Maybe Ill be there to share the land

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. 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 one! (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.

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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One thought on “Maybe Ill be there to share the land

  1. Kevin Tiller

    At the outset let me say that I am 44 years old. So I’m not necessarily an “old timer” but also not a “newbie”. When I think about this topic I have mixed feelings. Let me first give you my thoughts “for” selling lesson plans. When I think back to when I first started teaching, there were not many lesson plan resources out there. I had one lesson plan book: Dynamic Physical Education by Dauer and Pangrazi. It’s not like it is today. Today there are numerous lesson plan books out there. That being said, I had to create and “think up” activity progressions, appropriate warmup and fitness games, plus meaningful assessments. My plans were not that good. I almost quit teaching. I would have paid money for lesson plans. Very shortly after I graduated from college, I did pay for lesson plans. I started to discover books like “Ready To Use K-2 Physical Education Activities” by Landy. These books saved (and inspired) my teaching. I am eternally grateful those books existed. That is the exact reason I wrote two books of my own. I wanted to give back to the profession that I love so much. If I can give another teacher the inspiration to continue teaching, that is the ultimate way that I can “give back”. I had the motivation to sit down and write down all my ideas. Should I not be compensated for that? Especially if others could benefit? Oh, and by the way, if you write and sell books about Physical Education, you DON’T make millions. Not even thousands. It’s about inspiring others. In today’s world of “instant gratification”, not everything is free, nor should it be. Some believe they are “entitled” to everything without paying for anything. Once again, writing books for me was about looking at that college student coming out and helping him/her have an easier time than I did. It’s about helping people. In this day and age, not many people do. That’s why I think selling lesson plans is a good idea.

    Now, here are my thoughts “against” selling lesson plans. I wish I had Twitter and Voxer when I was a first year teacher. Every time I present a workshop on Physical Education (which is three to four times a year), I always try to get other teachers hooked on it as much as I am. The ability to share ideas and activities is so easy to do. Those who write books in this environment: Their days are numbered. I love how much people are sharing for free. If I had this when I was a first year teacher, I would never have bought another book. I would have just tweeted on Twitter or voxed on Voxer. I am so grateful to the online community for inspiring me, for free, to do more for my students. That is the ultimate way of caring. But I think that in order for this to work, people need to share as much as they take. Some people just take without contributing anything at all. The world is full of takers who care only about themselves. “There is more happiness in giving than receiving”. Words to live by. The only thing that bothers me about sharing “for free” is this: Sometimes I’ll see something that I created tweeted or retweeted with no reference to the creator. I know I put it out there for free, but give credit where credit is due. I didn’t sell it. That is the least someone can do.

    So, am I “for” or “against” selling lesson plans? Yes. 😜

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