Posted by dsgran
I'll start with the punchline. I've opened my own Teachers Pay Teachers shop, and you can visit it here.
Here's the thing though. I've been gong back and fourth about how I feel about this for a while now. On the one hand, I think its an excellent way for teachers to receive some compensation for all the great ideas that we share together online. On the other, it does not click with my intrinsic desire that all kids be educated equally. That is to say, if I develop what I think is a good lesson plan that will help students understand an art concept in an exciting an innovative way, my instinct is to share it so as many kids have access to it as possible. The late nights I spend scouring art education websites or artists' pages for inspiration is thanks to others who share that same philosophy.
There is, however, another voice in my ear. It's the voice of my mentor Renee Darvin at teachers college. When I started my student teaching, the school I went to offered me two of my own middle school classes. I thought that would be an excellent opportunity for me to have 'teaching experience' before even putting myself out there for job interviews.
When I excitedly told Renee, she told me "No. You are a trained professional. You don't give away your skill set for free, it demeans what you've achieved. You go back tomorrow and say that you'd be happy to teach any classes for which you are appropriately compensated".
Renee's point not only gave me an important perspective at the time, but it also made me more confident and determined in my career.
I don't know if the point holds up for sharing online resources. I don't think it does. Some of the most valuable resources that I use in my classes come from the teachers that I've never met and shared with online, and that is getting an invaluable return on the investment of sharing my own work.
On the other hand, some people might have time to share, or have no interest in sharing, or maybe this commodified site is another way that people are exploring the idea of sharing.
So to rectify these competing ideas in battling it out in my head, I've decided on an experiment - to open a shop with this very important caveat - anything that I'm selling on the site, I'll also give away for free. I'm proud of (most) of my work and very proud of all of Kim's work (also available at the store) and I want to share it with you. Its yours if you want it. If there's anything you see on my TpT store that you'd like, I'll email it to you for free (and maybe when I get around to it, I'll create an online database of my materials). However, if you'd like to buy me a cup of coffee (or a cup of tea for Kim), feel free to purchase something at the Carrot Revolution store.