Teachers' Resource Sharing

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Teachers' Resource Sharing
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 1:45pm

This sounds like a really interesting idea:  http://www.sci-tech-today.com/news/Teachers-Go-Online-To-Sell-Materials/story.xhtml?story_id=030003O0LVTC 

Teachers are sharing their curriculum ideas and materials while making money on resource sharing sites.  It's working out for teachers because it is saving them time and money while giving them a way to make some extra income.  Some administrators seem to have a problem with it, though, because some schools have policies in place that prohibit teachers from selling anything they develop while on district time.  One administrator in the article said that materials created on the teachers' own time could cross a grey line, depending on the material and how closely-tied it is to classroom work.

What do you think about these curriculum and resource sharing sites? 

Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 10:32am
I've always been told any lesson plans that you develop while working for a school district are the property of the district since you created them while in they employ of the district as part of your job. If a district goes after a teacher for selling her lesson plans, I don't think the teacher would have a leg to stand on, especially if it's stated in the teacher handbook or contract.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 11:01am

If there is nothing directly stated in school policy or contracts this would be no different than writing a book or getting paid for working at a second job like tutoring, teaching an adjunct class for a university, teaching a workshop, or writing an educational blog, magazine article or newspaper column.  We all develop professional expertise that we can share.

The only conflict I see is that schools often pay teachers a stipend and provide time to collaborate on curriculum development and instructional design for specific projects and classes. Profiting from this type of activity would be questionable. If I develop a great lesson on a topic I love and design all the materials to teach it on my own initiative, it's my expertise, interest and creativity at work.

Personally I wouldn't pay for a lesson plan or worksheet master from a sharing site. I have the ability to design what I want for my individual needs myself. Many commercial materials and materials designed for other schools or classes require a lot of adaptation and editing to fit specific classes and curriculum. It's easier to develop my own than spend money and time making something work.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Mon, 10-22-2012 - 10:18pm

As of this year, we can't even tutor for money at school, using school property (even textbooks), or base who we choose to tutor on district provided assessments.  That means that if we decide a student needs extra tutoring based on their classwork (because we're told what materials we have to use these days), we can't technically tutor that student for money.  We'd have to develop our own assessment, on our own time, at our own house, give it to the student, and then determine he or she needs tutoring.  At which time, we'd have to meet the student off campus and use our own materials.  If we don't want to jump through these hoops, we can get board approval to tutor for money on school property with school property.  You'd think they'd want to encourage us to tutor.  We do have a program where the district will reimburse us for tutoring ($500 for 20 hours), but that's not as much as you can make doing it for cash, after taxes. 

Something triggered this new policy, but I'm not sure what it was.  I suspect it was a teacher giving guitar lessons at school after hours using the school's equipment, but I'm not sure.  I do think they'd have a fit if they found one of us selling lessons we'd developed on school property.