IT’S NOT CHEATING TO BUY TEACHING RESOURCES

The days of endlessly writing new material and gathering pages from a variety of books like some kind of educational pick-picket are nearly behind us. Oh, and then the sticky-taping copied pages onto A4 paper so it could be photocopied as a booklet. I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers those days.

Since I found online resources, I’ve decided I’m never going to reinvent the wheel again. And thank the Lord for that, who the heck has time?

As the teaching profession nears an insanity-level busy whirlwind, there are plenty of us starting to try out paid resources from TES, Teachers Pay Teachers, and a variety of other educational resources websites. And why the heck not? The resources have come ahead light years – it’s fairly easy to find well-planned, best practice-based, extensive resources on loads of great topics and at all year levels, with options growing exponentially every day. These days, when you find a resource online, it’s likely to be far better and more nicely put together than anything you have time to do as you try to balance your teaching load. I have been pleasantly surprised at the depth of ideas and breadth of activities included in my purchases.

It always pays to read the small print, of course – to know exactly what you’re paying for. Read the whole description and look for information such as suggested year levels for best use, how long the work will take, and how many pages you’ll be getting. Look at all the images closely and view the whole preview, if there is one. Personally, I probably wouldn’t buy a product that doesn’t have one – I like to know I’m getting bang for my buck. As for curriculum links, even if you are not in the USA, the standards tagged at the end of a resource can help you better understand the focus of the resource.

If you’ve not yet dipped your toe into the lake of online resources for teachers – have a look around and have a go. If you’re still doing it all with freebies and downloading free snippets from everywhere, perhaps try out buying a full unit of work – you’ll often be surprised at how much value you get for your dollar, and an investment in resources can be used and reused for years.

If you’re not sure how it works, it’s super simple. As with many sites, you sign up for a free account to get started, and once you are in, you simple use the search engines and look for what you want, click on it, head to checkout, and make your purchase.

One tip: Don’t just look at the first page of resources when looking for something quality. Often sellers who sell the highest volume of resources are featured first, but these are not always the best value resources. Check through a few that look good, compare what you’re getting in each, and then make your choice.

Where do I buy digital educational resources online?

Teachers Pay Teachers is the Big Daddy of online educational resources. USA-based and paid in US dolalrs, I find the quality, search functions and overall look most approachable and easy to use. I always find more than enough options. The expectations of resource presentation is high, and if you look for those resources

If TPT is the Big Daddy, then TES is the Medium Mummy of educational resources. TES has been around for a long time and is UK-based and paid in British Pounds. It has been swiftly outstripped by Teacher Pay Teachers and has recently had a bit of an overhaul to gain some ground. Still there are plenty of resources to choose from, and UK-based teachers will still probably want to come here first. It used to be that international sellers would head here first also, such as Australian sellers, but these days TPT far outstrips TES in terms of breath and variety in resources. For example, a simple search on ‘Australia’ yields 5,000 products on TES, and 48,000 on TPT, just to give you an idea.

There are a bunch of smaller websites where you can find quality resources, but all are smaller than these two and will require more seeking and finding. Personally, I don’t often have time to trawl, and also, working in Secondary, I find that it can be much harder to find High school resources on these sites.

  • Super Teacher Worksheets
  • Education.com
  • Weareteachers.com
  • The Wheel

The short of it is, there is a wealth of information and resources at your fingertips, and if you’re still only using your own brain, you’re probably exhausted – after all, many heads are better than one. The world of online teaching resources is growing exponentially and it won’t be long until buying resources is the number one method of teaching prep – and why not?! We deserve time out. We deserve breaks. We deserve to be able to use quality resources without killing ourselves to create them.

I, for one, feel no guilt when I use another’s teacher’s resource in my classroom. Those days are long past. I now see these paid pages as a life-saver and wouldn’t do it without them. It’s one way to save time and preserve precious balance and wellbeing.

So Thank you, to all you resource creators and sellers out there, working your butts off so I can find great work when I need it.

And here’s to me. I’m off to find a new unit for our novel in two weeks. And if I can’t find one, I’ll make one and list it on TPT so there’s one there when you need it, too. What goes around, comes around. 😊

xx