On one hand, some teachers have NO qualms about utilizing TpT. Many of us view it as a massive time-saver of lessons that are 1) actually classroom-tested, 2) made by teachers, not just publishing houses, and 3) meet our varying criteria for topic and grade level.
However, I'm finding that some middle and high school teachers are hesitating with fully and enthusiastically interacting with the TpT community, and the reasons why may or may not be valid.
In order to address those fears in a non-judgmental way, several secondary teacher-authors are here to share the value that they see in TpT. Come check out what we have to say, and click on our hyperlinks to see what we offer as examples of what we do.
Our reasons seem to fall into three categories: saving time, improving our teaching, and supporting all teachers.
(If you want to catch up on previous posts from us, make sure to click on the Secondary Speaks tag at the bottom of this post. Remember: Stay tuned for more posts, and comment below if you want to join in!)
Q: "Why should secondary teachers shop on TpT?"
- There's no rule saying that we teachers must all make and use only our own documents. If we did, the publishing industry would die. If it's okay for an English department to collaborate within a school/district/state, then consider interacting with an awesome English department ONLINE via TpT. We are here to share ideas and offer options with the lessons that worked for us. There's no need to reinvent the wheel out of a self-imposed sense of obligation. Just because you COULD do it yourself doesn't mean that you are REQUIRED to make that lesson. Prioritize your time and energy on what you most want and need to do for your students, and call on your TpT teacher friends for the rest. Secondary Sara
- TpT allows you to get that little bit of help that you need sometimes. No one said that teachers need to spend every weekend and evening marking and planning lessons. If you can find an amazing lesson to use in your class, you can spend more time on other important parts of your job. If TpT had been around when I was a new teacher, or at times when I had a new assignment, it would have saved me so much time and stress! Room 213
- TpT is full of wonderful products that help teachers save time and their sanity. History Gal
- Secondary teachers should shop on TPT to help them have more time in their lives. We are all so busy with the paperwork and organizational side of teaching things that we should look for ways to help gain a little bit of "life time" back. Even though I sell my products on TPT, I still buy lots of products to help my students stay engaged. Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog
- Save time!!! We have enough marking, prepping, etc. to do. The Lab
- Secondary teachers already have to work on curricula and planning, management, grading, ( in NJ, SGOs), and more. I look at TpT as toolbox, with plenty of highly specialized tools inside. The teacher always brings the expertise and the application. But how much more difficult is your job if you have to MAKE the wrench and the hammer too?? I am a certified teacher with some great tools... use my tools in the way you need to use them! Gina
- It will save them time - time to rest! Lauralee
- SAVING TIME: We have enough to do with the 130 +/- students we see in a day that every moment we can save by getting some resources done for us is worth every penny you spend. Sarah from Kovescence of the Mind
- More teachers should shop on TpT because it is a hidden gem among the secondary education community. So many secondary teachers don't know about this site, and they can find great resources to help enhance their teaching. It is like the ultimate place for collaboration! The Daring English Teacher
- In any given day secondary teachers have 5 - 8 classes depending on what type of schedule their school is on. With the CCSS, NCLB, ACT, SAT, NWEA and who knows how many other acronyms, everything is in a constant state of flux. I discovered TpT first as a teacher-buyer when I was trying to differentiate and just did not have time to create 4 different versions of the same worksheet all by myself. That was over two (almost three now!) years ago and I have never looked back. The quality of what is offered is superior to what is offered in books bought at a teacher store because they are tried out, modified and created to fit today's students - not a one size fits all approach like many textbook makers employ. As a parent, I use it find resources to help my own children in the areas that they are struggling in, because again, I find something on that topic without having to pay for 30 other topics that I don't need. SecondaryMathShop
- I know I have bought several items on there and it has been great. A time saver. An idea that I never would've come up with on my own. Great, great way to liven up my classroom routine! The Math Factory
Improving Our Teaching
- Secondary teachers should shop on TPT, because it's a great place to find Common Core aligned products that are created by teachers who know what students need in order to grow and be successful. You have the opportunity to see the feedback that people have given on each seller's product (unless the item is new and no feedback has been given yet). As a teacher, I have learned so much from the awesome TPT sellers, and it has helped me to also grow into being a more effective educator. Lit with Lyns
- Creative inspiration. Too many secondary teachers are isolated with no one to bounce ideas off of or get new ideas from. Brynn Allison
- Teachers in my PD sessions consistently regret lack of student engagement in class, but claim they lecture because they do not have time to create active learning materials. They also worry that active tasks do not connect well to learning objectives and test takeaways. TPT offers high quality tasks that link to student interests and to clearly stated lesson goals. TPT can help to rock relevant and active student learning! Ellen Weber
- Shopping on TpT really inspires you to grow professionally. I see a wealth of interactive, really cool ideas floating around on the site in other subject areas and it serves as motivation to challenge myself to create something super cool for my own students. It also helps relieve a lot of pressure and stress. Sometimes I just don't have it in me to create a great presentation for our next concept (especially in the middle of the semester), but I know I can trust the work of some other teachers who have active stores.Madame H
- The greatest gift that TpT has given me is the chance to explore and learn so many fantastic new teaching ideas and strategies! It's the best professional development I have ever done!! Too often high school teachers teach the same courses year after year and get stuck in a rut. TpT is the perfect chance to try something new with very little risk! High school teachers might be surprised to find unique way of looking at a novel, a fresh approach to poetry or a different way of teaching writing. Addie Williams
- There are PowerPoint presentations, stations, games, activities, labs, and so much more! Science Chick
- The unique and quality materials available. Scipi
- The #1 reason more secondary teachers should shop on TpT is because they can find specialized products that fit their teaching needs and are at reasonable prices. Textbooks are useful but most of the time teachers don't use all the material in them. With TpT products, however, teachers can search for materials that are exactly what they need...and they will most likely find them! The ESL Nexus
- There is so much good and creative work on TpT. I have some dusty old units from years ago that aren't visually appealing but by purchasing from my peers on TpT, my units have gone from drab to dazzling! I have even had senior students say, "Miss, you have such nice handouts!" The stellar work at TpT engages students, keeps them hooked and lets you teach because you have all the tools you need to deliver a highly effective lesson. You can give meaningful feedback because you haven't been up until midnight the night before creating a handout! When I'm inspired by a unit, then my students will be inspired. That feeling is palpable and that is what TpT does for me: it keeps me motivated knowing I will be presenting such beautifully created work and the students become naturally interested in the topic, too. It's a win-win situation. Allyson's Creative Corner
- Secondary teachers should shop on TpT because there are SO MANY creative resources available; great ideas that you can use immediately, as in, shop during your planning and have printed materials ready to handout for the next class. Also, there are many times a teacher needs materials for early-finishers or for late-acheivers. The high school teacher really needs a complete arsenal of resources and TpT can help fill that need. weatherly
- Secondary teachers should shop TPT for the same reasons that we shop at any favorite teacher store - because there are high-quality teaching materials on TPT, because the prices are very reasonable, and because there is a wide variety of choices. The advantage of using TPT is that the variety is larger than you could find in a brick and mortar store or in a catalog, and not only that - there are new choices every day, and lots of them! Classroom in the Middle
- TpT is inspiring! I have found more amazing approaches and strategies to reach my students than I could have ever brainstormed myself, much less created. We all have strengths as teachers - TpT brings those strengths to one place. Mrs. M.
- I think the best part of TPT for secondary teachers is the great access to creative ways to approach secondary curriculum. TPT is full of station activities, interesting project ideas, bell ringers and more. It's like having a huge set of teachers to collaborate with. Secondary teachers can select the best for them and integrate into their curriculum so that they have more time for working with students. DocRunning
- Secondary teachers should shop on TpT because as much as things stay the same with the novels that are taught from year to year, the more things change with the WAY they can be taught! There are so many new ideas from flip-flap books to interactive notebooks that get students engaged in the classics not just trudging through them. Lisa @ Mrs. Spangler in the Middle
- I have bought several products this year that have been lifesavers. I tend to go back to the same ideas year after year, and I love to browse Teachers Pay Teachers for new products to supplement what I do. David Rickert
- Having worked for a publishing company for 3 years, I know that the bottom line is profit. As teachers, we pride ourselves FIRST on producing great quality material. On TpT, all profits (85%) go directly to the teacher, unlike most publishing houses who offer 10% or less. Creative Couple
- Experienced teachers. Less work for you. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has already done it? Larissa McMahan
- I love that the teacher authors on TpT really take a lot of time to make sure that the resources look good, and as they are rated by real teachers, you can quickly just their efficacy. I know that I have redone a lot of things that I always thought were great activities, but just didn't look sellable. After using the revamped version in my classes, I have to say that the kids really do notice the visuals of a product. I also think that there are so many resources out there that we look at each year at back-to-school time. I know how many books I bought for $10-15, thinking it would be great, but in the end, I only used a few pages. With TpT, you can buy what you need when you need it. If you are out of fresh ideas or just don't have time to make what you want, there will be a teacher out there that can help out. In turn, it is teachers helping teachers, and I love that! Mme R's French Resources
- In this era of public education scrutiny, it's nice and beneficial to support each other, rather than huge corporations. Brian Dalton
- TpT is THE single most effective place to obtain effective, high-quality, cutting-edge resources created by actual classroom teachers! Literary Sherri
- Buying tired curriculum with bad graphics and out-of-date ideas from scholarly printing houses is supported in the mainstream, so why shouldn't active creative teachers provide materials to each other? I love being able to share my professional life's work. We've been doing it for years through out of the way websites and lesson plan newsletters like Classroom Notes Plus. TPT just provides a larger and clearer venue for us all to share what we do best. Betsy Potash
- Simply put because it can help you! As much as secondary teachers take pride in creating their own resources and knowing that they are creating resources to meet the needs of their specific students, they are sometimes presented with roadblocks or challenges to achieving their curriculum goals. What do you do when the week before school starts your class line up changes and all of a sudden you're teaching Government for the first time? Or what if you happen to have a group of really musically inclined students and you're tone deaf or just don't know how to incorporate music into your content area? What if you know you want to get your students working with interactive notebooks but you don't know where to start with them yourself? The solution to all those scenarios is to start shopping on TpT! The other secondary stores on TpT are full of innovation, creativity, and activities you might not have thought of yourself, been able to make yourself, or could have imagined existed. Secondary sellers on TpT are constantly pushing themselves to make learning more engaging for students, they want to make planning easier for teachers, and they want other secondary teachers to be successful in the classroom. Stephanie's History Store
Do you have another reason, or want to echo one of these? Tell us in the comments!