OlDaily posted an interesting article in the NY Times titled “Selling Lesson Plans Online, Raises Cash and Questions” about the growing business of teachers selling their lesson plans online. I am somewhat familiar with this business because I do have a Scholastic account and often find some resources on Teachers Pay Teachers that I want to use. Personally, if someone has already created a resource or lesson that is similar to what I have in mind, then why should I have to reinvent the wheel. I don’t see any harm in teachers making extra money off of things they create and use with their own classes.
The article from the Times stated from Robert N. Lowry, deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents.
“To the extent that school district resources are used, then I think it’s fair to ask whether the district should share in the proceeds,”
Seriously? Districts should get a share of the proceeds? I’m not sure what their district provides, but in so many cases if a teacher has to create a certain lesson it’s because the district either hasn’t provided the resources or the resources are horrible. I do in a sense see their point if the teacher is using materials that were purchased with school funds, but still I know when I go looking it’s because of the thousands of dollars in basals and materials I have it doesn’t always match core content.
Another statement was given as well in regards to selling lessons:
“Teachers swapping ideas with one another, that’s a great thing,” he said. “But somebody asking 75 cents for a word puzzle reduces the power of the learning community and is ultimately destructive to the profession.”
In my opinion there is a difference in swapping ideas and literally giving someone your lesson and resources. I do think .75 cents for a word search is rather ridiculous considering you can make your own at Puzzlemaker on Discovery Education. However, it isn’t about the word searches and puzzles for most teachers. There are many teachers who want to buy good quality units or resources because they may not know exactly how to approach a subject. I don’t think it takes the creativity out of the teacher rather it gives the teacher time to extend on the lesson or prepare for another lesson that might be more difficult. I use other peoples’ PowerPoints all the time. There are districts that have our entire Trophies reading series online complete with Vocab. PowerPoint, SmartNotebook fill-in the blank, Spelling words, and games. Of course I use it and it’s free!
Overall, we can share in ways now that benefit not just our students, but us as well. Given all the testing and other insignificant petty things that go with teaching it’s nice to just find something to use without having to put a great deal of time in to creating it.