Jason’s Online Classroom is a mother and son collaboration that combines the expertise of over 30 years of classroom teaching with technology and entrepreneurial smarts. They say, “We simply want to save teachers the time they would spend developing classroom materials so that they can focus their time and energy on their students. We believe that collaboration is the key to success.” Read more about their process and some of their terrific resources.
1. It’s pretty terrific that you and your mom form the team behind Jason’s Online Classroom. Tell us more about how that happened.
My mom and I were both inspired when we first learned about TpT in late 2012. I saw TpT as an amazing opportunity to start an online business that would actually make an impact on the lives of both students and teachers. As a recently retired teacher of 30+ years in Florida’s public schools, my mom Barbara viewed TpT as a way to continue to contribute in her chosen field even after retiring from active classroom duty. I ran with the idea and formed Jason’s Online Classroom. We quickly found out that we make a great team, and our combined efforts provide a unique twist to our resources. While I get a lot of the credit and name recognition, my mom is the behind-the-scenes secret that makes our resources special.
My favorite type of resources to create are those that combine content with the heavy use of clip art imagery, such as our line of writing prompts and vocabulary cards. TpT has an amazing collection of clipart and talented graphic designers — their work is really inspirational. I love combining the work of different artists to form a visual for students. A lot of the feedback received on our resources has emphasized that the visual aspect of our resources is what made the students excited to use them. And having students that are eager to learn is a big win for the teacher and for us!
3. Tell us a little more about your process: How does a resource go from concept to completion?
A lot of our ideas will just start through normal conversations or over breakfast, brainstorming about classroom needs and what tasks might cause teachers headaches, or take up too much of their time. Our biggest goals are to create resources that students are excited to use and to simply save teachers time. After we outline a concept, we’ll research for a bit and then my mom will take over the first draft of the resource, with a content-heavy focus. When she’s finished, I’ll proofread, add my own content, and work on the overall design and flow of the resource. If I can, I try to make multiple formats of the resource (such as our half and full sized memory book) in order to give the teacher buying it a lot of flexibility for how it will be used. After it’s posted to TpT, we use the feedback from buyers to learn and apply to our future ideas.
4. What are your three favorite resources and why?
- I would say that we have three favorite resource lines (multiple resources with the same basic idea). Our free Create Your Own Luck Bingo Games are really easy to use in the classroom, and we covered most of the major holidays as well as the seasons.
- Our line of Writing Prompts combine a written opinion, explanatory, or narrative writing prompt with a corresponding visual. We’ve covered school events, the holidays, the seasons, and each calendar month. We really like the writing prompts because they’re extremely simple to print and distribute and we’ve already received a lot of feedback from teachers who say that the prompts inspire their students to write, which is a skill that needs to be consistently practiced in every grade.
- Last, but not least, I would say that our Florida Standards are a real point of pride for us. We’re Florida natives so we really wanted to support Florida teachers and did so by covering math, science, ELA, and social studies for grades K-5. These resources took a tremendous amount of planning and work, so each and every time we receive positive feedback on them it’s special.
5. How has TpT affected your life most?
It’s actually harder to think of ways in which TpT hasn’t affected our lives. TpT has allowed me to experience owning my own business, being proud of the work that we do on a daily basis, waking up inspired, and working with my mother. To me, our resources are not just TpT products; they are memories of time spent with my mom. Memories that we would have never had the opportunity to create had it not been for TpT. That’s a pretty profound impact if you ask me, and I’ll always be grateful for that gift.
TpT is all about collaboration so we’re pretty excited about the mother and son collaboration happening in Jason’s Online Classroom. Thank you for sharing your story, and thanks for the terrific resources! You can follow their blog: Jason’s Online Classroom and Facebook page for news and resource announcements.