Yesterday I waded into the ‘Selling Resources’ discussion and, as tends to happen with me, I lacked the articulacy and the eloquence to defend my stance as people criticised my viewpoint, all of which left me feeling a bit shite. Here’s an attempt at defending myself.
Here’s what happened.
Yesterday, I tweeted a link to James Theo’s article, which I said was excellent. I then posted a follow up article, written by me, which I said was a rejoinder to James’ argument. His argument, not his original article.
Having re-read my article, it makes me cringe slightly. It’s poorly written, too hypothetical and perhaps just a tad sentimental. However, it’s a personal choice of mine, to always keep the blog posts I’ve written as they were originally written: it is with joy that I compare early blogs from my favourite bloggers, with their more recent posts: the difference in tone, style, and philosophy is a powerful mapping of a person’s intellectual and stylistic development.
What I’d like to do here, is restate my stance on the selling resources debate as clearly as I am able, to clear up any misunderstandings, but also to address the commonly held view that I am simply being deliberately provocative.
Here it is:
- I’ve read James Theo’s blog regarding the selling of resources, and I stand by his viewpoints. I agree with every single point he makes.
- I’m particularly outraged at the fact people are selling other people’s resources as their own, and making money from this.
- And yet, in spite of all this, I still think selling resources is okay.
- The reason I think selling resources is okay, and it’s the reason that overrides all of the points James Theo makes in his blog post is a simple one:
For some people who need it, it’s an easy way to make money.
A friend of mine is a single parent teacher. She’s crippled by depression, mainly because she struggles to pay rent, and she’s putting two kids through University. This friend would never sell resources online. She’s ideologically opposed to the whole thing. And yet, would I begrudge her selling a few PowerPoints for a few quid just to ease the financial burden I know she feels? Of course not. In fact, I wish she’d do it.
A tweet in which I stated that the problem was with the buyers (whom I referred to as ‘stupid’ later on) also incurred some wrath in some quarters. I was wrong to call them ‘stupid’ and I apologise for any offence caused. However, I’d like to explain my thinking on this:
Firstly, I’ve always been sceptical of teachers selling resources. I once wrote this. The reason I’m against it is, is that in my experience (my own personal experience-nothing else) the teaching that relies on other people’s resources, is the worst kind of teaching. To those who think I’m wrong on this, I’d ask you to think on this: you somehow find out that one of your own child’s teachers spends every single lesson teaching lessons they have gleaned and paid for from the web. They are delivered, as I’ve always seen lessons borrowed from elsewhere to be delivered: with a monotonous lack of confidence. Who are you angry with? The sellers? Or the buyer? For me, it’s the buyer every time. How dare they treat my child- and my profession- with so little respect.
I hope this has clarified my thinking on the issue- it certainly has for me. However, I accept that my thinking is as liable to change as anybody’s. And if it does change, you’ll know about it, rest assured.