This post originally appeared on the blog Laura Randazzo – Solutions for the Secondary Classroom.
What if… every teacher had the right tools to do this job?
What if… we all had a hard drive full of current, relevant, rigorous lessons?
What if… we were treated like professionals and not expected to dig into our own (meager) paychecks to supply those tools?
Those are the questions on my mind as I’ve grow increasingly frustrated that so many new hires are given the keys to a classroom and little else as they start the herculean task of leading classes. Okay… so they’re not given nothing. Maybe there’s a filing cabinet filled with tired worksheets and 20-year-old overhead transparencies abandoned by a retiring teacher. And there usually is a book room somewhere on campus with tattered copies of classics. A Tale of Two Cities, anyone?
It’s not enough that we engage 150+ students each day in the classroom and spend hours after school grading papers and projects. So many of us also have to recreate the curriculum wheel each night – and we often pay for those resources with our own money.
Workers in other industries aren’t expected to supply the materials they need in their work day. A waiter, for example, isn’t asked to bring his own set of plates and silverware to work. Delivery drivers don’t pay for the gas pumped into company trucks. My sister, a paralegal, doesn’t personally pay the court fees when filing cases. You get the point.
Yet teachers regularly wade through the painfully slow process of purchase orders/reimbursement paperwork or decide to pay for materials they need to use in class next week out of their own limited household budgets. It’s ridiculous, really.
You and I aren’t the only ones who think so. Our friends at Teachers Pay Teachers agree that our school districts should be supplying the best resources to help us teach our classes and we shouldn’t have to wait months for reimbursement. The site has always accepted purchase orders, but TpT just changed the game with TpT for Schools.
Imagine this: You see a resource you need. You click a “request” button. Your administrator immediately gets an email with your request and explanation of why it’s the right resources for your students. The administrator approves the request and the material immediately shows up in your account, ready for download.
Heck to the YES!
This world exists and more than a thousand schools are already using the site to immediately deliver high-quality resources to staff members. Your school needs this, too.
Here’s how it works:
1. You need an administrator, the person who makes spending decisions, to set up an account. Send that person here: bit.ly/ShareTpTForSchools
2. After the account is set up, the administrator will invite members of your teaching staff to join the school’s account by entering their email addresses.
3. You log in to your teacher account and start looking for resources that best fit the needs of your classroom. When you find a resource that fills a need, send a request to your administrator, like this:
4. The adminstrator will get an email notice of your request to review and approve or deny. If approved, the item immediately appears in your teacher account, where you can download and use the materials as soon as you like.
5. Boom! You’re done. High-quality, ready-to-use materials that allow you to focus your energy on your students instead of curriculum building? Yes, please, and thank you.
A one-minute video demo:
When I think about all the money our school districts have spent on tools that aren’t actually useful, I feel ill. It’s time to disrupt the traditional curriculum purchasing path that’s slow, expensive, and delivers uninspired materials from ed publishers that bore our students. If you’ve used TpT, you know there are some incredible classroom-tested tools over there created by teachers who know exactly what our kids need. Am I selfishly hoping that districts will purchase stuff from my shop, too? Of course. I like money. But I also see the value that TpT for Schools will bring to teachers at every grade level and every subject area.
Your mission this week? Talk to your favorite principal, vice principal, or district curriculum specialist and send him/her this link: bit.ly/ShareTpTForSchools. Explain that this is what you need. You might be surprised that this is what they want, too:
Teach on, everyone!
Please note: I’m not a TpT employee nor have I received compensation of any kind for this post. You might not have noticed, but I don’t ever place sponsored posts on my blog; instead, it’s a place where I share tools that I actually use and enjoy. I genuinely believe in TpT for Schools and know this is the path for school districts to provide the materials teachers need to do their jobs.
Laura Randazzo is in her 19th year as a high school English teacher. She’s taught everyone from the highest-achieving honors student to the continuation kid on the verge of dropping out of school. “What every student wants is to be inspired, to learn, and to have some fun while at school,” she says. “I hope my passion for learning and for kids comes through in these materials.” Read more about Laura on her blog: Laura Randazzo – Solutions for the Secondary Classroom and follow her TpT store for rigorous and relevant high school ELA resources.