Teachers Pay Teachers and the Rise of the “Teacherpreneur”

Teachers Pay Teachers and the Rise of the “Teacherprenuer”

Working a “side hustle” is becoming increasingly popular for teachers, and no one is surprised. Because educators are oftentimes underpaid, they look elsewhere for extra income. According to Education Week, one in five teachers works some type of “side hustle” or part-time job along with their full-time teaching job. Over half of those teachers work a “side hustle” unrelated to education.

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace that has changed the “side hustle” game for many teachers. 

TpT is an open marketplace where teachers buy and sell original teaching materials. Teachers can easily make an account, upload teaching materials like lesson plans and worksheets, and collect compensation for the resources they’ve created.

Therefore, TpT is meeting multiple needs by not only providing extra income for teachers but also providing an enormous collection of ready-to-go, accessible resources for busy teachers. They are filling the gap and allowing its sellers to be both teachers and entrepreneurs (teacherpreners),  keeping their “side hustle” in the education field.

Teachers are already using their own money on their students. Why not spend that money in a way that benefits another teacher? In many cases, teachers can also spend their allotted school funds on the website’s resources as well. Once purchased, the resources are instantly downloadable, adding to the company’s desirable convenience.

As a teacher, I can promise that convenience is the ultimate selling point. It’s no surprise to me that TpT has become absolutely commonplace in the education world. I’ve been there; the three dollars are more than worth a free afternoon and a good night’s sleep, knowing that I have readymade plans for the next school day. Honestly, it makes me feel pretty great to think that extra money is going into the pockets of another teacher. Teachers are notorious for supporting one another (we have to stick together!) and Teachers Pay Teachers is another avenue that allows to do just that. 

Like any groundbreaking idea, TpT has been met with some criticism over replacing free resources on websites and blogs; however, they also have various free resources, as it is up to the individual seller to price their resources. With that being said, the positive impact and feedback has far outweighed the negative since the company began its climb to the top. 

TpT’s top competitors, “Share My Lesson” and “Better Lessons” offer a similar service but none have experienced the fast growth that TpT has. According to Teachers Pay Teachers’ website, this year has seen over 1 million sellers, 5 million customers, 3 million resources, and over 1 billion resources downloaded. 

How does it work?

To sell, you sign up and choose a membership option; the basic membership is free, but the site also offers a premium membership with extra features and tools. You set up your “store” at your own URL and are paid monthly.

To buy, you simply visit TeachersPayTeachers.com and search for your desired content. With a few clicks, you can have ready-made lesson plans and resources.

Why do we teachers love TPT so much?

Here’s why:

1. The resources and typically amazing quality…and already proven effective in the classroom. There is a level of trust in TPT because the resource purchased has already been used in a classroom. When I’m looking for reading comprehension worksheets on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, why reinvent the wheel when I can buy one on TPT and use my valuable time attending to one of the other thousand things on my to-do list?

2. There are still plenty of free resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. Therefore, it isn’t all about the profit; there is still plenty of the “giving” vibe that we teachers know and execute so well.

3. As mentioned before, we LOVE supporting other teachers! We’re all in this together.

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, or both, Teachers Pay Teachers is changing the game by serving those in education while also contributing to the rise of the “teacherpreneur”. 

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Whitney Ballard is a writer and teacher from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, https://trainsandtantrums.blog/. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holding a Master’s degree in Education; she writes about her journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens on her blog. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

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