Curriculum

Teachers buy and sell lesson plans online.

CLICKING FOR DOLLARS

Are your staffers looking for exciting new lesson plans? Send them to teacherspayteachers.com , a site launched by former middle school teacher Paul Edelman that allows teachers to buy and sell lessons eBay style. “Millions of lesson plans are going to waste because they are used in just one classroom,” says Edelman.

Here’s how it works: Authors pay $29.95 a year for unlimited postings and set their own prices. Revenues are paid quarterly, minus a 15 percent fee. Each author must supply one free download and a first-page preview. Customer reviews will be added soon.

Since its launch last April, the site has enlisted 417 sellers, chalked up 500 sales, and grown total offerings to 3,000. A typical purchase averages $15 for five to 10 items, although some offerings can run $16 to $35.

The site’s top seller is Kristen Bowers, a high school English teacher in West Covina, California, whose sales topped $1,000 in eight weeks. Bowers created 15 skills and analysis guides, each based on a literature classic, because, she says, the state’s growing focus on standardized tests leaves little time for exposure to great books.

Ron Hubbard, a fifth-grade teacher in Dublin, California, says not everything he has bought at the site is great, but for an average price of $2 a piece, he’s “extremely pleased” overall. When asked if a central online source of teaching materials will make teachers lazy, Edelman replies, “If they look online and find a great way to teach, they should be applauded. The bottom line is how effective they are in helping students learn.”

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