Teachers made $60 million selling lesson plans!

Just think about it
Teachers Pay Teachers is in the news again! $60 million so far!!! A recent article talks about TpT’s success.  Many criticize teachers for selling or using TpT products and lesson plans. But it leads me to wonder….
What is the core issue?
Is it that teachers are taking their free time to make something, market it, and sell it? That sounds like the American Dream!  It also sounds like a second job to me. Who should be taken to task for getting a second job and bettering the life of their family?
Is it that teachers are making money for doing what should be a “work of heart”? The folks that run the American Red Cross get a paycheck.  People who run Relay for Life get a paycheck.  Private adoption agencies make money. Anybody who works should get paid. Unless you want to move to a Communist country that is. I like it in America, and I like that amazing ideas, like the Pet Rock or American Symbols are available for sale.
Is it because there are some great resources and some not as great resources for sale? “Buyer Beware” Some stuff is just fluff, like the pet rock. Some stuff is too hard for one class and just right for another.  Teachers must be  discriminating shoppers, and make wise choices for their class. American Symbols was written for my 1st graders to be used in the first half of the year. I love it and after selling 1,433 units I think it can be vetted as quality curriculum.  The feedback tells other potential buyers if  the unit is quality curriculum. The description tells you when to use it and who it was created for.  If after reading descriptions and feedback, a teacher deems a product as worthy of her students’ time, then trust that teacher to lead her students to proficiency and beyond! 
Is it because Deanna Jump has made $2 million dollars and bought a “mansion”? I have never eaten lunch with Deanna and I have not been to her lovely home so I don’t know if it really is a mansion. I hope it is.  I hope it keeps her warm in the winter and cool in the summer, like all homes should. Have you been to Oprah’s house? Do you begrudge Oprah her mansion, her cars, her perfectly pampered pooches??? No because she earned it. Deanna has too.
Here is what I think many people miss in these arguments. What the publishers have provided for the students and teachers is not enough. Kids cannot become proficient or advanced without extra practice and engaging activities. Students need differentiated curriculum and CREATIVE activities. It also needs to be said that some teachers love kids, are master teachers,  but lack the creativity to come up with cool ideas. TpT, blogs, and Pinterest help teachers bring these “Why didn’t I think of that!” ideas into their classrooms.  The company Apple creates amazing ways for me to stay in touch with friends and family.  I don’t want to create the new iPhone, iPad, or iWhatever. I just want to use them to better my life. Many teachers don’t want to create, but know a great lesson when they see it. So, between publishers not being able to meet the needs of our students and teachers not being able to do it all themselves, we need a site like TpT to show us ways to help our students.
TpT teacher-creators, or teacher-preneurs,  are taking their own time to create learning opportunities and other teachers are using their own grocery money to buy them for children. Your children. My children.  Poor children. Rich children. Broken children. Children who have challenges. Children who need enrichment. 2 million dollars has been spent in Deanna Jump’s store by teachers trying to better the lives and educations of their students. BRAVO.
Teachers Pay Teachers has sold over $60 million in curriculum! That means $60 million dollars of money that could have been spent on family vacations, Starbucks, movies, or pedicures was spent on TpT to make teaching and learning more fun. BRAVO! 
BRAVO to anyone who takes their free time to make activities that students can interact with and grow from. BRAVO to the teacher who realizes that the curriculum she has isn't great, or isn’t enough to meet the needs in her classroom, or is BORING to her after her 12th year using it. I am so thankful for Teachers Pay Teachers!!! I am thankful that my son’s teacher has used Teachers Pay Teachers to buy materials that have helped him grow as a reader! BRAVO to $60 million dollars spent helping kids!
So should tens of thousands of teachers band together and support each other? Should these teachers share, for a small fee, their hard work, amazing ideas, and their print, teach, and learn lessons?  I say yes! Here’s to seeing that number of $60 million quadruple because the kids will benefit from every dollar spent.
Yes teachers are amazing