Share the Land (Guess Who)

This post is going to challenge my ability to stay positive and not throw shade at other teachers. I don’t believe that teachers should create lesson plans and sell them to other teachers. This is something that makes me so mad when I hear about it happening. Teachers should share their lesson plans for free. We are a profession where I truly believe creation is rarely if ever truly original. In addition, we all are in it for the same reason, to make a positive change in students’ lives. Selling our lesson plans runs counter intuitive to that goal.

I am not a hypocrite. (in this case)  I am part of a physical education and health group that has about 40 people who have shared their lesson plans. I have included my plans in that shared folder as well.  If anyone needs physical education or health plans I will be happy to share them with you. I have created global projects with @nicholasendlich and @mradampe that we have shared with the world for free. We are also working on another groundbreaking project that will help physical education teachers introduce and teach bodyweight exercises to their students.  We will be sharing this as well for free.

Here are some of the reasons that I believe selling lesson plans are wrong. The first reason is that we are in the profession of sharing and collaborating. Selling lesson plans goes against this. It creates roadblocks for teachers and the last thing we need is our own professionals making our jobs more difficult.  The second reason is that if you create lesson plans for your job they belong to your district and not you. For example my physical education plans are really owned by my district. “Works made for hire (a work “made for hire” by an employee and certain kinds of commissioned works) are considered to be authored by the employer or the commissioning party. So if your boss asks you to write a report as part of your job, the company you work for gets all the copyright protection that would otherwise have been available to you.”  (http://goo.gl/6B6rw0)  If you don’t believe me read this NEA article that cites instances where districts have actually sued teachers who have sold their teaching materials and won! (http://www.nea.org/home/37583.htm)

Another common reason people give is that purchasing lesson plans saves the teacher’s time from having to create their own.  We all know that time is money so in actuality teachers are saving time and money by purchasing the lesson plans.  This is a great argument if you rule out the fact that these plans should be posted for free and should cost the teachers nothing!  This would save teachers even more time and money.

Teachers are all scraping by in life. I work four different jobs during the year to make ends meet. My family does not heave wealth nor taste. (hope you understood the reference) I have three children and two dogs.  My student loans are mounting and my cars always need fixing. I get what it is like to be poor and struggling. This still does not excuse the fact that selling lesson plans to other broke teachers does not advance our profession. Educators should support other educators and selling our ideas hinders not helps our profession.

slowchatpe

Q1: Why do you believe ts should or shouldn’t sell their lesson plans? #slowchatpe

Q2: Where are the best sources to find free lesson plans? #slowchatpe

Q3: What do you create that you share with the world? Where can we find it? #slowchatpe

Q4: How do you make extra money or cut costs to make ends meet? #slowchatpe

Q5: What people are creating free educational tools that people should follow or know about? #slowchatpe

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4 thoughts on “Share the Land (Guess Who)

  1. bhwilkoff

    I think you have hit upon something central to “why we become teachers.” I don’t think any of us do this so that we may become rich, however we are trying to join our vocation with our ability to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. There is this natural tension between the “the why” of teaching and “the how” or existence. If we do not resolve these tensions we get either burnout or exploitation.

    I think a better way to resolve this tension is to think about teaching as a professional skillset. If you are getting paid in one space for that skillset, it would only make sense that you get paid for that same skillset elsewhere. So, if you lead a workshop on a given topic, you should be able to be paid for that workshop. However, it breaks down for me when we boil down our skillset to making content. Content is a ubiquitous commodity. I would agree that it is better given away than sold, but if folks want to see themselves as content creators rather than teachers, I think that they have sold their teaching short.

    I am not offended that there are content marketplaces, but I would rather see us come together and collaborate to make the best possible Open Educational Resources. That way, we would all have world class content. Then, we could really be the educational leaders the world needs. We could create a marketplace for teaching, for the art of educating others. Everyone needs to learn something new, and right now we are just selling the content. That tension will never go away if we stop there.

    P.S. This comment is a part of the #C4C15 project. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/C4C15

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  2. Pingback: #C4C15: Share the Land (Guess Who) | #slowchatPE | Learning is Change

  3. Pingback: #C4C15: Share the Land (Guess Who) | #slowchatPE – Learning is Change

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