Before the Internet, it was impossible for teachers to share resources at any kind of scale. Everything was local. A teacher in Virginia would almost never get their hands on something great created by a teacher in Arizona. Even during the Internet’s first stage which lasted through the 90’s and into the 00’s, some lesson plans and teacher-created resources made their way to the web, but quality was spotty at best, and finding stuff was never easy.

Meanwhile a teacher’s job continued to get harder and harder.

By the mid 2000’s, Web 2.0 kicked into gear and it… changed… everything.

Instead of users being passive consumers of content, they became content creators (YouTube, Blogs, Facebook) and even small business owners (eBay, Etsy, Craigslist). Massive amounts of individual, cultural, and even monetary value had suddenly been unleashed.

This was the precise moment that TpT was founded. Seven years later it’s working. In a big way.

Teachers have sold over $35,000,000 worth of resources to date, 70% of that during the 2012/2013 school year alone, and they’ve discovered something even more valuable — personal and professional pride, newfound passion for the art of teaching, unbounded creativity, and a highly supportive community of like-minded colleagues.

What does the future hold? Boy, more of the same please and more of it!

You see, all that value created on the seller side is nearly nothing compared to the priceless value being created on the buyer side, where purchases of amazing veteran-created resources trigger sequences of events that inspire literally millions of children. In the process, the teacher-buyer discovers new ways of teaching that they internalize and share with other teachers, helping pedagogy spiral upwards.

And since we are still only reaching a fraction of teachers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK, this ripple effect is just getting started. More of the same please and more of it!

Our world is constantly changing. Textbooks, workbooks, and even digital curricula often become outdated within a year or two. Traditional publishers move slowly and only have an arm’s length relationship with real kids. Good teachers react to changes immediately, revise their products and publish fresh resources to the TpT catalog within days, at just the right size and price. Our catalog is a living and breathing entity.

A lot of smart people outside of schools think they know how to reform education. They have good intentions, and we ‘re happy to have their input, as we want everyone involved and engaged in this most important of endeavors.

But we know something they don’t know.

It’s mostly about you. This is, in fact, an inside job. This is a job for teachers. This is a grassroots teacher-to-teacher lifting of our collective skills and worth. Together, you got this, and TpT is helping to grease the engines. So tell everyone. Add some. Take some. And please more of it!

(Answer Part 2 from John Yoo, the new CEO of TpT, will be posted soon.)