I used to agree with this guy: http://mattbgomez.com/i-dont-like-tpt/, except add to that my biggest reason:
Why can’t these teachers just share??
I figured that we all work so hard for our money. We are under-appreciated and over-worked, but we love our jobs. I was that person pinning ideas like crazy, and spending time and money to bring these into my classroom. On top of that, I was constantly learning new things and having my own ideas. I downloaded a Teachers Pay Teachers freebie now and then. I appreciated that “THOSE PEOPLE” were at least willing to share a little with those of us struggling to stay afloat with bills, costs of raising children, etc. I actually found myself angry with all those greedy teachers SELLING their stuff to the rest of us.
I also agreed with Matt:
- The things I need are specific to my kids– Even when I found things, they sometimes weren’t always just how I wanted, with the images I would have chosen, or worded the way I might.
- I work hard for my money and want to get use out of things- Things are changing so fast, I find myself changing things year after year. What kind of budget would that be???
- Things don’t need to be cutesy– No kindergartener has ever complained about my boring papers (at least not to my face anyway)
- I didn’t agree with the clip art bit- I like clip art (real images are great for in color and projected, but not for most printed materials). I too, have started going to find images with Creative Commons licenses.
So you are wondering, what changed my mind?? I believe in being totally honest with you since you are taking the time to read my opinion and we are becoming friends here (right?). So here is the story and what I have learned since then:
My friend posted some math resources on Teachers Pay Teachers that he and his team had worked on. They started selling right away and my kindergarten team thought, let’s do the same. Well, life got in the way and we never got around it last year. Fast forward to this summer and he mentioned that he has made a significant amount of money on these lessons and they are still selling! So greed, it was greed that first changed my mind. My teammate and I decided we wanted to get our lessons in shape and post them. I started my usual frenzy of research. Just like when I joined Twitter and started this blog, I wanted to do it right from the beginning. My first weekend I rarely left the computer and began pumping out products as I tried new things and here is what I learned:
- There are lots of things that would work well for my kids and for lots of others– My focus has been on making things that save me time and help my kindergarteners be more independent. I can imagine that other people want that too. What teacher doesn’t want to save time? Who doesn’t want less interruptions from students? So, I am making things that will work for my students and could, quite possibly work for lots of others too! I may laminate and print things off for many years, but maybe not every year. I use them, when my kids need them and I make that determination.
- You don’t necessarily make loads of money to roll around in– I am still working on it, but as of today I haven’t sold anything. My freebies have had a modest number of downloads and I have like 4 followers. So I don’t believe the majority of these “greedy” teachers are millionaires just sitting at home pumping out resources and no longer needing to work. They are just like me, and want to get a little compensation for that extra time (hours upon hours) we spend outside of school making things for our students to use and be successful with.
- Things don’t need to be cutesy, but it makes me excited and it is so easy!- Through my Teachers Pay Teachers research, I have already learned things to make my life easier. Did you know that it is a million times easier to make worksheets and activities in PowerPoint than in Word?? It has blown my mind! It is also easy to make things that are cute or not cute, so you can use what works for you. I think the majority of teachers aren’t buying things for the cuteness. They (we) buy things that are great for learning and happen to be cute sometimes. I have spent some money on mostly borders and fonts so far, and they make it a little more fun to look at and maybe stand out a bit. The cuteness does not take away from a great resource. I will admit, there is some marketing involved and that is nothing to be ashamed of!
- It has motivated me to follow-through with ideas I have had for a while and share them with others!– I have been meaning to add QR codes to my read and response sheets all year. We had the same question/prompt all year at this center and that was not helping students at all. My new PowerPoint trick helped me make a variety, add the codes, and make them all into a simple to find PDF! I can’t wait for that center this year and it has saved me so much time! I did the same with Read and Write the Room! I have saved myself time in the long run and added just a touch of cuteness to my classroom.
Being a Teachers Pay Teachers seller has already helped me in my teaching and I believe it will continue to do so, even if I never make a penny (although I hope for a penny or two)! So I will now be the one who is quick to defend Teachers Pay Teachers and will be trying not to spend my pennies on more quality products my fellow sellers have created!
Note: I am still focusing on making this blog a place to share ideas, tutorials, good teaching practices and more. This will not turn into posts that only have the goal of selling my products. However, when my products relate, I will post links for those and freebies too! So, please take some time to visit my store and I would be grateful for any followers as well! Keep an open mind and you may find what you are looking for.