Should Teachers Be Allowed to Sell Their Lesson Plans?

A Georgia kindergarten teacher has made more than $1 million selling her lesson plans online. Can U.S schools crowdsource their way to better student performance?

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You won’t get rich as a teacher, right? That’s no longer true for a small but growing number of educators who are making big bucks selling their lesson plans online. On a peer-to-peer site called TeachersPayTeachers (TPT), Georgia kindergarten teacher Deanna Jump has earned more than $1 million selling lesson plans — with names like “Colorful Cats Math, Science and Literacy Fun!” — for about $9 a pop. Since the site launched in 2006, 26 teachers have each made more than $100,000 on TPT, which takes a 15% commission on most sales. In August, Jump became the first on TPT to reach $1 million. Her success has been aided by the thousands of followers of her personal blog who get notified each time she retails a new lesson. Another reason she thinks her stuff sells so well: “I’ve used it in my classroom,” says Jump, who just kicked off her 16th year of teaching. “I know it works.”

(MORE: Why Teachers’ Contracts Should Be Negotiated in Public)

Standards and testing may hog the spotlight in education, but they spell out only what students should be able to do, not how to get kids to learn those skills. Lesson plans are teachers’ tools: lend someone a better hammer, and he’ll do a better job. But a lousy carpenter can’t fake it even with the greatest tools money can buy, and the lesson plans that come with textbooks often aren’t very engaging or aren’t in line with the Common Core State Standards that 45 states recently agreed to adopt. There’s a lot of concern among teachers about meeting these standards, particularly since more states have started tying teachers’ evaluations to their students’ performance. And the rising popularity of lesson-sharing sites like BetterLesson, which in June signed up its 100,000th teacher, points to one of education’s most ironic problems: teachers don’t share very much with their colleagues. Yes, there are master teachers who help coach less effective co-workers, but faculty members still get relatively little time with one another. Schools don’t prioritize it, and teachers’ contracts spell out their day down to the minute. What we consider schools are often just loose confederations of independent contractors, each overseeing his or her own classroom.

The need for more collaboration helps explain why the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the U.S.’s second largest teachers’ union, launched a site this summer called Share My Lesson, where teachers can get free lesson plans. It’s unclear how the union’s corporate partner, TES Connect, intends to make money from the venture or whether the Deanna Jumps of the world will post their material on the site, given that it doesn’t pay for content. “If teachers don’t want to share, they don’t have to,” says AFT president Randi Weingarten. “But this is a huge opportunity for teachers to work with each other to improve our craft.”

(MORE: Why Grit Is More Important Than Grades)

That may sound like a raw deal until you think about what’s been happening in higher education, where more and more colleges are getting professors to put their syllabus and, more recently, videos of their lectures online. But it’s a new frontier in the long insulated K-12 world. And as a legal matter, it’s not cut and dry: if teachers produce a lesson as part of their regular work, even if it’s on their own time, does their school or school district have any right to profits from it? In 2004 a federal court in New York said yes. Look for more litigation as the money involved with these sites grows.

Of course, not everyone thinks crowdsourcing lesson plans is the smartest solution, including one of the companies that lets teachers download free lesson plans à la carte. BetterLesson’s main goal, which has interested several venture-capital firms, is selling schools and districts customized curriculums in multiweek chunks that come with daily lesson plans and work sheets. Founded by a Teach for America alum, BetterLesson summed up its philosophy in a recent post on the company’s blog: “Give a man a random resource, he teaches for a class period. Give him inspiring examples of complete units on poetry, narrative writing and sentence structure, his next few months of instruction are transformed.”

Regardless of who foots the bill for more-effective lesson plans, this sort of professional sharing is long overdue. Too many teachers are on their own. It’s a sink-or-swim system, as Weingarten has often noted, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

MORECan Parents Take Over Schools?

84 comments
ToughGuy
ToughGuy

Mr. Rotherham, "Can Parents Take Over Schools?"   How about should they take over schools? The following is a satirical commentary in no way does it reflect on those educators or other individuals that do their self sacrificing jobs daily.  Everyone involved should have a seat at the United States Educational buffet, but before we start collecting entry fees and pulling triggers for fresh meat shall we see what is on the menu?   

Menu

Top rated, questionable superintendents with sliver lined parachutes being paid upwards of $160,000 a year and some students do not have the proper desks or chairs to sit in (hard to swallow).

Squirrely administrators bouncing around for all the wrong reasons when a simple, "please help me or thank you would do (a little too gamy).

Majority prime choice tendorized teachers

A few minority teacher burgers for flavor (triple grounded for less resistance)

Did someone say they wanted a glass of blood with their meal? Remember these educators choose public service careers.  Yes, our system needs a total over haul.  We need to start listening, and hearing one another again.  Schools are moving towards intervention instead of remediation which Richard DuFour said needed to happen in 2004.  Nine years later teachers need time to speak to their peers, ask questions, pose ideas, listen, and give feedback.  In "Sustained Effective Professional Development," Dr. Ann Leiberman stated that a "good," time for teachers to collaborate would be from 7:30 am to 9:00am once a week.  It is a beautiful idea but will it happen?  

"Parental Revolution?" Richard please, since we are asking for things we can not have; I want retro active combat pay for the war that has surrounded my minority educational life and now the teaching career  that I hold so dear.  Due process people, contact your ward leaders, then your congressional seat holders.  Use your constitutional rights and stop throwing rocks.  They have expert marksmen on the other side aimed at your wallets.  Teachers want parental involvement and family volunteers but because of Colanbine and Sandy Hook we are told no or they have to get cleared by the school district.  It is understandable but look what we have turned into.  All nuses a side we have a real vigilanty problem.  Who suffers? The children!

"Check please!"  

"Oh yeah, that's right; put it on Joe taxpayers bill."

"We better buzz out of here fast, i heard Obama has ordered more fly swatters on the hill."

                                                                                                                                                   _Tough Guy


teacher21C
teacher21C

I am a teacher, and I am not sure this is a good trend.  Yes, most of us don't make a lot of money, contrary to popular opinion.  But teachers share ideas all over the Web.  I think it's good peer collaboration, and one of the best things about the Internet - free information.  But as more teachers start selling their lessons, there will be less free sharing of ideas.  We have to spend our own money buying supplies for school and paying for required professional development in order to keep our certification, now we have to pay for lesson plans.   And how do you ensure that someone is not selling a lesson that they found for free on the Web?  Although I do think  it is their right to sell their own material -  in a capitalistic society, we are free to sell if people are willing to buy. 

TinyTeach
TinyTeach

I say congradulations to all the wonderful teachers out there that are trying to help us new teachers. If you are not in the teachng profession, it is hard to understand what a new teacher goes through trying to make lesson plans that are effective. I salute the experienced teachers that are trying to help the new teachers. And I do not understand why they should be criticized for charging a small fee for their experience and ideas. Most teachers have to have 2nd jobs to survive in todays world. I think it is a brilliant way for them to supplement their incomes. Again, I salute you!!!

TinyTeach
TinyTeach

I say congradulations to all the wonderful teachers out there that are trying to help us new teachers.  If you are not in the teachng profession, it is hard to understand what a new teacher goes through trying to make lesson plans that are effective.  I salute the experienced teachers that are trying to help the new teachers.  And I do not understand why they should be criticized for charging a small fee for their experience and ideas.   Most teachers have to have 2nd jobs to survive in todays world.  I think it is a brilliant way for them to supplement their incomes.  Again, I salute you!!!

Shams Aci
Shams Aci

That may obviously mean that teachers sell their knowledge online and also many of them work as staff teachers in various schools or colleges etc. can do very little for their pupils in classrooms because they remain preoccupied with their online or other sources'  selling activities to earn more and more, whereas, pupils need direct teaching- learning (men to men)  process that is wonderfully beneficial for them (students).  

Whereas, the system of buying lessons from any source cannot be of that superfine quality as that it is by a direct lecture by the teacher in the classroom and questions and answers thereof there (in the classroom). 

For instance, if we can understand difference  between nourishing value of  mother's milk v/s available marketed milk, we can realize very easily the reality what I mean on the context here-fore.

- A.R.Shams’s Reflection – Press and Online Publications. http://arshamssreflection.blog/....

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

OMG, I don't believe it !

Teachers selling their KNOWLEDGE ONLINE !

Ironic but where in sam hell did all these Teachers steal that KNOWLEDGE before it became theirs ?

They ACQUIRED IT FROM THOSE WHOM TAUGHT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE !

Teachers are becoming worse then APPLE -vs- Samsung war's ! 

AmberThomas7
AmberThomas7

A teacher's job is to teach her students.  How she prepares for that is

different for everyone.  Whether a teacher is reading off of a scripted

program, taking ideas from the teacher's manual, buying materials from a

website, or reinventing the wheel, the only question that matters is,

"Did the kids learn what they needed to?"  As long as the answer is,

"Yes," then that system is working for that teacher and that group of

kids. 

You can be a wonderful teacher, who knows how to reach

children, without being a visual artist, a crafty game designer, or a

master of Smartboard technology.  So a teacher who has any of these

additional talents is an asset to her district.  She should be moving up

the ladder of success, just like people in any other profession.  It's

sad when teachers who put the time and effort into bringing their

original materials to publishable quality are looked down on for "not

sharing." 

Please remember what a teacher's ACTUAL job is.  It's not making stuff.  It's expanding the minds of children.    

 

AmberThomas7
AmberThomas7

A teacher's job is to teach her students.  How she prepares for that is

different for everyone.  Whether a teacher is reading off of a scripted

program, taking ideas from the teacher's manual, buying materials from a

website, or reinventing the wheel, the only question that matters is,

"Did the kids learn what they needed to?"  As long as the answer is,

"Yes," then that system is working for that teacher and that group of

kids. 

You can be a wonderful teacher, who knows how to reach

children, without being a visual artist, a crafty game designer, or a

master of Smartboard technology.  So a teacher who has any of these

additional talents is an asset to her district.  She should be moving up

the ladder of success, just like people in any other profession.  It's

sad when teachers who put the time and effort into bringing their

original materials to publishable quality are looked down on for "not

sharing." 

Please remember what a teacher's ACTUAL job is.  It's not making stuff.  It's expanding the minds of children.

AmberThomas7
AmberThomas7

A teacher's job is to teach her students.  How she prepares for that is different for everyone.  Whether a teacher is reading off of a scripted program, taking ideas from the teacher's manual, buying materials from a website, or reinventing the wheel, the only question that matters is, "Did the kids learn what they needed to?"  As long as the answer is, "Yes," then that system is working for that teacher and that group of kids. 

You can be a wonderful teacher, who knows how to reach children, without being a visual artist, a crafty game designer, or a master of Smartboard technology.  So a teacher who has any of these additional talents is an asset to her district.  She should be moving up the ladder of success, just like people in any other profession.  It's sad when teachers who put the time and effort into bringing their original materials to publishable quality are looked down on for "not sharing." 

Please remember what a teacher's ACTUAL job is.  It's not making stuff.  It's expanding the minds of children.    

LauraBogush
LauraBogush

As a recently retired teacher with 31 years in the classroom, I find the condescending and disrespectful tone of this article very disturbing.   The title asks the question: “Should a teacher be allowed to sell their lesson plans?” Yes.  Any other answer denies the right of teachers to their own intellectual property.  Do authors have the right to sell their books?  Do architects have the right to sell their blueprints?  Do artists have the right to sell their paintings?  It’s a ridiculous question, aimed at demeaning the teaching profession.  It’s as if our original work isn’t worthy of payment just because we are teachers.

Deanna Jump and the teachers who sell their work on Teachers Pay Teachers lift up the education profession.  They offer an alternative to the cookie-cutter materials that are available to teachers through the textbooks purchased by school districts.  Their lessons and materials are relevant and classroom-tested.   Teachers Pay Teachers offers a way for great teachers to extend their reach to classrooms around the world.  It’s only fair that they be compensated for that effort.

Perhaps compensation is the crux of the problem.  Does the big business of

educational publishing feel threatened by accomplished teachers who successfully market their intellectual property to help other teachers?  Maybe it’s feared that teachers will start to earn their worth instead of big business. 

Is it because a kindergarten teacher’s work couldn’t possibly be worth a

million dollars?   In my opinion, a dedicated teacher who lifts up her colleagues in addition to nurturing her students in the classroom is indeed worth much more than that.

Angela Watson
Angela Watson

There seems to be some confusion from the author about what is being sold on TeachersPayTeachers. These are not just "lesson plans." Most of the resources are printable, ready-to-use materials...the same thing that's being sold in teaching resource books by Scholastic, etc. The top-selling resources (such as those that Deanna Jump makes) involve special graphics, frames, borders, and design elements, all of which the teachers purchase themselves. These "lesson plans" rival products created by professional graphic designers...and they're also developmentally appropriate and created with students in mind. To call them "lesson plans" as if they're the same dry, wall-of-text, uninspired set of ideas that appear in most school-provided teacher manuals is misleading. 

Also, there should be no confusion about whether teachers create these materials at home on their own computers on their own time. I guarantee that no teacher has time within the school day to sit around and do this stuff, especially not the ones who have creative, innovative ideas that can earn them money. It takes a lot of focus and concentration to create teaching materials, and that certainly can't be done while thirty six-year-olds are sitting in the room.

I also question why "freebies" on TeachersPayTeachers weren't mentioned in this article. The sellers on TpT have created thousands of free materials that are given away on the site. Anyone who's spent five minutes on TpT can clearly see that there is a lot of collaboration and sharing happening there. The debate about sharing vs. selling misses the point...both things are happening on TeachersPayTeachers.

Thorholly
Thorholly

Questions: Which would you rather have a great teacher that quits teaching so they can sell their successful learning activities,  OR a great teacher that continues to teach and on his/her OWN time creates successful learning activities? 

Hmmmm.......Or who would be better to create a more meaningful successful lesson? A sucessful teacher that is in the classroom proving what works on a daily basis OR a big company that is usually run but CEO's that have not been in the classroom and just looks at the bottom line?

Hmmmmmmm.....Although, this article doesn't "bash" teachers. BUT It DOES present a negative slant on hard working teachers attempting to better themselves not just $ BUT professional.  Sharing, whether for money or free, with collegues across the world, benefits EVERYONE from students, parents, teachers, the districts, and the community.  It IS a win-win situation!

Many people think that teachers can "just throw something together." But a successful teacher knows that a great lesson takes much more time to create and develop than the normal 45 minute planning period that a teacher is given.  They NOT only develop lessons BUT tutor, attend meetings, set up labs, make copies, call parents, modify lessons, decorate a classroom, located needed supplies from a limited (nonexistant) budget, grade papers, set up technology, and more for the several subjects that they teach.  They are great multi-taskers for that precious 45 minutes.   

Come to think of it, I have not met a teacher yet that does not dip into their OWN pocket book for school supplies, food for kids, school fundraisers, and many other items.  No one really seems to be saying,  "Wait, that should be illegal?" Nor do people seem to mind when teacher buy lessons and activities from those big companies. Just when the are buying learning activities from that successful teacher.

Cathy Yenca
Cathy Yenca

I wish this article would have begun where it ended - teachers sharing ideas and materials ultimately benefits students, and this is a good thing!  However, using a tag-line asking whether teachers should be able to sell "lesson plans" cheapened anything positive mentioned.  

I am a buyer and seller on Teachers Pay Teachers, and feel that successful classroom-tested materials are worth their weight in gold when compared to the mass-produced, error-ridden skill-drill-kill worksheets often cranked out by textbook companies.  I will happily pay for quality resources... which brings me to my next point... did the author of this article ever consider who is buying the lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers?  Get it, Rotherham?  We teachers are paying one another, so what's it to you anyway?  

Teachnyc9
Teachnyc9

Before TPT I would buy books from big publishing companies.  I would use one or two pages and have to pay for the entire book (with my own money).  At about $15.99 per book, I have spent a fortune on teaching books/supplies.  If I didn't do that, I would spend hours creating materials for my class.  With TPT I can buy products targeted to exactly what I need at a more affordable price.  What's wrong with making teachers lives easier for once?  I'm all for teacher collaboration and sharing, and if the author had researched TPT a little more he would have found the abundance of blogs fueled by TPT where teachers collaborate and share ideas and materials.

Go Deanna!

Jessica
Jessica

Hmmm... I just reread this article, and reread it again, and I can't find any actual words in the article that bash teachers for making money from selling lesson plans. In fact, he seems to think it's a cool idea. I don't know the author or even the political bent of Time magazine (yes, I'm out of it), so maybe the other commenters are reacting to some unspoken subtext?

As is, this article would make a great section on a reading comprehension test!

Sara Davis
Sara Davis

I don't get it. Why do almost all of the comments on here think the author is "bashing" the teacher?

 " Regardless of who foots the bill for more-effective lesson plans, this

sort of professional sharing is long overdue. Too many teachers are on

their own. It’s a sink-or-swim system, as Weingarten has often noted,

but it doesn’t have to be that

way."

 That doesn't sound like bashing to me. It's pretty straight forward, the author is reporting what the teacher has done and why. There's also the free market to consider, if people don't want to pay for lessons they don't have to. There are several professional organizations that make lesson plans readily available to teachers (ReadWriteThink) and these lessons are peer reviewed by multiple teachers. So not only do you get a free plan, you know it's going to work fairly well in different settings because different people read it, commented on it and the author was given an opportunity to clarify, extend etc. I also wonder about the "it works" review of a lesson. What does the author mean by "it works"? Does that mean the documentation and assessment of the child's learning show marked improvement over other methods? Or does it mean the children were entertained and stayed in their seats?

anirprof
anirprof

To all the commenters above who say, "of course you can sell things that you write!", just be aware that isn't always the case depending on your employment contract and for public employees, your state/local laws.

I used to teach at one of the U.S. military academies, and the rule for professors there was that any work-related product you produced was federal government property, period.  That goes for all federal employees, actually.  If I wrote a syllabus for a course on military history, even if I didn't use that syllabus to teach any of my classes, I could not have sold it or even copyrighted it and distributed it for free (but under my control) -- it would have been a government document, period, no matter when and where I wrote it.   Now, if I wrote a romance novel, and did it at home on the weekends, that would have been mine to sell.  But the rule for government employees was that anything job related was owned by  your employer (Uncle Sam), even if done at your own initiative and outside of regular work hours. 

That is not how most universities work, even most state universities let professors sell their books and other products as they wish.  But it does show that legally, some employers do successfully hold ownership of any intellectual property you produce.  It's entirely possible that NY State law does that to public K-12 teachers.  

 

Kristen Zajac Bowers
Kristen Zajac Bowers

Of course teachers should be allowed to sell their lesson plans!  Are

artists allowed to sell their creations?  Are photographers allowed to

sell their photos?  Are musicians allowed to sell their music?  Teachers

--the best kinds--like Deanna Jump are selling their creations.  She is

selling hours and hours of time and energy and research into best

practices and years of professional development in and out of the

classroom in her lessons!  She is sharing this expertise with others,

and asking to be compensated just slightly (for once!) in return for

years of hard work and experience in return.

I hope Rotherham

can get a clue and realize that--as others have mentioned--he is getting

compensated for his so-called "expertise" and creative contribution. 

Others--especially teachers who are paid a pittance to deal with YOUR

children on a daily basis in addition to their hours creating practical,

usable materials--should be, too.

Kristen Zajac Bowers
Kristen Zajac Bowers

Of course teachers should be allowed to sell their lesson plans!  Are artists allowed to sell their creations?  Are photographers allowed to sell their photos?  Are musicians allowed to sell their music?  Teachers --the best kinds--like Deanna Jump are selling their creations.  She is selling hours and hours of time and energy and research into best practices and years of professional development in and out of the classroom in her lessons!  She is sharing this expertise with others, and asking to be compensated just slightly (for once!) in return for years of hard work and experience in return.

I hope Rotherham can get a clue and realize that--as others have mentioned--he is getting compensated for his so-called "expertise" and creative contribution.  Others--especially teachers who are paid a pittance to deal with YOUR children on a daily basis in addition to their hours creating practical, usable materials--should be, too.

Margaret Whisnant
Margaret Whisnant

A kindergarten teacher from Georgia, the first educator in the world, the first educator in all of history, writes and sells a million dollars worth of her original work.  A million dollars in sales.  I repeat myself for emphasis.  Maybe if this fact is flashed before the press enough times someone will finally pay attention.  Something important and unprecedented is happening, and you're missing it.

Deanna Jump, thousands of other talented teachers, and TeachersPayTeachers have started something that is making a huge impact on teaching.  We can now instantly share our expertiese with colleagues all over the world.  On TeachersPayTeachers alone, educators have instant access to 202,000+ classroom-tested reasources and  more than 42,000 top-quality free products.

 This is significant!   No matter how the press portrays education, the fact still remains that teachers are the real experts.  Well, sir, the experts are now communicating with each other on a global scale!  We are supporting each other as professionals, improving each other's classroom performances, raising our incomes, and using the lightning speed of the internet to do it.  We are learning to blaze our own trails.  

Your article is covered wagon stuff.  We won't be slowing down.

Ashley Hughes
Ashley Hughes

Wow, what a wasted opportunity to turn this into a positive story.  Deanna is an incredibly gracious and well-respected member of her school, district, and of the 'online teacher community.'  Reading this article makes me ask... Did you do any research at all?  Other than watch a news story or read an article or two?  Did you contact her?  Her district?  TPT?  Read through her blog?  Ask her how she gives back to her family, school, and community?  Read comments from teachers who purchased her items (and saved hours of planning)?  Download one of her items to check it out for yourself?  Or was this just another attempt to shine a negative light on teachers?  This should have been a positive story.  

I don't disagree with you that there are bad apples in the bunch (like you refer to in many of your other articles), just like every other profession.  Sure there are probably some people selling things on there just for the compensation, but the overwhelming majority is made up of teachers who simply want to share what works in their classroom.  They spend money on professional graphics, spend hours creating things, write detailed instructions for other teachers to use it, etc.  Why should Deanna give away a 100 page unit for free?  She made it on her own time to supplement the curriculum the district provides.  Do you not recognize what an amazing teacher she is and that she's going above and beyond what the district is asking of her?  

TPT is an incredible resource and it is has allowed so many teachers to branch out of their own school, district, state, and even country to see what is working elsewhere.  As a teacher myself, it has saved me hours upon hours of planning and creating my own 'stuff'.  There are so many amazing ideas (free and paid) that I've found via TPT and teaching blogs.  Why is it ok for me to spend $20 on a book from a publisher (who isn't in a classroom), but completely unacceptable to buy something from a teacher... who uses it... and shows that it works!?   The irony.  This idea that everything teachers make should be free is absolutely ridiculous.  Sure things that are made during school hours might fall into that category, but I can guarantee you most of what is made is done on a teachers personal time.  Again, to supplement the curriculum, some of which is completely inadequate for making sure our students are prepared for the future.  If he or she feels they should be compensated for it, then fine.  If other teachers (buyers) see that it's a great resource, others have bought and loved it, then they'll pay for it... with their own money.  You seem to have left that fact out.  We purchase items our of our own pockets.  

I hope everyone reading this realizes that Deanna is STILL a kindergarten teacher.  She loves what she does and is passionate about making a difference.  Not only for her students, but for others around the country.  This story could have been so inspirational and encouraging had you actually done your homework.  This new culture of teachers being able to share and collaborate with the click of a button is incredible.  It's helping so many of us find ways to help our students succeed, which is the name of the game.  It's disheartening that there are so many incredible teachers out there who get a bad wrap because of a few bad apples, or stories like this.  Why not write something positive?  I think the current state of our country could use a little of it.  

Regardless of if you agree or disagree with teachers getting paid for lessons, you can't deny the fact that TPT has played a very important role in connecting teachers, making them feel worthy, and giving them some incredible resources to ensure their students are successful.

jjelliott01
jjelliott01

Mr. Rotherham,

You tried to turn an inspirational amazing story into some sort of controversy - EPIC FAIL!  We love you Deanna!

OCG
OCG

Que vergüenza de artículo, TeacherspayTeachers es una web reconocida mundialmente, productos de calidad (no como los que se consiguen en otras páginas de gratis, los cuales siempre están incompletos), además de ser toda una comunidad de docentes que se apoyan mutuamente. Lástima que el señor "escritor" no se tomó el tiempo (paradógicamente TIME) para hacer una investigación más a fondo, exponer ambos puntos de vista.

La revista TIME debería revisar bien las personas que contrata, definitivamente este artículo solo expresa la opinión muy personal de su autor sin tener bases ni fundamentos. Eso si es ganarse la plata muy fácil...... muy diferente de lo que le toca a un maestro de cualquier parte del mundo.

ashleigh_60
ashleigh_60

I can't believe a teacher would work a part time job to earn additional

income!  It's not like they have to pay for their own school supplies

with their personal money, or take yearly pay cuts and furlough days,

and of course pay for the constant increase in insurance.  It's crazy to

think teachers should be paid for working far more hours than

required. 

I guess teachers should tutor for free on their own

hours and during the summer for free.  They should probably pay for all

of their own professional development and resource materials.  Maybe

teachers should just teach without any pay too?   How dare they be

compensated for going above and beyond their contacted

responsibilities!  It's a much better idea to pay teachers according to

their test scores and to pay large publishing corporations who have no

true involvement in education.

ashleigh_60
ashleigh_60

I can't believe a teacher would work a part time job to earn additional income!  It's not like they have to pay for their own school supplies with their personal money, or take yearly pay cuts and furlough days, and of course pay for the constant increase in insurance.  It's crazy to think teachers should be paid for working far more hours than required. 

I guess teachers should tutor for free on their own hours and during the summer for free.  They should probably pay for all of their own professional development and resource materials.  Maybe teachers should just teach without any pay too?   How dare they be compensated for going above and beyond their contacted responsibilities!  It's a much better idea to pay teachers according to their test scores and to pay large publishing corporations who have no true involvement in education.

Garry M Burkhalter
Garry M Burkhalter

It's an issue of Intellectual Property that this regards. If the teacher 'signed' a contract giving the employer rights to it, then there is little legal recourse. They could do anything they choose with their lesson plans. This is done with all corporations today to limit exposure from lawsuits. There is no law that states disclosure must be made regarding Intellectual Property at employment. The easiest way is to contact your human resources department for conformation.

Tania Poultney
Tania Poultney

Teachers who sell resources for other teachers to use in their classroom ARE sharing their knowledge and skills. What this author fails to see is that for every resource that is put up for sale, there is usually another one available for free.  I would much rather support other teachers that I can follow on a blog and view how the resource works in their classroom, than some huge company that is more concerned with profit.  Any teacher that show the initiative to inspire others in their profession and actually make money out of it, deserves respect.  I am proud to be a member of this amazing profession.  Deanna is an amazing, inspiring teacher who is more than generous in her support of others.

Michelle Lyn Tsivgadellis
Michelle Lyn Tsivgadellis

I am completely saddened and annoyed by the ignorance displayed in this article. For one, I don't believe that Deanna was contacted for an interview before Mr. Rotherham decided to publicly bash her. Not once has he mentioned that even though Deanna Jump has made over a MILLION dollars selling lesson plans, she STILL TEACHES KINDERGARTEN!! If she was in it only for the profit, she would have high-tailed it out of that classroom several years ago.

She has invested money into the schools where she has worked and has provided incredible resources and knowledge around the globe for FREE to many teachers. Her blog is more of an outreach than advertisement and her continued commitment to her students and to other teachers shines! She is am inspiration; not a trouble-maker. 

I completely agree with Margaret who wrote that Time magazine missed a wonderful opportunity to show HOW teachers have found a way to keep the jobs they love and still make enough money to pay the bills. I don't believe there are many freelance writers making that kind of money off of titles like, "Should Teachers Be Allowed to Sell Their Lesson Plans?" PLEASE!! Anthony is not one to bash a lack of creativity when it comes to titles!!

I hope that this guy s a freelance writer because I can't imagine that the Time magazine editors would make a habit of allowing un-researched and biased articles published for too long!! This article is just some no-body's ignorant opinion! It has no support for its' claims and is just plain quite distasteful - especially for a guy that is a "writer"! I am sure he did not become a writer without a "Deanna Jump" who took the time to create the best possible opportunities for him!

I am so disappointed!

Michelle Tsivgadellis

Talendria
Talendria

Well no wonder education is so expensive in this country.  We have seven million teachers, and they're all trying to reinvent the wheel.  Sharing is good!

Mathew Peters
Mathew Peters

Lesson plans are the same intellectual property of the creator as works of fiction, movies, art, or any other creative endeavor. Teachers are being paid to teach in schools, but the should have the right to sell their lessons plans if other teachers are willing to pay for them. If the school wants a piece of the profits made from a teachers lesson plans they need to pay the teacher fair market value for the creativity, and deals should be worked into contracts. However, since schools have no money to pay their teachers what they're actually worth much less additional money for lesson plans teachers make, they should allow the teachers to reap some benefit for the incredibly hard and time consuming act of designing lessons. Additionally if the local and federal governments would quit crapping on teachers this wouldn't even be an issue since teachers would be making a fair wage with benefits and the works.

TeacherShel
TeacherShel

When you took your "look at Deanna Jump" did that involve actually looking at one of her entire products? Did it involve observing her in her classroom putting that product to practice? Did it involve even talking to her at all? I think through the slant this article takes the answer to these questions is a resounding NO! What a sad waste of an opportunity to actually write about something positive that is going on in education. I'm not talking about the money being made at TpT, but at all the collaboration that goes on in the forums there, all the creative classroom tested products being offered to teachers at a considerable discount to what they've been paying corporate publishers all these years, and all the sharing of hundreds of free products being offered there. Did you know that you are required to post a FREE product before you can post anything for sale? Did you check the ratio of free products in the many teacher stores? TpT is a wonderful site that is a glowing bright spot on education today.  You really dropped the ball here! Sad.

TeacherShel
TeacherShel

When you took your "look at Deanna Jump" did that involve actually looking at one of her entire products? Did it involve observing her in her classroom putting that product to practice? Did it involve even talking to her at all? I think through the slant this article takes the answer to these questions is a resounding NO! What a sad waste of an opportunity to actually write about something positive that is going on in education. I'm not talking about the money being made at TpT, but at all the collaboration that goes on in the forums there, all the creative classroom tested products being offered to teachers at a considerable discount to what they've been paying corporate publishers all these years, and all the sharing of hundreds of free products being offered there. Did you know that you are required to post a FREE product before you can post anything for sale? Did you check the ratio of free products in the many teacher stores? TpT is a wonderful site that is a glowing bright spot on education today.  You really dropped the ball here! Sad.

TeacherShel
TeacherShel

When you took your "look at Deanna Jump" did that involve actually looking at one of her entire products? Did it involve observing her in her classroom putting that product to practice? Did it involve even talking to her at all? I think through the slant this article takes the answer to these questions is a resounding NO! What a sad waste of an opportunity to actually write about something positive that is going on in education. I'm not talking about the money being made at TpT, but at all the collaboration that goes on in the forums there, all the creative classroom tested products being offered to teachers at a considerable discount to what they've been paying corporate publishers all these years, and all the sharing of hundreds of free products being offered there. Did you know that you are required to post a FREE product before you can post anything for sale? Did you check the ratio of free products in the many teacher stores? TpT is a wonderful site that is a glowing bright spot on education today.  You really dropped the ball here! Sad.

TeacherShel
TeacherShel

When you took your "look at Deanna Jump" did that involve actually looking at one of her entire products? Did it involve observing her in her classroom putting that product to practice? Did it involve even talking to her at all? I think through the slant this article takes the answer to these questions is a resounding NO! What a sad waste of an opportunity to actually write about something positive that is going on in education. I'm not talking about the money being made at TpT, but at all the collaboration that goes on in the forums there, all the creative classroom tested products being offered to teachers at a considerable discount to what they've been paying corporate publishers all these years, and all the sharing of hundreds of free products being offered there. Did you know that you are required to post a FREE product before you can post anything for sale? Did you check the ratio of free products in the many teacher stores? TpT is a wonderful site that is a glowing bright spot on education today.  You really dropped the ball here! Sad.

Jeannie Partin
Jeannie Partin

I LOVE TpT and I am an avid buyer there! I love knowing that I am purchasing from real teachers who know what a classroom teacher needs (not a big publishing company full of "writers").... I also appreciate purchasing from a teacher and helping out a fellow colleague that has done part of the work for me. I'd rather my money go to these amazing teachers rather than a big publishing company who are ran by people who have never taught!

AMBentley
AMBentley

Obviously, Mr. Rotherham has not visited a classroom lately! The teaching profession gets blasted on a daily basis, but this article makes me giggle. Not giggling because of it being cute, but giggling because it is so off base. Deanna Jump is respected and loved by so many teachers internationally. People love her creativity, reality, and awareness of how students learn in a classroom. That is why she is so successful. She is a real teacher creating real lessons to use in a real classroom, not some fairy-tale classroom. They are tried and true lesson plans that produce student achievement.

In the education world today, school districts are faced with having to lay off teachers and the instructional budgets have been cut to nearly nothing. A teacher has a couple of choices when instructional funds are not available to provide what the teachers AND students need in the classroom to meet the rigorous standards of today: (1) choose to not worry about standards and the changing of the tide; (2) spent countless hours away from their families to create lesson plans and activities that meet the standards, or (3) head straight to Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) and purchase, yes buy, a lesson plan from a teacher that has tried it out in his/her classroom. What would you do Mr. Rotherham?

RichiReynolds
RichiReynolds

Wow! Why can't we just be proud of these creative and resourceful teachers? No, we want them downtrodden and obedient . Nobody has complained about teacher creativity for years while teachers have been making materials and working on their own time to get rooms ready. Nobody has complained about teachers using money from their own pockets to buy materials and supplies...even cleaning supplies! No, nobody complains about that, but you let one of these uppity teachers make some money on their own, outside of school and we have to put a stop to that!

AMBentley
AMBentley

This article missed the real picture! It is clear that Mr. Rotherham has not spent much time in a classroom lately! School districts have been forced to lay off skilled teachers due to not having enough funds to pay their salaries. Instructional budgets have shrunk to almost nothing, yet states are continuing to raise the bar for the children of the United States. With fewer teachers employed and slashed instructional funds, districts are not able to equip the remaining teachers (and students) with the materials needed to meet higher, more rigorous standards. A teacher has a couple of choices: (1) teach without worrying about the new rigor and standards, (2) spent countless hours away from their families to create materials that meet the required standards, or (3) pay a teacher who has tested the product in his/her classroom for lessons, activities, novel studies, etc. What would you choose Mr. Rotherham?

Deanna Jump paved the way for many teachers internationally, yes internationally. With her creativity, there are thousands (possible millions) of children who have benefited from her lessons. Anyone who has purchased a unit from her knows that they are getting a top-quality unit that is engaging, challenging, and something the students are eager to complete.

Not everyone can create wonderful units. This is where online outlets such as Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) comes in to play. Also, there are many teachers who are now teaching numerous classes without having the background and/or expertise to create solid lessons. They need somewhere to turn to, and TpT is the place. Should school districts benefit from a teacher selling lesson plans on the side, outside of work hours? Absolutely not! Did the school district purchase that teacher's home computer, personal instructional tools, ink cartridges, etc. No, they didn't.

To touch on the FREE online resources, that is great as long as the lessons are top-quality. It is not true that teachers do not share with one another. That is not the case at all. Teachers share all of the time. However, I know that if I am looking for a quality resource, I now turn to TpT. To me, that is money well spent!

RichiReynolds
RichiReynolds

Wow! Why can't we just be proud of these creative teachers? Teachers who, for years, have spent their own money for supplies and hours of their own time getting rooms ready and making materials for their students to use . Nobody ever complained about all the great teacher created materials until teachers started actually getting rewarded for all their hard work. Nope... Gotta keep those teachers downtrodden or they might decide they are worth way more than they are getting paid right now!

xzaebos
xzaebos

Everyone has a right to sell their knowledge, or give it away. Wanna know where they got their knowledge? They paid tution fees and their parents paid taxes for their grade schooling. Plus, lesson plans aren't just knowledge, they are a plan and reasources.

Also, teachers are the BEST part of education. You wanna know where the issue lies in our educational system? The students. Piece of shit students these days don't care if they pass or fail, and neither do their parents. If we put the respondsibility on students and not teachers then maybe students will actually give a damn.

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

I really don't understand all this about selling your Knowledge to the highest bidder thing, it's almost like saying those who can't afford to buy it, get left behind !

Margaret Whisnant
Margaret Whisnant

The author failed to make his point clear.  Whatever he intended to say is lost in the details.  I have the sense of an over-all negative attitude toward teachers and education when I get to the last word.

tschorr
tschorr

I have been a full time teacher for 18 years. I work a second job during the school year that requires 15 hours a week to make ends meet, and then work another job during the summer. But somehow I am overpaid, and lazy ... something I read in the paper or hear on the news almost every week. Yea right

Corey Monroe
Corey Monroe

 Yes, Teachers should be allowed to sell their lesson plans. Heck they don't make know money when they get paid for working hard and going extra hours to help are young people. Don't get me wrong some teachers could care less about young people because they are burned out are probably lost hope. But most have hope and they want to make sure are young people have what it takes to make it in life. I love are teachers in America for working with are youth.

Robert Pruitt
Robert Pruitt

Here is what Mr. Rotherman says - "Regardless of who foots the bill for more-effective lesson plans, this sort of professional sharing is long overdue."

RichiReynolds
RichiReynolds

Our society's attitude towards teachers has not evolved much since the 19th century. It is high time teachers were given the respect and rewards they deserve. And if they are smart enough and creative enough to find ways to supplement their salaries, well good for them!!

Sara Davis
Sara Davis

I think anriprof is just trying to point out that this is not a either/or issue. If I took something I had developed for my university and tried to sell it verbatim the university would have issues.

 

LucidGal
LucidGal

But it's interesting that we only want to congratulate them when they find a way to monetize what they do, instead of recognizing the intrinsic value of their work and paying them like we pay tall guys to stuff a rubber ball through a metal ring.