Toxic Perception of Teachers
The Toxic Perception
Can you relate to this scenario? You just made an amazing resource that took you hours to create. You tried it in your classroom and it was a hit! The students loved it, you saw learning take place, and it was overall a great lesson. You thought to yourself “other teachers could really benefit from this lesson-- it would be a great way to teach this topic and it is different from a lot of the resources I see out there”. Or maybe you relate to this scenario. You just created an entire unit from scratch. You researched the topic, you made PowerPoints that incorporated not only notes but engaging components, you made essential questions and tests that matched up with those essential questions, and you made several lessons that had a mix of engaging activities and independent activities where students dove deeper into the topic. You thought about selling your work to other teachers BUT---- you felt guilty. You are not alone and we need to overcome this toxic perception
The perception of teachers
Overworked and undervalued; that is the sad reality that teachers face in today’s society. As teachers, we know that our day does not stop once the clock strikes 4:00-- or whatever hour your contract states you are done. There are many hours behind the scenes to make our classrooms run effectively and keep students engaged.
I heard someone say before, “teaching is the only job you have to work before you get to work, so there is work to do at work. Then because I had no time at work to do work, I have to work after work to catch up on work I didn't do while at work.” Yes, that is a confusing read, but if you really take your time and read the quote, it is true. As a teacher we review lesson plans, look over our google slides, and prep for the day, before students even enter our room. Then throughout the day we are so busy teaching students, we barely have time to grade which leaves us with grading and creating lessons on our own unpaid time.
The worst part is, that is what is expected of us. Teachers give so much to our students, to our administration, to our student’s parents that it has become a norm for teachers to do extra work solely out of the goodness of their hearts. We hear that we should share and benefit all the students. Let’s stop the narrative that teachers shouldn't make money from what they spend hours creating and stop working unpaid. Let's break this perception! You should be getting paid for the work that you do outside of your teaching hours and teachers pay teachers is a great place for this. I often hear teachers say “I do not feel right charging other teachers for work. I should just give it to them, I know how little teachers are paid” and while I understand that guilt, here is why you should charge for your resources
You’ve developed your lessons, worksheets, and ideas. You have tested them with your students, and you know there is a teacher out there-----okay, several----who were just given a grade or subject that they have never taught before and NOT enough time to create everything. I know the majority of you have been in this situation before. How stressed did you feel? Some of you may have even found yourself in tears….I know I did.
How much would you have paid to have a worksheet, or more, simply available to you? The number is there isn't it? Your resource is the solution to that problem! I also want you to think about this--- have you ever bought a lesson from teachers pay teachers? Mostly likely yes! We all have! Did you sit there and think….man...I cannot believe this teacher just charged me for this resource? Of course not! You were probably excited to not only relieve stress from you, but to support another teacher as well because you know how much time and effort went into making that product.
And yet….we have heard the people saying that teachers shouldn't make money from what they spend their unpaid hours creating. It is time to change our mindset and think of this another way.
Let's break the cycle
Teaching is a hard enough job without the added guilt of charging other teachers for your hard work on your unpaid hours. As teachers, we all understand the overtime that is put in and the underpay that we receive. It is time to lift each other up and support each other. Let’s stop the narrative that teachers should just give away their work. Creating resources on your own time IS another job; you are providing your expertise on a particular topic and helping other teachers who may need these lessons.
Teachers pay teachers is providing solutions to so many problems for teachers of all kinds and that is worth every single penny. Earning an income is hard work and should be celebrated, and never ever frowned upon. I want you to know the value of your resources and know your worth as a teachers pay teachers seller.
You are strong. You are smart. You are making a difference! Thank you for all you do!
So, will you stop the toxic perception? Come tell us in our Thriving Teacher Facebook Group.
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