Teachers who think the lesson plans and worksheets they have created are good enough to sell now can test that idea in an online marketplace.
Launched earlier this year by a former New York City teacher, the TeachersPayTeachers.com Web site charges teachers $29.95 a year to offer their wares. The site functions much like eBay or Amazon.com’s marketplace, with buyers deciding whether the products are worth the cost and then providing user ratings to help those who come after them. Prices, set by the sellers, go from a dollar or two up.
Paul Edelman, the 33-year-old teacher-turned-entrepreneur who owns the site, says the idea came from his own experience sharing materials with colleagues. While many classroom materials are already available on the Web for free, most teachers have had little incentive to post notices of their work, he said. Under the TeachersPayTeachers setup, sellers keep 85 percent of their earnings.
As of the end of July, some 145 teachers had made more than $3,000 selling their materials, he said. Traffic picked up enough after the Associated Press ran a story on the site at the end of June that Mr. Edelman now posts a top-sellers list. One popular item, he said, is “Elements of the Short Story in TV Shows.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2006 edition of Education Week