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Teacher Needs


by TeachersPayTeachers

PLATFORMS / Web Browser

Marketplace where teachers can buy, sell, request and share original lesson plans


TeachersPayTeachersis an online marketplace that enables teachers to buy and sell original contentand lesson plans with other teachers. The design is reminiscent of Amazon, inthat teachers can browse content created by other teachers through filters likegrade level, subject, price, and type of resources. TpT highlights top sellers,featured resources, and sales of the week. The site makes “resource sharing” intoa full- featured shopping experience, where teachers can simultaneously be anentrepreneur and a customer.

Asof 2013, the TpT marketplace hosted over a half million resources, of which amajority devoted to primary grades; there are also prominent ELA and mathcategories. Each resource’s profile includes an overview on what it is and whatit does, ratings and comments from other customers, and detailed informationabout the seller including descriptions of their teacher experience and theirteaching style.

Buyerscan directly ask sellers questions about an individual resource that’s up forsale through the site. Buyers can also download a preview of the resourcebefore they commit to buying. Teachers can “follow” their favorite sellers andget updates on future releases. And much like Amazon, buyers can maintain awishlist of items they would like to buy.  

Anyonecan sell resources on the TpT marketplace, whether they are a teacher or not.Before sellers can upload resources to sell, however, they must share a freeresource. Once the free resource is up, the site lets sellers set their ownprices for additional materials. Resources must be uploaded in pdf, Word,Wordperfect, or HTML files.

Thepricing sweet spot for individual items seems to be around $3.50, says PaulEdelman, founder of the site. Customers buy in groups, with typical customersspending about $14 per order (about three items).

TpThas excited some controversy. Some teachers loveit and appreciate the extra money which they frequently spend on additionalresources for their class. (Most teachers spend several hundred dollars oftheir own money each year to supplement school supplies.) Others havecomplained that since teachers are paid with public funds, the resources theycreate for their job is public property and belongs in the public domain.Copyright issues about who owns materials created for the classroom are still unclear.

Creatinga TpT account is free for buyers. However, sellers choose between the freeversion and a paid membership: The company takes a 40% commission on sales fromsellers using a free account. Those who pay for a premium membership of $60 peryear get charged a 15% commission.

TeachersPayTeachers issolely a resource-sharing site. Beyond being able to get ready to use resourcesfor the classroom, teacher will receive no further coaching or advice on whatit takes to implement the resource in their own classrooms. 


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