Over the last month, I’ve become increasingly addicted to Pinterest. It’s silly really, but there are so many good art/craft/recipe/home/style ideas it’s not even funny. However, I think what has taken up most of my time has been the school/lesson ideas. I’ve been teaching second grade for
a million eleven years and have been looking for some fresh inspiration. Pinterest has it, and since creating an account I’ve spent so much time online looking for great ideas.
Through my searches, I stumbled upon some lesson and activity sites that host teachers who create materials and want to sell them. This floored me a bit. I’m not sure why, since people sell everything these days, but seeing teachers selling ideas seems so strange for some reason.
The teaching profession has always been about sharing ideas. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve handed a colleague a lesson and said, “FYI, I tried this with my kids, and it went well, feel free to use it.”. In fact, just today I receive an envelope from my district writing partner that included some materials she wanted to share, while at the same time I also emailed off about six lessons to other 2nd grade teams in town. Since teaching is about the kids, and not about who created what, it doesn’t matter where it came from…if it’s good, shouldn’t all kids have access to it?
It also might irritate me a bit that some of the things I saw on the websites were materials that I have given away at presentations, for free. Sure, I’m probably not the only one who had those ideas, but posting activity instructions that are identical, word-for-word, to the ones I created and gave out doesn’t seem quite ethical. Actually, I could care less about them being posted, or even shared as someone else’s ideas, but making money off of someone else’s ideas isn’t right.
Or maybe I’m just bitter that the thousands of files I have saved on my computers at home and school haven’t made me any money. Perhaps I should get on that…