Teachers Pay Teachers is an amazing site just packed full of resources for teachers of any subject and grade level. It has a plethora of task cards, lesson plans, assessments, craftivities, centers, and much more! But before you search for online teaching resources next time, make sure you know about TpT and these 10 things below in particular.
Teachers Pay Teachers is actually not known by a lot of teachers. It’s still relatively new. It is a place where teachers – most still working in the classroom full time – write and create their own lesson plans in the classroom. They are tested out on their own students and then tweaked, and sold on TpT. These product creations take hours – if not more – to create. So what important things do I want you to know about Teachers Pay Teachers?
1.) When searching for a product, don’t just judge the product based on the picture alone. Look at the preview. Nearly all products have a preview button where you can download the product. When you click on the preview button, you can look at the preview of selected pages from the Teacher-Author and, if desired, you can even print those pages to try out first in your classroom. (*Please note that printing the pages may not always be in the exact same quality but will be close.) If you look in the picture below of my Elapsed Time product, you’ll see I have circled the preview button.
The button that is circled in this picture is where you can download the preview. It will open up to this box in this picture for you to save or even print.
What’s in it for you? You get to see more of the product and possibly try it out.
2.) After you have checked out the preview, read the description. I know we are all visual, and some people like me write on and on and on and on, but really, the description, such as my energy stations product below, will tell you for sure if you want it. The description will likely tell you everything that is in the product, what standards (if any) it meets, and pretty much what you can expect. It may also connect you to other like products that you may want to check out also (or instead).
What’s in it for you? You get the product you are looking for. No disappointment.
3.) Feedback, but this is important in two ways. First, you can read the feedback to get an idea of customer satisfaction. However, keep in mind, most Teacher-Sellers (myself included) take every feedback seriously. If I see something that needs to be fixed based on a piece of feedback, then I immediately open the file, fix it, and re-upload it. That feedback will be there forever, though (unless the buyer goes back and edits it). This brings me to my second reason why feedback is important: Feedback is important because it helps me know how I can improve my product so others can enjoy it, and it can be beneficial for students. Without feedback, I cannot improve as a seller. Do I want you to bash me to pieces and make me cry? No. But I want to know if it was awesome and made your day or if I need to fix page 13.
Very detailed, made-me-cry-with-happiness feedback
What’s in it for you? I mean, it takes up time doing it, and you are required to put something in that comment box. Each time you leave feedback, you get credits (the higher priced the item you leave feedback for, the higher the credits you receive). The more credits you get, the more free stuff you get. You just enter it in a box at the end of your order. I do it all the time because I LOVE FREE STUFF.
4.) If you aren’t sure of something – say you aren’t sure if a product offers something you need – you can leave a question for the author in the Q & A section. Most of us reply immediately or within 24 hours and are especially polite. This is also a great place to ask us to fix an error you noticed after you purchased the product. We get tired eyes after looking at it for so long; we are human and accidentally overlook things. This is also a great place to see if other people may have already asked your same question.
What’s in it for you? You get what you need and customer satisfaction.
5.) Since we are human, and we do notice mistakes, be sure to check your purchases frequently to see if there is an updated or revised version. If you go to “My Purchases” and then click on the drop down menu “Sort By: Recently Revised,” then you’ll see all the products that have been revised. You can just re-download them. I know for me, when I first started this journey, I thought that fancy script was the neatest thing. But as I progressed, I started realizing just how hard it can be to read. I have since updated my products. I’m sure others experience the same things – along with errors, adding parts, removing parts that don’t work, and so on.
What’s in it for you? You get the best of that product, because if we are revising, it’s for the better!
6.) Oh, the follow-me star. There’s no trick. Teacher-Sellers want you to follow them. It’s not about the number of followers for most but rather that they don’t want you to miss out on savings! When you follow someone by clicking on the green star next to their name, you are getting access to their new products by the once a day “New Products” email. When you get this, look it over and see if there is anything in there you want! Snag up the deals, because nearly everyone has their new products on sale the first day they are posted! (And yes, I’m following myself! Ha!)
What’s in it for you? Well, at my store, you could pay half the price of my products if you catch it in that “New Products” email – that’s saving some MONEY! 🙂 Since there is no limit to who you can follow, theoretically, you could never pay full price for anything!
7.) Read your mail! I know, we are all busy. I am, too, so I get it. But reading your mail could really benefit you. Some sellers send incentives through that. We can only send you one newsletter a month, so we have to make it worthwhile. It only takes a minute, and we usually keep it short. (Even us long-winded writers like me!)
What’s in it for you? Well, if you follow me, then occasionally I will send you freebies or special notices of sales I have coming up. I’m also planning a few other future promotions and surprises!
8.) Don’t have time to purchase right then? There are several options! You can add it to your wish list, but if you’re like me, you forget it’s there. I always add stuff to my wish list and then forget I added it. Then, I end up doing another search. Instead, another option is to click on the icons on the side next to the product – you can share it on Facebook, or you can pin it for later. (As a bonus, when you do this, you are actually also doing number 10 below!)
What’s in it for you? You don’t lose track of what you liked and waste hours looking for it later!
9.) By shopping at Teachers Pay Teachers, you are not only getting high quality lesson plans, task cards, and other materials that we KNOW work because we have used them ourselves, but you are also helping out other teachers. We all know how hard it is to be a teacher. I’m working hard and putting in extra time to create quality products, and you are saving time (and sanity?) in planning. It’s a win-win, right?
What’s in it for you? You save time planning – so you get to do the stuff you love more.
10.) Finally, I ask that you please tell your friends about this post or about Teachers Pay Teachers. Help spread the word. People like me want to help you be the best teacher you can be. I want to help you save time in the classroom, help your students grow, and help you find time to do the things you love. I know all the demands of teaching. I know how hard it is. I know how much I say, “I just want to teach.”
What’s in it for you? You can just teach. 🙂