Boy, did we get some great questions! The first one we’re featuring involves TIME because, let’s face it, teachers often just don’t have enough.
We collected answers from the post and from our own Seller’s Forum. Here’s your first installment. Sit back, enjoy, and see what TpT Teacher-Authors had to say when asked:
“How do you find the time to do all of your great TpT work?”
“We’re weekend warriors.”
Silly Sam Productions, Rachel K Tutoring, Brittany Washburn, and The Kinder-Garden do the majority of their TpT work on Saturdays and Sundays. Some teachers, like Buzz Into Kinder devote some evening hours to their TpT tasks over the course of the week and address the final details on the weekend. For Carol’s Garden, weekends, holidays, and vacations are the best time to work on TpT projects, although she certainly doesn’t see it as work. In fact, she views it as her “creative escape.”
“We work until the wee hours.”
The evenings are prime work time for teachers like Kindergarten Squared. “We usually wait ’til our kiddos are in bed and then it’s TpT time… I’m telling the truth when I say I have literally been working on a Friday night and the next thing I knew, the sun was coming up!” Room 213 is an early riser, so she does a lot of work before her family wakes up in the morning.
Rachel Lynette feels extremely fortunate to be doing TpT full time. “When I was still in the classroom,” she says, “I spent a lot of late nights working on [resources]… I [tend to] get so excited about certain projects that they kind of take over my life until they’re finished.”
Simply Skilled In Second admits she’s a pretty good multitasker and has figured out how to best use her time. She explains, “I begin making dinner as soon as I get home from school and then help my boys with their homework. My hubby cleans up and I work for a couple of hours. I do something for TpT every single day… It’s a lot to do [but] soooooo worth it! TpT has completely blessed my life!”
“We act on inspiration.”
When an idea strikes Lifelong Learning, there’s nothing stopping her. “It takes over [my entire] thought process!” she says. “I usually sit down and get to work right away.”
“We turn off the TV.”
UtahRoots finds the time by eliminating other “down time” activities such as watching TV. She says, “Creating new resources is so engaging and rewarding that it really doesn’t feel like work. It’s more like a hobby that you can’t stay away from. Well, OK, what I really mean is that it’s addicting!” Teaching and Tapas put together a schedule in her weekly planner when she plans out creating resources. During that time, she turns off as many electronic distractions as she can so she’s able to stay on task.
“We plan now and create later.”
Jennifer Findley sketches out ideas as a passenger during long car rides. “Then, when I do have the time to sit down and create, I have a plan in place.” Elementary Ali carries a notebook to write down thoughts as they come to her throughout the day.
“We give our resources dual purpose.”
Many sellers use their creations for their own classrooms, thus adding effeciency. “I use almost all of the products I sell,” says Teachers Are Terrific. “First I create the packages for my own classroom. Then I just add some clip art and a cover and it’s ready to go.” Jenifer Stewart‘s goal is to consistently create at least five new products for her store per month. She uses these products in her own classroom, so she’s able to simultaneously plan and create new products for her store.
For Juggling ELA, first came teaching, then came TpT. “Everything [I have in my TpT store] I created first for use in my classroom. This is my 14th year of teaching so I literally had thousands of documents on my computer when I joined TpT. Of course things needed to be edited, [but I was able to accomplish this] during the summer and on the weekends.” SamizdatMath, who’s been in math eduction for 30 years, says, “… TpT has enabled me to archive my past work and share it with others.”
One Extra Degree explains, “I started adding material to TpT because I was already creating resources for my own classroom. I certainly can’t ‘do it all,’ but since I am routinely creating goodies to use with my own students, I tend to add those resources as I finish them. I try not to think of TpT as an ‘extra job.’ It’s more of an extension of my classroom responsibilities.”
Pretty incredible advice, huh? Hopefully some of these tips encouraged you, inspired you, and showed you new ways to maximize your time (while still sneaking in a few hours of sleep!). One great element of TpT is you decide if you want to use it to save you time or if you want to put time into it. Either way, you win.
Stay tuned for more questions and answers with TpT Teacher-Authors …
(Feature image thanks to Mr First Grade’s free Clock Search! Telling time to the hour and the half hour)