Bloggers: If you blog and create awesome math resources that you intend for other math teachers to use for FREE, then you should hop on over to Teachers Pay Teachers to make sure that there aren’t teachers trying to SELL your FREE stuff. Teachers Pay Teachers makes money off of every sale, however, they do not monitor the site to make sure the posted material is authentic. They leave that up to US with a “Report this resource” link on the page of the activity. It is so disappointing that they don’t have any preventative measures to stop this. Robert found three different sellers selling his free lesson with one keyword search.
Teacher Consumers: I know some teachers love the site. And I can see how it could be helpful. Much of the stuff on there is activity based, very “polished”, and already finished, all packaged up for you to purchase. But PLEASE, before you purchase, do a quick Google Image (or even Pinterest) search, to see if you can find the same material for FREE on a teachers blog. In addition to the resource being FREE, there are two other great bonuses. First, the blogger usually has the EDITABLE version in a word doc on their blog. Second, the blogger usually explains how to use the resource in detail (and pictures) and will even comment back and forth with you about the work if you have questions. And if you are on Twitter, great work is often found for FREE under the #MTBoS and #iTeachMath hashtags!
I go on the TPT site about once every six months or so, and usually find at least 2 teachers that are selling my material. I comment on their item to let them know that I created the material, it is for free on my blog, and they should not have it in their store. Then I try to find the seller on social media so I can ask them to promptly take the item down. The seller is usually apologetic, and will take it out of their store. I have had a couple of people that claimed they didn’t steal it because they added a border or changed the font. But, that is the exception. TPT now has a “Report this resource” on each activity, but since I don’t trust TPT I usually try to find the person myself, and let them know. As in, please take down my material and stop trying to make money off of teachers for stuff they could get for FREE online.
I know that it may be crazy to think that many, many, math teacher bloggers offer all of the materials that they create for FREE. Some teachers you work with may not even share their materials with you, am I right? We chose share our work so that we can become better, together! Publishing our work for free allows many teachers to see and comment on it, so we get great feedback. When we publish our work, other teachers often take it, tweak it, and share it back with us. And, we have usually spent much time on our work, and want to share it to benefit another overworked math teacher. We have all benefited from someone else sharing their work, and we want to pay it back!
So, it really upsets me when I see material that can be found for FREE on blogs, up for SALE on Teachers Pay Teachers. Especially when it is the exact same material. The one I found tonight even had the picture that I took, with MY HANDWRITING on it, as the preview picture. It was even bundled with some of Sarah’s work. Well said Henri.