I just experienced my first ever trip to the Teachers Pay Teachers conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am actually typing this blog post in the airport while I wait for my flight because I feel like I am about to burst with inspiration. This post can’t wait until tomorrow when I am experiencing jet lag. I need to express my thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. I truly believe that Teachers Pay Teachers is changing the future of education in the world, and this is why.
Teachers Pay Teachers has made me a much more effective teacher. I love that there is a marketplace of resources created by experts in our field... the teachers themselves! I can move away from prescribed curriculum with confidence into classroom-tested resources that truly engage all learners. These resources increase my instructional effectiveness within the classroom, giving me much needed time back with my family and loved ones. Each purchase I make is an investment into my students, myself, and my family.
Teachers Pay Teachers also inspires its curriculum authors to become better educators. When other colleagues decide to download a product we create, they are putting their trust in us to make a positive impact on their students, and we take that responsibility very seriously! We research best practices to make our resources rigorous, relevant, and engaging. We stay involved in professional development, such as online book studies, Google hang outs, and Twitter chats. We are truly one giant Professional Learning Community... and it is AWESOME!
During the keynote in Vegas this year, Adam (the CEO of TPT) shared with us some staggering numbers. Through this amazing platform, we have had the opportunity to touch the lives of 22 MILLION students around the entire world! This number only includes the 1,100 of us in the room, not the thousands of other teacher authors that weren’t able to be with us. That means that the number of students’ lives we have affected is exponentially larger than 22 million. Wow. This is something we could never have dreamed of accomplishing before we became able to share our expertise with other educators around the world through this platform.
I feel so grateful to Paul, the founder of TPT, for being brave enough to take action on a hunch, which ultimately led to this amazing platform. Together we are better, and YOU have made that happen.
It’s hard to be a teacher or a student in this modern era of standardized testing overload. As a society, we run the risk of losing an entire generation of learners if we don't change this broken system. Our students don't have a voice in our government, so WE need to be that voice.
Teachers Pay Teachers empowers educators around the world to be advocates for their students. As a teacher author, I feel empowered to create resources that will get ALL students to fall in love with learning. As a teacher shopper, I feel empowered to purchase resources that will help ALL the students in my classroom reach their potential. We are telling the testing giants, one lesson at a time, WE know what is best for our kids. WE know how they learn. WE know what engages them. WE know what they need because we KNOW our students! I truly believe this will lead to lasting changes in legislation in the years to come. We can’t be ignored. We WON’T be ignored.
Or in the words our students would relate to more...
We can't stop.
We won't stop.
My friends, THAT is the power of Teachers Pay Teachers. As individuals, it's easy to feel defeated, to feel like we can't make a difference. But one teacher, one classroom, one child at a time adds up if we refuse to give up. We are changing the future of education in our world, and I am so excited to see what is in store!