Teachers Pay Teachers has been part of my life as an educator for a long time. Six years ago, I was preparing for a formal observation on congruent and similar shapes. I knew I wanted my lessons to include four practice rotations. The curriculum provided by my district included enough practice for one rotation and to be honest it wasn’t an engaging task. It was a worksheet containing illustrations of shapes that students had to identify whether the pairs of shapes were congruent or similar. I wanted something more.
I searched thru Google for supplemental resources and stumbled on TpT. I had never visited the site before and was intrigued by the idea of fellow educators sharing their resources. I found two other activities for my observation. Searching on TpT sparked my creativity and I designed the fourth activity I needed.
Since that day TpT has played an pivotal role in my classroom. It’s a platform I depend upon to drive instruction, and yet some schools, administration teams, and districts don’t allow their teachers to use TpT resources. Here are 3 things I wish administration knew about Teachers Pay Teachers.
The curriculum provided is never enough. Whether it’s a specific skill that needs more practice, preparing for an upcoming assessment, or enrichment/remediation needs, teachers run out of materials. We’re always creating supplemental resources. This concept is nothing new to education. TpT facilitates the sharing of supplemental resources on a wide platform. Teachers know their students best and produce activities that best suit the needs of their classroom.
I wish I could say I was a master of all things related to education, but I’m not. My strongest subjects have always been math and science. When I taught 3rd grade I was responsible for all the subjects. TpT helped me in those areas where I didn’t feel like an expert. It was physically impossible for me to create all my own supplemental activities for every subject area.
Teachers turn to Pinterest, TpT, Google, etc. for aid and materials. I love my job as a teacher, but I also love my family, friends, and personal time. TpT helps me gain back some of my personal time.
I often get asked “How do you know the resources you find on TpT are good enough to support curriculum?” The answer is to inspect each resource carefully. Like any instance where research is conducted, one must filter thru materials to select the resources that are aligned to curriculum and serve an educational purpose. From carefully selecting what questions to use from a textbook to hand picking a workbook from a teacher resource store, educators do this sort of scrutinizing all the time. On TpT you will find national board certified educators, authors, individuals with Ph.Ds and more. It’s a giant melting pot of talented educators.
Teachers Pay Teachers is an open forum of incredible resources, creativity, and teacher support. The TpT community has helped me make a greater impact in my classroom.