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Teachers Pay Teachers is Changing the Way Educators Make a Living

Teachers never get a break from school-related activities even when summer arrives and the kids are at home. Many teachers prepare for the coming school year by creating lesson plans, projects, powerpoint slides, and smartboard activities. They develop ways to educate the children while hoping the lesson activities are also entertaining to the class.

Yet some teachers need help with creating these activities. Their time is valuable throughout the school year with teaching topics to the students and grading papers. The teachers aren’t finding the time or the creativity to develop these engaging lesson projects.

This is where Teachers Paying Teachers steps in.

What Is Teachers Paying Teachers?

Teachers Paying Teachers is an teacher2teacher e-commerce site where teachers can buy and sell lesson plans, projects, exams, units, smartboard activities and other types of curriculum that can be used in the classroom, according to Edtech Digest. This tech startup was invented by Paul Edelman, a former New York City public school teacher, in March 2006. He realized that an open marketplace could be beneficial to teachers who want to find original teaching material that other teachers have used in their own classrooms. The website was sold to Scholastic, but dropping sales and slow growth due to the recession almost forced the site to go under. To prevent this, Edelman offered to buy back the site from Scholastic in 2009, as the company agreed to the sale according to Pando Daily.

With over 130,000 types of curriculum-based products available, teachers can find the subject they are looking for at the available grade level and incorporate the type of activity into their classrooms. These lesson activities can cost anywhere from under $3 to over $10, with many lesson activities also offered for free, according to the Teachers Pay Teachers website. Teachers selling the activities can make a profit with a percentage of the sales going toward Teachers Paying Teachers depending on the options they choose from:

  • Basic Seller Membership: A free membership as teachers keep 60-percent of their sales profits minus 30 cents for each item sold.
  • Premium Membership: Sellers pay an annual $59.95 membership fee. They keep 85-percent of their sales profits.

Teachers have earned anywhere from a few hundred dollars to (as one kindergarten teacher has raked in) close to $700,000 selling lesson plan activities, according to Mashable Lifestyle. Teachers who are buying the lessons are getting high quality activities that can supplement their own teaching plans. They know the purchased plans will suit their classroom because it has already been perfected in other teachers’ classes before being offered on the Teachers Paying Teachers website.

Buyers in the lesson plans are not only getting perfected lesson plans, but compensation for the purchased materials. Many schools offer teachers reimbursements for the out-of-pocket expenses. To further the commerce of curriculum-sharing, Teachers Paying Teachers has rolled out new order options that allow the schools to directly purchase the activities. Most teacher activities are suited for pre-K up to 12th-grade classrooms.

Overall Reaction From The Teaching Community

There have been mixed reactions concerning the teacher2teacher commerce site. Some people are saying that all the offered education should be given away for free, according to Edtech Digest. Other critics are commenting that teachers should not be using other teachers’ plans, since this is not what taxpayers are paying them to do.

But not everyone shares these negative emotions about Teachers Paying Teachers. To overworked teachers who are living paycheck-to-paycheck just like everyone else, being able to price and sell their lesson activities to other teachers allows them to bring in a little extra cash that they need to make a living.

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