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(Some of Team TpT, clockwise from left: Paul, John, Amy, Karen, Shama, Ryan)
Teachers Pay Teachers

"How TpT Got Started"

Below is an article originally written by Paul Edelman, Founder at PowerToFly Partner Teachers Pay Teachers. Go to Teachers Pay Teachers' page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

I often wish that the founding of TpT were one of those easily digestible and super satisfying creation stories that cuts right to the core. If I could rewrite it myself, it would go like this: Exhausted after another long day as a third-year teacher, I was planning for the next day's classes when I jokingly offered my veteran colleague $5 for her lesson plans. To my surprise, she said yes. We made the exchange and were both absolutely thrilled with the transaction. And I thought, holy smokes, this could be a billion dollar business!

Many founding stories are aha moments like this, though reality is often a bit less neat and clean. Pierre Omidyar started eBay to help his wife find more collectible Pez dispensers, right? Not exactly. It turns out that the Pez story was created by someone in the PR department.

Even though the $5 deal didn't happen, the essential elements of the longer story are very similar.

Here's how TpT got started: Like all new teachers, I struggled. It was grueling to try to reinvent the wheel night after night after already long days of driving my misshapen wheels off the side of the road. Luckily, we had the Internet by time I became a teacher in 2001. But boy was it hard to find quality resources back then. The late 90's-style education resource sites were somewhat helpful, but rudimentary at best, and the teaching resources that made their way to them were limited in scope and quality.

Out of necessity I started getting better at creating my own resources. I noticed that my students respected me more because these resources were more creative and innovative than something mass produced, and it turned out that my colleagues appreciated them, too. They were tailored specifically for our students' levels and interests and social contexts, so it's no wonder that they worked well in our school. I really loved seeing my ideas appear on the bulletin boards of other classrooms, too. But still no aha moment.

Starting my own business was always my long term goal, so I left teaching after four years to make it happen. I wasn't yet sure what kind of business it would be, but the idea I couldn't quite shake was to create my own educational publishing company, Eduman Publishing. But how in the world would I get schools to buy my resources? It just seemed like too steep a mountain to climb, and then the aha! moment finally arrived — instead of creating and selling my own resources, why not create a way for every teacher to buy or sell original resources in a grand open marketplace?

My brain lit up and my heart raced. This was IT!

Within minutes I purchased the URL TeachersPayTeachers.com and was jumping around and calling my teacher friends to get their gut reactions. Most everyone said some version of "oh, hell yeah" so I knew I was on to something big. That was November 1, 2005. And though overnight success has taken eight years, teachers have now bought and sold well over $60,000,000 worth of amazingly well-crafted, engaging, affordable educational resources that have transformed lives and classrooms. And we are still just getting started.

Best $5 I never even spent.

Zapier Inc

How Zapier Director of Compensation Jocelyne Wright-McLemore Is Tackling Imposter Syndrome as a Black Woman in HR

Jocelyne Wright-McLemore has a sticky note that she looks at every day: "I'm overqualified and I can do this."

Zapier's Director of Compensation put that sticky note up shortly after she rolled out a big new project at the online automation company and received some critical feedback on it. Though the criticism came from a tiny portion of her audience and the project was a success overall, hearing it brought back some of the self-doubt and imposter syndrome that she faced earlier in her career.

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Webinars

Meet PowerToFly's 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Award Honorees

This past February, PowerToFly was very proud to wrap up the panel portion of our recent Diversity Reboot 2021: The 100 Day Kickoff virtual summit by presenting our very first Diversity & Inclusion Award Show, honoring some true D&I champions across multiple industries

Back in 2020, we launched a submission process to honor select individuals who just don't talk the talk but truly walk the walk when it comes to making their companies and the world a more diverse and inclusive place. From the many submissions that we received, we chose six champions to honor.

You can watch the acceptance speeches for our honorees below or click here to watch the 45-minute awards show which included a roundtable discussion with our six DEI champions.

Want to nominated a friend or colleague for a future D&I Award? Submit their info here.


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How These 30 Companies are Celebrating Women's History Month in 2021

Women have always had a lot on their plates, juggling their professional goals with societal expectations and responsibilities to their families, partners, and communities.

But women have never had a year like 2020.

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Career Advice

How Hopin’s CCO Knew a Startup Environment Was Right For Her—and Two Questions to See If It’s Right for You

If there's a thread that connects all the different facets of Rosie Roca's life, it's the power of bringing people together.

From how she was raised, to how she got her first job, to the decision to leave enterprise software to take on her current role as the Chief Customer Officer at fast-growing events technology platform Hopin, a focus on community has helped to guide Rosie's decisions.

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