I'm a Fourth Grade Teacher and I LOVE Teachers Pay Teachers

(update:  the site I refer to changed their original image after I posted this.)

So, there I was... on my way to church this morning when I was introduced to a blog post that started with a picture that said, "NO Teachers Pay Teachers" (TpT), you know the kind of sign I am talking about.  The kind with the circle and a slash through it.  It goes something like this...

Talk about disheartening.  I mean,  I understand  no smoking signs.

I even understand no cell phone signs.

But, "NO TPT"??? I just don't get it.

And, now that I am home from church, I just have to respond.

Before I go on, you can find the blog post HERE.  I guess you can call this my rebuttal post.  However you want to look at it, I have a few things to say.  In the teacher world, we can just say I am responding  to literature.  Just pretend you are reading my journal.

I read the blog post once.  I read the blog post twice.  Then I stepped back and realized that the title was more of a hook.  You know, like one of those signs on the outside of the store that draws you in.  It makes you think that there is a huge bargain on the inside, when really there isn't.  I sort of feel the same about this post.  The title is a great hook.  I mean, it drew me in.  If you read the comments, it drew a lot of other people in too.  But, beyond the title, if you read closely, it doesn't seem to be about TpT at all.  It seems to be more about teachers and how they use resources in the classroom.  It seems to be more about how teachers in general decorate their classroom. Quite honestly, it seems to be more about whether you fall in the good teacher category or the needs improvement category. 

I will give him credit that he says teachers are selling great things on TpT (that sort of contradicts the title though), because they definitely are.  He also goes to say that the things being sold can't be edited.  This is an example of why it's not just about Tpt.  I mean, whenever you go into a teacher supply store or order off of Amazon, the printed materials you get are not editable.  When is the last time you bought a Scholastic teacher resource that you could open up on the computer and change it to meet your needs in your classroom.  That's just not how the publishing industry works. And, what do teachers do if they can't find something that meets their needs?  Um, they make it, which is what good teachers do.

He calls teachers of today the laminating culture.  Well, gosh darn.  You bet we are the laminating culture. What teacher in their right mind wants to spend three hours creating, printing, cutting, gluing, and so on, and only be able to use it in one center for one day?  And don't think that is an exaggeration.  I mean, let 32 hands play a game for a day when it hasn't been laminated and you will understand.  Teachers are frugal.  We don't want to have to spend our money over and over again.  And, yes.  It typically is our money.  Plus, we have families.  We don't want to have to spend hours making the game again. It's not like you have a lot of time during school to be making resources.  Between meetings and no duty free lunch, you are up til midnight just making a game for your class.  I'm just not sure I even understand that particular 'dislike' about Tpt  because even if you don't use the laminated material every year, at least you can pull it out again with the next group of kids you think it will work for.  It just seems like common sense to me.  

He says cute is over rated, that polka dots and stripes are a bit much.  To some extent I agree about the cuteness in classrooms.  Actually, it's not really about the cuteness as much as it is about the over stimulating items in the classroom like the huge pompoms and such.  But, there again.  Is that really about TpT?  It's not. Heck, teacher resource stores have been selling polka dotted borders for years.  It's more about whether or not teachers are using the resources mindfully in their classroom.

In response to point four, I partly agree with it.  Sure, in the area of social studies and science, real life images are wonderful.  But here's the deal.  When you go to read the newspaper, do you stay away from the comics just because they are hand drawn or computer generated rather than being photos?  Probably not.  It's all about variety.  There again, why throw TpT in the gutter on this?  I have never come across a teacher that only showed a sketched image of The American Revolution.  Teachers use other resources combined with TpT resources to create their lessons.

It's no secret that I love TpT.  One of my favorite phrases is I Heart TpT.  It's important to keep in mind that the majority of teachers don't use TpT as the recipe for running their classroom. They use it as a resource. And that's what good teachers do.  They gather resources (and sometimes make them) in order to teach the required standards based on their students' needs.  I have yet to meet one teacher that solely uses TpT resources to teach their entire curriculum.  

I have taught nearly twenty years, have a master's degree in reading and literacy, have three kids of my own, been nominated for teacher of the year umpteen (my made up word) times, and let's face it.............those credentials are pretty good for being competent enough to design lessons for the classroom and for being able to pick out credible resources when I am shopping.  I am not alone in that.  There are many teachers out there just like me, buying and selling on Teachers Pay Teachers.  How on earth is that not a good thing?  You have people that love being teachers, are experienced in the classroom, have tried a multitude of methods, and have dedicated their lives to being  fun and creative teachers.  The best part.... they are using Universal Collaboration to help teach kids across the world through blogging, Pinterest, and places like Teachers Pay Teachers.  

Cheers to TpT!

** please excuse any typos.  I'm only human.  :-)
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  1. I love every word of this!! Well said, Molly!! Cheers to TPT indeed :)

  2. Thanks Krystal. I appreciate that big time. TpT has been a blessing to so many people.

  3. I "heart" you even more now Molly! I think this is a very fair, very well-written, and very true rebuttal. :)

  4. Thank you Marie. :-) It is an interesting topic indeed.

  5. Thanks... I appreciate you taking the time to leave positive feedback.

  6. While I frequent TpT A LOT-- I seldomly buy -- only when I find something that really meets my needs so that I don't have to reinvent the wheel. (I will throw my husband under the bus here-- it's his fault-- He hates me spending $$ on my classroom.)The free stuff that is out there is a huge help in our financial situation-- and if I were more creative, and felt my creations were worthy enough,-- I would sell stuff on there, too. I am glad it is there.

  7. I can totally understand Wendy!! Free is always good. I bet you have some inner creativity just waiting to come out. Give it a try.


If your comment is made on a post that was written over 10 days ago, moderation is needed due to the amount of SPAM comments I am getting. Some can be totally inappropriate.....Thank you for taking the time to respond to my blog posts. What you have to share is important. I look forward to posting what you have to say as soon as I can. ~Molly