What I Have Learned From TPT

There has been a lot of discussion recently about Teachers Pay Teachers, with strong opinions both for and against. For me, TPT has been a blessing for my family, but more importantly I feel it has made me a better teacher.  I started selling onTPT about a year ago. As I look back at some of my first products I will tell you I cringe a bit (and I have actually removed them from my store, lol)....they were not so hot!

How Long Does It Take?

I spend a lot (I mean a LOT) of time making each item from my store. It is not uncommon for me to spend an hour or more per page for every packet. That does not include the time  searching for, buying or drawing the clip art used in the activities. I would venture to guess this is the same for any of the quality items that you may have purchased from any seller. I make sure the activities align with the CCSS and meet my student's goals and objectives. So, doing the math, each of my monthly homework packets is approximately 20 pages long and I would venture to say that 20 hours is an accurate guess on the amount of time it took me to make it. I have read the complaints from teachers saying that TPT sellers are greedy to not give away their products for free.  When you walk into a "teacher store" do you expect to walk out with your purchases for free? Of course not, the same is true for TPT. However, the difference is, if you look carefully when searching you will find high quality classroom tested resources that your students (and parents) will love. I have traded products with many sellers, but I would never expect to get a huge packet or resource for free. The time spent making each product is valuable! And, many sellers give away freebies through their blogs or FB Fan Pages....but, that said...the products I have purchased have been priced very reasonably and were well worth the price.

What Do I Use?

Do I use every single activity, game or resource found in a packet....hmmm sometimes, but not always. I use what meets the needs of my current students. Do you do every single activity found in your favorite teacher magazine or resource book? Maybe...but more than likely no. You use what meets the needs of your students and aligns with your classroom goals and objectives.

Is Everything Great?

Are there some 'dud' products on TPT, well I'm sure there are, but again, the same is true for those aisles of products in the 'teacher store'. You buy what fits the needs of your students. The teachers I have met through TPT and blogging are some of the nicest and most caring educators I have met. They are very generous and often have giveaways of free activities,  fund raisers for needy teachers and children, and are overall just fine, fine people.  They care about kids!!

They are the teachers you wish you had in the classroom next-door!!!

Here's a little freebie for letting me stand on my soapbox for a minute. 

I have an eclectic collection of doodles that never made it into a set so I will try to add one to every post. I also post to my FB Fan Page (Joy of Kindergarten) so be sure to check there as well.

Big Hugs to everyone heading back to school next week! 


  1. Wow! I would never expect all the fabulous stuff for free! No one should be expected to spend hours on something and then just give it away. Teachers who are complaining should just make their own stuff then. While I have received several free things from tpt I have also purchased fabulous things that have saved me time and money! I would say nothing but a giant THANK YOU to everyone who has made my life easier and my teaching better through tpt!

  2. I think that most quality tpt sellers do give away LOTS of stuff still to their followers just like you were saying. I LOVE the analogy of walking into the teacher store and expecting to get it for FREE! That is exactly what it is like. And if the teachers doing the complaining don't like it, then don't buy from tpt. I'd much rather give my money directly to a teacher that I know worked hard to create these beautiful materials that will be so usable in my classroom than give it to some random corporation... I have gotten many items for free on tpt AND have purchased WAY too many items on tpt as well. And I have become a MUCH better teacher because of many of the things I have purchased. So THANK YOU for doing what you do!

  3. I have been making stuff for years, and I do give it away to teachers in my district, but outside is different. I don't sell on TpT (although I have been told to for a long time) but I do buy and I have absolutely no problem with this. I would rather teachers get my money for work they know works rather than some publisher putting something together without trying it out first. Most of the teachers that create products do so because they love education, creating new ways to teach children is a passion. Making a little extra money is just a bonus. Keep it up, maybe someday I will get around to posting my stuff too.

  4. Very well written post! I love TPT because you can usually find exactly what you need. You can buy one activity, or you can buy a whole set of activities depending on your budget and your classroom needs. I just opened a TPT store this summer and I've had a blast making things! I love sharing items for free, but I don't feel greedy if I charge a few dollars. Like you said, hours and hours of work go into each product to make sure it's perfect. It's a nice way for teachers to supplement their income. Anyway, I'm a new follower!

    -Amanda @
    Teacher at the Wheel

  5. I for one, am so grateful for your time, creativity and generosity in sharing your packs. Of course we should pay for them...give me a break !!! The freebies are fun, but you are all professionals, helping professionals to do their jobs better... so a HUGE "Thank You" from this Teacher !!

  6. Nancy, Your work is so wonderful and it has help me become a better K teacher. When I see your packets...I see things in a different way :) I bought every single homework packet last year, the math story problems were my kids favorite part of math. I haven't purchased one single teachers "book," since I found TPT. I have about 10 "friends," that are experienced teachers that offer their amazing packets and lessons to me for at a price that is beyond reasonable. I have spent up to $30 for a huge packet, but mostly $5-10. If I could do this...it would cost me a fortune in time and aggravation. Thank you, for creating and sharing your wonderful resources.
    Dawn Bartels


Thanks so much for reading! I appreciate your comments! :)