The SCSSA is interested in starting a member-run blog network devoted to issues in teaching Social Studies. This post comes from Brent Pillsbury, who argues teachers know better than publishers when it comes to distributing classroom lessons that work and they should be compensated for these efforts. Please post any comments below. Remember we need to model civil discourse for our students.
Two years ago, I watched a video about a teacher named Deanna Jump who had made 1 million dollars on Teachers Pay Teachers. I thought to myself, if she can do it, why can’t I? That thought began a journey that would radically change my family’s life. In 1995, I was hired at a local high school to teach World History, US History and coach tennis. Before long, as is the case with many new teachers, I was overworked and not making enough money to pay the bills of our growing three-child family. I was coaching private lessons on the weekend and selling stuff on eBay. I decided I needed to do something different because the enrollment numbers at my school were just not there for me to make even more money coaching or teaching special programs.
So in March of 2014, I began to work on my TPT store, slowly adding products and using the software I needed to make things sell. Now, just two years later, I have over 500 products that help new teachers and veteran teachers alike, including lessons and units and even an entire year’s worth of World History curriculum. I think selling on TPT goes much deeper than just creating products for money. Doing this is part of my mission to help young teachers spend more time with their families and friends.
It’s important to remember, though, that posting on TPT isn’t just taking an old lesson and throwing it up on the site, positive it will quickly sell. I put hundreds of hours of work into my store and really feel strongly about making quality products available to others. As with anything, you need to put your heart and soul into it or it will not help you or anyone else. I typically spend at least one night on the weekend and 2-3 hours a day during most of the summer working on lessons or fixing cover art.
TPT may not seem like a full-time or even part-time gig until you try to leave. Questions and comments arrive at all hours of the day and require time and effort to respond to. Now in my second year on TPT, I think I have settled into a nice groove and almost everyone I have met on the site has been incredible. Teachers are smart and resourceful and have to pay their bills like everyone else. Having another option to make money is so nice and has really saved me in a pinch. I am really looking forward to the second half of the year and I have been really happy buying and creating for teacherspayteachers.com
If you have any questions feel free to email me or check out my store or blog.