Teachers Pay Teachers

This guest post comes from Jan Chalmer, who is one of the most active Japanese teachers on the Teachers Pay Teachers website.  In this blog she shares the ins and outs of Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) website, and how language teachers can use it to source and sell resources.

Jan Chalmer has taught Japanese in Victoria, Australia, for more than 30 years. She currently teaches learners from early childhood to Year 6 at Gippsland Grammar School. She has been involved in resource development and technology integration throughout her career. She currently uses interactive white boards and tablets in her language classes. However, she also believes in the importance of ‘hands-on’ tasks and student learning is also supporting with flashcards, playing cards, board games, etc. Jan shares and sells more than 115 resources through Teachers Pay Teachers. If you are a Japanese teacher, or if you want to see a language teacher’s TpT store in action, please visit  Japanese JANKENPON!

What is Teachers Pay Teachers?
Teachers Pay Teachers, or TpT for short, is “the first and largest marketplace where teachers share, sell and buy original educational materials”. More than 4 million active users share more than 2.2 million resources on the site. The resources are grouped by grade and subject, with a range of world languages covered, including American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, Gaeilge, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

The resources on the site are created by everyday teachers, who host their resources on online store. Some of the resources are free, while paid resources average US$4. Some of the resources available on the site include lesson plans, unit plans, interactive notebooks, flashcards, learning centre ideas, activities, games, classroom décor and more.

To get started, teachers need to create a free account at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Signup

If you wish to purchase resources, you will also need to have a PayPal account. For most resources, a digital download will be immediately available upon purchase.

How to sell your resources on TpT
Anyone can become a seller on the site, but once they sign up, they need to initially upload a free resource for potential customers to check the quality/style of work. Sellers choose between’ free’ and a ‘paid’ membership. The company takes a 40% commission on sales from sellers using a free account. Those who pay for a premium membership of US$59.95 per year get charged only a 15% commission. There is plenty of advice provided on the website for setting up a ‘store’ and indeed on every aspect of the process!

Sellers need to sign off on the issue of copyright. Clipart needs to be free to be used for commercial purposes, for example, and TpT can take action if copyright has been breached. There are many amazing sellers of clipart on the site, so this greatly helps in creating visually appealing materials.

I create my resources using Publisher or Powerpoint and then save them as PDF files. Through the website I have learned that PDF files need to be ‘locked’ down so customers cannot extract the clipart (a requirement of many clipart sellers when you use their work). I purchased a small program for doing this called PDF Toolkit Pro.

Happy customers may choose to follow your store and then are automatically notified when new resources are uploaded. Buyers may also leave feedback and rate their purchase against given criteria. For doing this, they gain ‘credits’ which can be used to discount future purchases anywhere on the site.

I have found it enjoyable and immensely rewarding sharing my experience and knowledge through creating resources for TpT!


*Have you ever purchased a resource from Teachers Pay Teachers?
*Do you have a TpT store? What are your experiences?
*Do you have any concerns with the TpT model?

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