I know you have all heard of Teachers Pay Teachers, and I know some of you use and depend on their resources. Up until recently, teachers were having to purchase these resources with their own funds, just as they do their classroom library, flair pens, flexible seats, and just about anything else that takes an empty classroom to one full of engaging learning.
Back in 2017 Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) launched Teachers Pay Teachers for Schools, making it easy for administrators and teachers to collaborate and make curriculum decisions together by providing a tool that allowed schools to purchase materials through their PO.
How Does TpT for Schools Work?
I am so glad you asked! The process is simple once your school has registered (and that’s free!). As a teacher, you browse through TpT as you usually would. Instead of purchasing the item, you request it through your TpT account. The school administrator then reviews the resource request and evaluates how it works towards the school’s goals. Then they can approve and purchase the resource and send it directly to the teacher for immediate use in his or her classrooms.
What are the Benefits of TpT for Schools?
In addition to all the other things we know and love about TpT, that it is a marketplace of more than 3 million resources to help unique learning needs, and that teachers can download resources quickly and easily, TpT for schools has added benefits.
Teachers can send requests to administrators asking for resources to be paid for using school funds, improving communication and collaboration with administrators about curriculum decisions. It also enables an entire school to purchase resources through a single portal, purchasing resource license for multiple teachers simultaneously. Administrators can add funds for purchases to the school’s balance with a credit card or purchase order.
The Challenge: Meet the need for diverse instructional needs in a targeted, efficient way
A couple of years back, Principal Ron Farrow and his teaching staff at Franklin Elementary adopted this RTI (Response to Intervention) approach to help improve student outcomes: Identify skills deficits, group students based on needs, and deliver targeted interventions accordingly. But implementing this approach presented its challenges.
According to Ron, “I knew that this RTI process would require additional resources as teachers were now creating pre- and post-assessments every two weeks along with differentiated instructional materials for each skill.”
How could teachers access a wide range of instructional materials to target each skill area in a timely and effective way?
The Opportunity: Empower teachers to access a broad range of instructional resources
Ron heard that his teachers had found one solution in Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) — consistently discovering engaging resources to teach to various skills and levels — but their access to resources was limited. Essentially, they were digging into their own pockets to get their students what they needed to succeed.
Ron saw an opportunity, and he began talking to his staff about how TpT could become a larger part of their instruction. “I felt confident TpT could help us realize our goals,” says Ron, citing the wealth of high-quality, engaging resources on the site. “I worked with the district to develop a plan in which teachers were given an allotment each month to spend on TpT resources.” Teachers collaborated to research resources and discuss them in their weekly meetings — all with the support of their school leadership.
The Result: A teacher-powered, collaborative process that gave teachers access to the resources they needed, and positive student outcomes as a result
This story of how Ron and his staff found a collaborative solution through TpT — and boosted student progress — was just one of the inspirations behind the creation of TpT for Schools.