Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Buying and Selling Lesson Plans

An interesting Podcast from CBC Radio's "The Current" entitled "Teachers Selling Lessons."

The controversy is that some public school teachers (the regular kind...not ESL) are putting their lessons online and selling them. The teachers that sell stuff defend themselves by saying that they're underpaid and put a lot of their own money into stuff for the classroom. And that they'd share, for free with the other teachers in their school or friends or whatever. And that they put a lot of work into it, so why should they give it away for free. Those that buy defend themselves by saying that it takes a LOT of work to make up good lessons plans and that they obviously don't just copy wholesale but still put a lot of their own ideas and thought into the lessons they take from the internet.

The critics say that this will hurt education. Hamper creativity on the part of teachers and in essence seem to just think the teachers are lazy and don't care about the kids.

My view: have the critics ever been inside a classroom, on the teaching end of it? Do they not realize how much work it actually is to prepare a lesson, especially for kids? And...if I put all this work into creating an amazing lesson, isn't my time worth something, or should I just give it away to total strangers? And, why wouldn't I use someone's worksheet for the exact same lesson that I'm doing. They make it, or I do. It doesn't really matter. And just because I use another person's stuff, I obviously put my own thought into adapting it for my audience.

What do you think? Buying and selling materials is all good? Or, veering into the realm of sketchy?

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