I think it’s ok for teachers to sell resources for their own financial gain.
Whilst I myself have never sold anything I’ve created, for some, selling resources may be a necessity. Take this crass example I put forward on Twitter earlier today, for instance:
For a single teacher with three kids to look after, selling a PowerPoint on the use of Metaphor in 19th century literature for £3.49, may be the difference between his kids eating branded crisps in the playground or risking the wrath of those ruthless playground bullies who look upon store-branded crisps with a scorn that beggars belief.*
This teacher should feel no shame in selling his resources.
There may also be a teacher who wants to sell her worksheet on Oxbow lakes for 99p so she can put it towards a brand new pair of NMDs.
This teacher should feel no shame in selling her resources.
Because, the job we do-teaching- is noble within and of itself. That is, if you are giving your all, and doing the very best for the students in your care, from half 8 till half 3, that is honourable and you should feel proud of what you do and what you give. Because you do give during those hours, all the time, constantly.
Going home and selling a worksheet or a SOW or a PowerPoint does not make you greedy.
Back to the hypothetical Dad of three I mentioned above. James Theobald asked (and I paraphrase), ‘What if this Dad needs resources? Isn’t it unfair that he should have to pay for them? Considering.’
At first I was stumped. I had only considered the point of view of the seller; the teacher who sells resources, rather than buys them. And so yes, I concede, it does seem unfair, considering, that this Dad must pay for knowledge.
In spite of the metaphors we constantly use to equate knowledge with monetary wealth, knowledge isn’t money.
See, the money needed to feed, clothe and enrich our families cannot be acquired the way money can. A conversation with a colleague will give you a new way of approaching a topic, but it won’t earn you a fiver. A book from a library can leave your mind full of new ideas but it won’t leave you with jangling pockets. A school-funded training course will help you understand how to plan your lessons a little better, but it won’t leave you flush.
So my advice to the financially struggling teacher who wants to spend money buying resources my advice would be this: talk to a colleague, read a book, listen to an expert. Spend your money elsewhere. And maybe sell something.
*However crass this example may sound, it’s real.