"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.
How to stay productive and positive while working remotely
With the outbreak of COVID-19, scores of people are finding themselves working remotely for the first time. Trying to stay productive while at home with so many distractions can be overwhelming, so we asked women tech leaders what they were doing to work from home successfully. Along with getting a great pair of noise canceling headphones (game changer!), they have 10 excellent tips to help you thrive in a work-from-home environment.
I've been thinking about women's ingenuity a lot recently; after all, crises like the one we're facing now fuel innovation. They especially fuel innovation from those who are on the frontlines, in desperate need of solutions.
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For when you can't read one more bad-news story.
I would never argue that the novel coronavirus is a good thing. COVID-19 has or will cause many deaths, a long-lasting global economic slowdown, and rampant general stress and anxiety.
As schools across the nation close, and the majority of businesses mandate remote work, working parents are now faced with the ultimate challenge - how to balance their families and jobs under one roof while COVID-19 still remains a concern.
PowerToFly is bringing thought-leading professionals (and working moms!) to speak about balancing our new realities and how to best optimize your time at home. In this panel, we'll discuss maneuvering the difficulties of working from home from taking conference calls to juggle homeschooling/ childcare.
Don't feel the pressure, your children, partner and pets are welcome to join this virtual chat!
Join us for this live Q&A to learn new tips, strategies, and hear personal anecdotes from our panelists that have shaped these women into the incredible founders and mothers they are today. You will have the opportunity to ask questions during our free, virtual conversation and have the chance to snag a giveaway sponsored by PowerToFly and our panelists!
Meet the Panelists:
Christine Michel Carter, Creator of Mompreneur and Me
Featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, Christine Michel Carter is the #1 global voice for working moms. Christine clarifies misconceptions about working mom consumers for brands and serves as an amplifier of their personal truths.
Mary Beth Ferrante, Co-Founder & CEO of WRK/360
Mary Beth Ferrante is a mom of two and advocate for creating inclusive workplaces for parents. She is the Co-Founder & CEO of WRK/360, a career development platform designed for working parents and managers to help companies support, retain and recruit working parents. In addition, she is a senior contributor for Forbes and her work has been featured in Today, Thrive Global, Working Mother, FairyGodBoss, ScaryMommy, and other leading publishers.
Amy Henderson, Founding CEO of TendLab
Amy Henderson is the founding CEO of TendLab, a consultancy addressing the challenges and opportunities parenthood brings into the workplace. TendLab's research-based approach reveals how parenthood can unlock career-critical skills--such as resiliency, courage, and the ability to collaborate--skills which are especially important during this COVID-19 pandemic.