average teacher. These are the teacher-leaders of this profession. They work hard. When the public accuses our profession of working minimal hours, we look at the piles of awesome writings, projects, and own curricular material they’ve written on their own and ask, “Really?” They wish the $’s in their paychecks would start to catch up with the countless hours they put into this incredible, but demanding work of a teacher.
I had heard of this website before. In fact, I’d even heard of Deanna Jump, an elementary teacher who made a million dollars from the website. But I mean, c’mon, it’s really not that possible, not that easy, and not that credible. Is it?
I was better acquainted with Teachers Pay Teachers in my last interview with Melissa Seideman. As a teacher-leader in social studies, she said she was inspired to see what her lessons would do if she posted them for sale. She, too, was skeptical of the program, but a few thousand dollars later, she has dedicated her summers to bettering her products and putting them on the market.
Surely, there are plenty who are critical of the program. I’ve come across a few blogs from teachers who both disdain the idea of teachers "selling out,” that is making money off of one another, and that that teachers were using time and equipment paid for by tax dollars can be better used elsewhere.
I can agree with some of their points. Especially in my first few years, I certainly have benefited from other teachers who’ve let me beg, borrow, and steal from them outright. For example, I still use a Reggaeton mixed CD a German teacher burned for me while we shared neighboring classrooms in an inter-city school.
Let’s put face another fact here – there are countless amounts of educators who dedicate a sometimes unreasonable amount of time to their lessons for their students’ benefit. And we love to see how a new reader’s theater play, kinesthetic activity, incorporation of current events, or connection to their lives pays off. That is something any stakeholder of education – namely teachers – can and should not put a price tag on.
Why are there buyers of TPT? Well, there are teachers who would claw hand-over-feet to get their hands on transformative lessons like these. Often times at the end of the day, we go online and look for a new way to teach a lesson that – for whatever reason – we cannot creatively conjure up.
For those teachers, paying $3-10 for that prodigious lesson is worth it. They’ll be keeping it their repertoire for the rest of their career. It truly is a worthy – and small – investment that can renovate something teachers struggle to teach.
Why are there sellers on TPT? We live in an age where being a teacher seems to be tougher each year. There are increasing demands from the national, state, local, school board, and parent side of things. There are always new initiative, more kids, and less time. Health care costs are mounting. Added to that are the barely increasing, frozen, or even sometimes slashed salaries of teachers. The middle class as a whole is getting pinched, and teachers are indicative of that economic slice.
Teachers Pay Teachers offers a new approach to this age-old profession – the idea that the free market can help add money to a teacher’s depleted pocket. It adds a financial value to all that effort we put into our classrooms, our craft, and commitment to these students.
Final fact - I’m just 1 week into the TPT experiment, but I’m hopeful and supportive of it for many reasons. First, I think that my lessons are quite educational, fun, student-centered, and memorable. I believe that my Teachers Pay Teachers store can help many other teachers looking for creative ways to teach The Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, or entering writing contests. It may also help teachers inspire their students to enter the National History Day contest. In fact, I'd much rather teachers and school districts be purchasing these kid-tested, teacher-approved items from educators like me than from a textbook company can.
And, if I make a bit of money on that help, well then I’m happy about that, too.