This week the TpT Challenge was all about why we joined TpT in the first place. I've been working on this post all week, but this was a surprisingly hectic week with our whole house being torn up for new carpeting, painting the nursery, and a few other things!
Here is my reasoning for why I do TpT, and why I blog at all, actually!
1. Share resources and learn from other teachers: There is something amazing about teachers. Teachers are willing to share and help each other more than any other group of professionals I've seen. When I first started teaching and blogging, it was so wonderful to learn from others, and to get ideas for everything from classroom management to decorating a classroom. I feel like blogging is so great because it's unedited. Teachers are free to share what they do, and explain if it worked or not. Everything I read in books back in the early 2000's seemed stale to me. It was always these magical strategies that worked perfectly in a utopian classroom. Blogging changes that, and people are realistic with their goals and struggles in the classroom. TpT is also like that for me. I'm not a perfect person, and sometimes I'll put up a resource that works great for me, but receive feedback that it didn't work for someone else. I hate it when people feel that way because I don't want to let them down. It actually gives me a great deal of anxiety, and I rush to fix the product in any way I can so I can provide a great product for people. This has actually made me a better teacher, because I'm really thinking through why it didn't work for someone else, and what could I do to make it better and easier to use in the classroom? And...it usually results in a better product that I can use in my own classroom the next time I teach it!
2. Help decrease debt and pay off student loans: I have a lot of student debt. I said it. I went to a private college, law school for a year, and have two masters degrees. Any way that I can supplement my income to help decrease my investment in my education is a plus in my book. I've used my TpT earnings as an allowance, so that I can put my salary towards paying off debt. Since I know I won't win the lottery anytime soon, I wanted to be proactive and do something about it! :)
3. Eventually develop a product line or resource book: One of my major dreams as an educator is to develop something that can be used nationwide. I'm not looking to become "edu-famous", but I would like to feel that I've contributed in a professional way to the incredible community of educators in our nation and world. I truly believe that TpT and Blogging support the idea of a virtual PLC, and we learn best from each other. Teachers are the experts in their field, and with the increasing takeover by publishing companies to control curriculum and education, I think it is absolutely crucial that we support and take care of each other. I think many teachers have a million things they are good at, and a handful of things they are absolutely excellent at. If everyone developed resources, materials, or products that showcase their gifts, I think we would be in a much better place. I also feel like middle-level education is somewhat lacking in resources, materials, and products available for their classroom. My ultimate goal would be to contribute in my own small way to this population with something of value.
Why do you blog? Why do you put resources on TpT? What's your "end game"?