Teachers Pay Teachers, aka TpT, is the place to be. I am not overstating when I say 'brilliance' because I truly mean it. As a teacher of twenty years, I am telling you... it is the hottest place on the Internet to get the most up to date, fun, interactive, common core related lessons. The best part about these great lessons is that they are designed by teachers for teachers. What does that mean? It means they are tested in the classroom and reworked until they are perfected. You simply can't beat that as an educator. In addition, they are time saving for the buyer. In a day when teachers are pushed to their limits with meetings before and after school, limited planning time during the school day, in addition to having family activities after school, time for creating the perfect lesson is slim to none. That is where TpT is a brilliant idea. It helps teachers all across the world be better teachers by providing them with the lessons they might not otherwise be able to create. The designing and creating is already done. Sure, you can still add your own individual ideas as you go to implement your purchase into the classroom, but what TpT can provide teachers is like none other. It buys teachers time, it buys them peace of mind...It buys so much. Like I said... it's brilliant.
I also think TpT is a brilliant idea for the seller. Let me say that I was creating long before TpT came about. I am one of those stay late, spend hours researching on the internet, clip art junkie, software loving kind of teachers that wants something new, innovative, and eye- catching. I want people to like my lessons. Actually, I want people to love them. I want people to walk down the hall and think, "OMG.. that is the cutest idea. I want to do that with my students!" So, with that said, when I came across TpT it was an avenue for me to sell my items, and of course give some away for free, too. It was validation for the hours I was spending on creating lessons, games, centers, and more. Keeping in mind that other teachers asked for my materials and even offered to buy them, TpT was like the perfect fit for me. Many teachers I have gotten to know as my buyers on TpT don't really care to spend the hours I was spending creating, and they are very appreciative to spend five dollars for something that took me fifteen hours to make. It is a win win for everyone involved.
Since I brought up the idea of selling on TpT, I want to take a moment to discuss that aspect of my TpT story. I joined TpT nearly four years ago. I was probably one of the first 1,200 to join. I have believed in the concept of TpT from the moment I first read about it. I would say that my success on TpT is something I am very proud of. If you are a seller on TpT and post in the seller's forum on TpT then you are very familiar with questions like, "How long is it going to take me to start making money" or "I have been at this for two months and I have five products, and I have only had a few sales. Is it worth it?" Here is my thinking...
I like to equate TpT to a fine wine. By the way, the funny thing is that I don't even really drink wine, but it makes for a wonderful analogy. So here goes...You have to work hard to make your wine. It may need to sit for a while for perfection. You have to package it up real nice and pretty. In the mean time, you better advertise the wine if you want to sell it. You also better be working on other flavors to restock the shelves. As far as TpT, you need to create wonderful lessons and activities. You need to package them up with pretty covers. Your products may need so sit for a while, a long while, in order for them to be found on TpT, for the search engines to pick them up, and for word to spread about your wonderful store. In the mean time, you need to keep on making items and stocking your TpT shelves. You need to advertise by doing things like building a blog, developing a brand, building a facebook page, pinning on Pinterest, and whatever else you can think of to get the word out about your lovely store. When people buy your items and they love your 'wine' they are going to come back for more. It sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well, the truth is that there are a few people with a few great items that make really good money on TpT. But the fact of the matter is that most people that make good money have lots of products, they spend countless hours creating, marketing, blogging, pinning, facebooking, etc., and they truly embrace TpT as a second job. I fall into the second category. Actually, in many cases TpT might be someone's only job. Regardless, it is probably in the best interest of new sellers to walk into TpT knowing that it's not going to be a 'money growing on trees' kind of endeavor. If you are willing to invest time and energy, TpT can truly be a blessing. It can be a blessing to you the seller, as well as you being able to bless many teachers with your wonderful work.
As you can see, TpT really is a brilliant idea. I don't even think I mentioned all of the FREE stuff that the dedicated teachers make and are willing to give away.... yes..., GIVE away! Thousands of items for free!! Isn't that just fabulous. Whether you plan to simply buy on Teachers Pay Teachers or if you are willing to take the plunge and become a seller, I do hope that you love the experience as much as I have.
I really do love TpT!
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