Teachers Pay Teachers

I have long had mixed feelings about teacher lesson-selling sites. I strongly believe that when a teacher has a good idea, it is in their (and every student's) best interest to share it. When one of us finds something that is effective with kids, it's almost selfish not to share that (my belief - doesn't have to be yours). :) This is why I am always more than willing to provide you guys with any resources that you need. I already try my best to post my lesson resources, strategies, samples, and sequencing in every post that I make.. but I am also more than willing to send you my powerpoints or offer my support in any other way.
We are often the only teacher of our kind in our schools; we don't have the same kind of support that grade-level teachers can find. This is why I feel that it is important to support each other and strengthen our profession by working as a global community of art educators.
On the other hand, as a single parent (when I started my store) and extremely involved art teacher (insert every other job we don't get paid for here that consumes our every other minute), I also understand the financial struggle that many of us incur. This is why I created my shop on the Teachers pay Teachers.

My shop is filled with resources that I have crafted specifically for classroom teachers (feel free to tell your teacher-friends) and for art teachers.
If you are in a position that you are able to or would like to purchase items from my shop I would be so tremendously grateful; but if you are not please know that supporting my colleagues in their teaching endeavors will forever be my first and foremost priority.

Click here to visit my shop!

5 comments:

  1. I hope you don't mind me asking but what software do you use for your bundles and resources on TpT? I love your store. It is great to see success on that sight from art teachers.

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    1. I don't mind at all!
      I typically use PowerPoint or Microsoft Word to create my products. :)

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  2. Hey Melinda,
    I started a store last fall and have enjoyed the feedback from other teachers; my offerings are very blah compared to yours and I look forward to learning how to make my things exciting and professional looking like yours!
    I just wanted to comment that I had the same mixed emotions about starting a store. I shared my things by email all the time, which I soon realized was not the most efficient way. Like you, I am a big believer in sharing ideas for the benefit of the kids. But sharing does not have to mean working for free. We still share freely all of our ideas and experience on our blogs, which people can take from anything that may be helpful to them. When it comes down to actually making the tools, I don't have a problem at all asking a few dollars on TpT because it is easy and convenient for all parties. It's still sharing, and I know I would never expect other teachers to supply me with materials they spent time creating free of charge. I was worried people not taking it well but it was actually quite the opposite - I got lots of thank-yous from the teachers using the stuff. I am excited about working more on my store this summer, so thank you for the inspiration and keep it going girl! My oldest starts college this fall and my goal is for TpT to help just a little with those extra expenses :)
    Congrats on your wedding too and have a great summer!

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  3. I'd like to offer another point of view on this. When you walk into a teacher's store and you see piles of borders, books, stickers, posters, and other teacher-y things, do you automatically think, "They should share all of those things with teachers?" And yes, some of those companies were started by teachers. In the 80's, Janet Dellosa and Patti Carson started out selling books of clipart that teachers could photocopy to make worksheets. And now they're *the* Carson-Dellosa.

    I think there's a world of difference between sharing ideas and making resources for sale. Sharing ideas is what you do on a blog or verbally face-to-face with another person. You show or explain to people what you're doing with your students, snapshots of your classroom, discuss themes your working on, etc. It's like journaling your day-to-day life as a teacher. And people ask you questions.

    Making resources that are worthy of people spending money in your store, resources where you've spent countless hours to tailor to your audience, showing step-by-step photos of how to put it together, and essentially solving a problem that another teacher has at the moment, is more of an endeavor. It's what you would buy at one of those teacher stores or catalogs except you're buying it online, getting it directly from a teacher, and you own it forever. And in the end, that teacher, in exchange for a small price, gets to spend their time doing something else besides trying to reinvent the wheel of lesson planning and preparation.

    In addition, I feel the myth of the starving artist needs to die along with the notion that teachers should feel obligated to share everything for free. If I was ever so lucky to work in a district that had another art teacher, I'd never expect that teacher to share with me all the resources they've generated on their own. I'm happy to pay them their worth because what they've created is of value. Let's start valuing that time and that effort. Anything less speaks otherwise.

    Good luck with your store!

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  4. Thanks for sharing!! I love your site and look forward to actually trying to make my own some day. I teach middle school art, and am the only one in my entire district. I've done it for 5 years now and although still challenging, it's a fun job. I just saved your perspective handout after trying to work with 7th graders and needing a step by step visual (as if two days of discussion, handouts, examples, and step by step instructions with visuals on the board weren't enough...). Thanks for sharing!!!

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