Last year I decided to join this talented group of Teacher-Authors in a grass-roots effort to provide quality teaching materials to the education community.  Teachers Pay Teachers has had such a great impact on my life in so many ways that it's hard to even put it all into words, but I'm going to try!

Teachers Pay Teachers says right out front - it's an open marketplace for educators.  Sure, it's a marketplace where teachers can buy, sell and exchange teaching materials.  From one teacher to another.  No big publishing houses.  NO PEARSON.  (Did I mention how I hate how Pearson has infiltrated EVERY aspect of teaching?? Oh... I suppose that's another post.  No need to get political here!)  But TPT is SO MUCH MORE.

Teachers Pay Teachers is a community. We share ideas, philosophy, techniques, motivations, ways to make class fun and interesting.  We support each other, teach each other, learn from each other, inspire each other.  Being part of TpT makes me a better teacher.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I think about new ways to motivate my students.  I work on improving my writing, my questioning technique, and my planning.  I try to incorporate more ELA, more math, and more social studies into my lessons for an interdisciplinary approach.

Making my teaching materials available to others has me looking at them with a more critical eye.  I want others to be interested in what I have to offer, so I make things more visually appealing and more fun for my own students.

Teachers Pay Teachers is a fun and creative outlet.  I used to be an avid scrapbooker.  I love combining art and ideas.  I've always used my artistic tendency to create fun activities for my students, but now I get to share what I make with students all over the world.  Literally!  It's pretty cool to think my teaching materials are being used in Australia!

And of course, Teachers Pay Teachers is a way to earn extra income.  Believe it or not, that's not why I do it, but it sure is nice.  And the financial payoff is growing.  By leaps and bounds.  It's hard to believe.  Teachers actually PAY for my teaching materials.  But why shouldn't they?  I've been around the block a couple of times.  ;)  I know my way around programs that help make my materials inviting.  Some teachers are making real money at this.  REAL money.  I'm nowhere near that.  But every penny is a penny more than I had before.

I'll tell you a funny story.  I used to have a very valuable farm.  A bazillion dollars in land, animals, buildings, and crops. A FAKE bazillion dollars.  In FarmVille coins.  My kids and my husband used to laugh at me because I liked tending my farm.  It was kind of fun and creative, and it was relaxing to work at the computer in a creative way.  Well, nobody's laughing now that my creative time is making REAL coins.  Not quite a bazillion, but more than I ever expected.

So what does it take to join Teachers Pay Teachers?  Time.  Commitment.  Drive.  Interest in being better than you were yesterday.  The desire to be part of an inspiring community by helping others and asking for advice in return.  And maybe a hankering for a little extra jingle in your jeans.

If you want to check it out for yourself, click on the logo to get a FREE account.  You never know where it might lead you.

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