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Are “Teacherpreneurs” Pushing the Limits?

What used to be offered freely at workshops and seminars is now for sale on the internet: tested lesson plans written by teachers, for teachers. Selling lesson plans is nothing new, as there have been books published for decades, readily used by classroom teachers to supplement their district’s adopted curriculum. But you had to buy the whole book, and few teachers ever used the whole book.

Now a teacher can search several websites for a lesson plan or worksheet on a concept and buy just the lesson plan they need. Prices range from fifty cents to several dollars, depending on how many printables are included. Some school administrators are questioning this practice, but there aren’t any clear cut rules about what can and cannot be done with a lesson plan created by a teacher under contract.

Teachers spend a lot of time adapting, testing and fine tuning their lesson plans, and feel that since the final product is their own, they should have the right to distribute it as they see fit, either for free or for a fee. Some people feel adding money to the equation is setting up a roadblock to the free sharing of information, so vital to the first year teacher’s success. Others see no problem with charging money for lesson plans, since many teachers pump the money right back into their classrooms in the form of resources they would not normally be able to afford. And many teachers continue to freely give their lesson plans to colleagues in their own districts.


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