School Wants To Claim Copyright Over Any Lesson Plans Created By Teachers

from the this-will-end-poorly dept

One area where intellectual property rights really don’t fit in is in educational institutions — where the entire premise of teaching (spreading information and helping more people understand and use it) goes against the entire concept of things like copyright (hoarding information and setting up artificial scarcities to charge for the dissemination and use of that info). However, in a society where people seem to think that you can and should “own ideas,” you get crazy situations like the following. We had already discussed how some schools were struggling with the fact that many teachers were sharing or selling lesson plans online, and now Copycense points us to the news of a school district that is considering a proposal to claim copyright on any output created by a teacher with direct or indirect support from the school. Now, you can argue all you want that if the teacher created the lesson plan at the school, the school should “own” it, but that really misses the point. The school is not a private, for-profit institution. Why should it care if teachers do more with their lesson plans? The schools weren’t selling other lesson plans before. It’s not as if this “takes money away” from the school or competes with the school in anyway. If anything it’s pure jealousy. The school realizes some teachers are making some money elsewhere and suddenly demands a cut.

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Comments on “School Wants To Claim Copyright Over Any Lesson Plans Created By Teachers”

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The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

So let’s see. Someone is working for the government, say the Transport Department, and comes up with (at work) a great way to save lives that works like and airbag and costs like microwave popcorn. What you are saying is that the government should have no rights to it, and this guy should be allowed to sell his idea to someone else?

Did I miss something?

Just because something is a “not for profit” or government agency doesn’t mean that the rules of work product and work for hire disappear.

The Anti-Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, but in the end, if the government benefits from the invention (say it makes a billion dollars a year), you do benefit because your taxes would be lower.

If a school make an extra 10 or 20k a year on lesson plan sales, and that money is put back into the school (maybe an extra field trip or new text books for a class, example) then are we the public not benefiting from it?

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If a school make an extra 10 or 20k a year on lesson plan sales, and that money is put back into the school (maybe an extra field trip or new text books for a class, example) then are we the public not benefiting from it?

In the case where the teachers were freely sharing before – where does this money come from?

answer – other schools – so the government is making net zero – and spending lots of money on a paper chase to keep track of it all.

Where the teachers were making a little extra from it…
Of course they will stop making the lesson plans available if they get nothing from it – remember all the other posts you made where you said people need incentives to create stuff? Of course the moment that it’s ordinary people like teachers making some money you suddenly change your tune.

Call me Al (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Anti-Mike – where will the extra 10 or 20k a year come from for these schools to invest? Presumably this will come from other schools, who will in turn sell other lesson plans to other schools. This will most likely simply move money from school to school without any real benefit… other then whoever sits in the middle and takes a cut as it goes past.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“The real point is that an employee should not get rich off of concepts they come up with while on the clock.”

Teachers aren’t on the clock except when in front of the class. If they put in more effort than the work strictly requires then should they not get some benefit. No- one is “getting rich here”.

The idea that an employer has the right to squeeze every last bit out of employees has long been recognised as immoral.

Deuteronomy 25:4

“Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.”

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The teachers are getting paid to teach. Did you think your teachers showed up to class having done diddly-shit and came up with the whole plan on the fly? Do you think your papers just magically got graded in between classes?

Developing a lesson plan is as much a part of teaching as executing it, and it has long been legally recognized in most work contracts that innovation created by an employee related to the terms of their employment belongs to the employer. Nobody cares what personal standard of morality you came up with in your daydreams.

More to the point, the school is publicly funded for the purpose of general education – in no way does restricting effective lesson plans achieve that goal.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Developing a lesson plan is as much a part of teaching as executing it,

Yup – but putting it in a form where someone else can easily make use of it is not.

A lot of what I teach remains in my head – this makes it more spontaneous. The bit that is written down is sufficient for me to deliver the lecture, seminar or whatever – not necessarily enough for someone else to make use of.

To put it in that form requires extra work – which is not strictly covered by any contract of employment.

and it has long been legally recognized in most work contracts that innovation created by an employee related to the terms of their employment belongs to the employer.

Strictly true – but then if the employer enforces that then there won’t be any.

(Plus the fact that employment contracts do that is the result of cartel behaviour by employers and is a scandal. Our “friend” Mr Riley has an interesting take on that.)

Lyle says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Teachers are paid a salary so that they are always on the clock, just like a lot of managers. They generally don’t puch time clocks, but take whatever time the job takes. Note that the federal wage and hour law explictly says teachers are not covered by time restrictions but are paid a salary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Teachers are paid a salary so that they are always on the clock, just like a lot of managers. They generally don’t puch time clocks, but take whatever time the job takes. Note that the federal wage and hour law explictly says teachers are not covered by time restrictions but are paid a salary.

The issue is a little more complicated.

Generally anything a teacher does “in the course of their employment” would be owned by their employer. However exactly what this means is a grey area.

Generally anything that they had been specifically instructed to do would definitely count whereas something outside their usual subject matter would definitely not (eg a physics teacher writing songs).

It is customary for academic contracts to allow teachers to retain copyright of textbooks that they might write – even where these lie within their normal subject area and may draw from teaching material that was prepared within their normal teaching duties.

Therefore I would say that if a teacher prepares a lesson plan, delivers the lesson, and then creates a revised version he would have a strong case for retaining copyright in the revised version.

AN additional twist is US copyright law. If a teacher counts as a state employee then there is no copyright on anything he creates in the course of his employment.

Of course that would mean that selling copies would be fine – although the recipients would also be able to use the material freely.

ChrisB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

How about the countless hours that Teachers spend AT HOME creating these lesson plans? Should the Government have control of these lesson plans?

Where in the article did you read that these were created on the clock? What I read is that they want to claim Copyright on ALL output, “created by a teacher with direct or indirect support from the school.” Which might control even the lesson plans created at home, if it is based on the school curriculum…

This is sounding pretty shady.

Scott says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Money teachers are paid

Here in Utah where the teachers get paid so little??? NOT
I got news for you. Out of college into the class room they get paid the same as I do (going on for 20 years now) so don’t give me this bull shit about how little they get paid. I work for a nursery, am considered skilled labor for doing maintenance and DO NOT get paid time and a half for over 40 hrs/per. I may not have the skills to teach but most teachers I know talked with can’t even operate a cash register at McDonalds.

Thank God for Home teaching

Pam says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Money teachers are paid

In most states beginning teachers get paid about 30,000 a year. We have little to no supplies in our classroom. No bulletin boards, no hands on manipulatives, or student supplies. I had to pay for that myself. I work in a school where only 8 or 9 of my students came with pencils and paper. I had to fork out 200 or 300 dollars just to get them started. It has been 18 weeks and we have run out of supplies over and over. My students parents can either pay the electric bill or buy supplies. I hope they pay the electric bill! I have to pay for my own certification that expires every 3 to 5 years. We have been reduced to only 100 or 200 copies per week. Let see 200/100 copies divided by 20 students = 5 to 10 handouts per week. I guess that I will have lots of classroom workbooks for everyone?NOT So I buy copy paper at home, printer ink, and spend my Sunday Nights doing lesson plans. I do not pay for lesson plans as I find a lot for free on the web and ask other teachers for help. I am new to 3rd grade so I am not sure how to present some things. I am glad my team shares their lesson plans!!! I am required to be at work from 8 am to 3 pm, I have car duty and don’t get done until 3:30. But my day does not stop there, homework and tests graded, new ideas to find, and crunch numbers from assessment so that I know what to teach to each student. Let’s see I have 3rd grade and 5 or 6 of my students can only read 1st grade level. I have 2 or 3 that read 4 grade level and above; so I have to find fun and interesting things for all. So for you to say that I only work 35 to 40 hours per week and can leave work and be done is outrageous. Also how do you think I paid my way through college: working at Hardies, Subway, Movie Theater, etc.

zcat (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I would agree with the schools having the same policy as the government, that all work paid for by taxpayer dollars is automatically in the public domain. This wouldn’t stop the teachers from doing exactly what they’re doing.

I partially agree with anti-mike on this though; I don’t think that teachers should be making extra profit from their taxpayer-funded development of teaching materials. If they sell it at all it should only be under a permissive license such as CC-BY-SA or CC-0 which effectively means that they can really only expect to recover the cost of physically making and distributing copies.

But I don’t think that taxpayer-funded schools should be charging each other (or anyone else) to share that material either.

ppartekim (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Teachers making a profit? Not in my California school. I have seen more teachers spend their own to pay for class supplies cause the school cannot afford it and no parents are willing to reimburse the teacher for their kid’s supplies since the state said that public school education is free.

So, the teacher makes a little back by selling his/her lesson plan. What does that matter, in the end I’ll wager they spent way more on their class than they received in “profit”.

Valkor says:

Re: Re: Re:

Here’s a better idea: Let the teachers make as much profit as they want selling “their” public domain lesson plans and keep copyright and CC out of it completely. I frankly wouldn’t mind, and would see great benefit in, seeing all the lesson plans chosen by my children’s teachers posted online. Hey, in a perfect world, a teacher’s job evaluation and employment could be influenced by how prolific they were at generating plans or refining their lessons. Well, I’m dreaming now…

Big Al says:

Re: Re:

I don’t know about the situation in the US, but here the majority of lesson plan development and associated bits and pieces are performed out of work hours, and no direct compensation is paid for them.
Consequently, in your example, if a Transport employee develops something in his own time then the copyright/patent belongs to the government, even though they had no input or financial interest in it.
I know you’re big on “screw the little man to the benefit of corporations”, but isn’t this going a bit far?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

sorry to tell you this…teachers are not paid during the off months! We are paid for the in school time and can usually opt to have our salary divided by twelve months instead of the ten. Sometimes there isn’t even a choice. The district gets to bank our salaries during that time and earn interest on it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

We don’t actually get paid for our off time during the summer. We take a smaller paycheck throughout the school year so that we don’t starve during the summer. We are only paid for the hours we work. The money we receive during the summer is simply leftover from our school year time. Some school districts give you a choice to take your full contract amount during the school year, or spread it out over the summer. Others don’t give you that option.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“So let’s see. Someone is working for the government, say the Transport Department, and comes up with (at work) a great way to save lives that works like and airbag and costs like microwave popcorn. What you are saying is that the government should have no rights to it, and this guy should be allowed to sell his idea to someone else?”

No. What I want is for his idea to be in the public domain so everyone can make their cars safer for me and the rest of then public. That is the public’s best interest. It generates the most total value.

Matt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Goverment should have a shop right to it. If we are going to have an enforceable patent system, the employee should retain the right to exclude others from using his invention. Of course, that is a patent issue, not a copyright issue – patents are different (not least because there is no “work for hire” doctrine in patent law). And unless a lawyer directed the teachers to write the lesson plans, there is no issue of work product here.

So say, instead, the DOT employee whose job is to monitor the stoplights on the subway comes up with a crappy screenplay about an ex-con who decides to carjack a subway train. Should the government get the rights to the movie? Say instead that it is a list of daily duties: “Turn on coffee pot, eat donut, get coffee, smoke break, turn on computer, get coffee, …” Uncle Sam need that one? Any reason the worker shouldn’t retain the rights to it? He wasn’t directed to make the list, and it is not in his job description to do so. It is not a work made for hire.

‘Course, in my view neither the teacher nor the district should get the rights. But under the ill-advised law as it unfortunately stands, it seems to me that the question of which one _does_ get rights is much closer than it might appear.

Alan Gerow (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“but the public schools are in competition with private/charter schools.”

Not true, because I pay for other people’s kids to go to public school whether or not they go to private school. So, I pay for other people’s kids to have a spot at a public school, whether or not that spot is used. They are not competing, because they steal their money. Private schools have to earn their money.

Public schools being forced to share their lesson plans for free would be a good deal to getting some value out of my forcibly stolen tax money.

Ray (profile) says:

Teachers & Copyright

Two issues that seem to have been missed:
1. Educational use is an EXCEPTION to Copyright law. It seems inconsistent to claim an exemption when USING copyrighted stuff and then wanting to REQUIRE copyright on documents created locally.
2. The purpose of educational institutions is to DEVELOP as well as SHARE knowledge. Unless a school system REQUIRES that a teacher develop their own lesson plans, then whatever they create is their own property rather than a requirement. Having created a few lesson plans, I know that much of the work is done at home – on the teacher’s own time and with their own equipment, etc. Even if SOME of the work is done on campus, how (& who) can determine how much or which documents can be claimed by the school?

Another issue (mentioned previously) is that, unless it is a required duty – which is another matter, then for the School to claim ownership will simply reduce the initiative to create. In that case, who will loose? Students!

copyrightwill end says:

and the problem is

no one can use invent off or make ht eidea better without a steep fee if the school wants to getting sued
NOW we have education being locked up

GOOD in no time flat it will be so expensive to learn youall will have shit for brain kids in america
i love this idea in a few generations you will be so retardedly stupid and uneeducated it will be cool to NOT LIVE IN THE USA
keep the copyright going YES YES i say go ahead do this for every method of teaching and et all. LOCK IT ALL UP and even get into patenting how a teacher moves speaks and all. SOON the cost of simple grade 4 will be utterly beyond your means YES AGAIN GO FOR IT.

haha what a joke the usa is…..

Anonymous Coward says:

If the school wants to claim copyright on those lesson plans, they should pay for the hours spent making them–which are currently done in unpaid, off-work hours. I guarantee that the schools will lose money in this arrangement, though.

Further, the point of copyright is to provide incentives for creation. Right now, arguably the teachers are receiving an incentive for creating a good lesson plan that they can share with others. Give the copyright to the school, and I can’t see teachers bothering to create a lesson plan that works for anyone but themselves.

Captain Swagger (profile) says:

Screw the schools having an extra $10-20k a year in tax money from selling lesson plans. We’re not funding schools so that they can create part-time businesses in order to make extra money on the side. We are funding them so that they can do what they were created to do, which is to teach our students. The more resources they are putting into selling lesson plans and enforcing copyrights, the less resources they are putting into actually teaching! I’m surprised people aren’t outraged that their tax dollars are being misappropriated by these schools.

Hall Pass says:

Number one or number two ?

A lesson plan describes a process and I doubt that a process is subject to copyright. You can not copyright the act of writing 1+1=2 on the blackboard and then asking Johnny what 1+2 equals. Well, I suppose you could try, but it should not be allowed.

If a lesson plan were subject to copyright, would someone who uses it have to pay performance fees ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Number one or number two ?

It’s common knowledge to seasoned educators that there is no “new way” of teaching a concept. The new teaching fads are just old strategies revamped and renamed. For every lesson we teach, that concept has been taught that way before, it just may be new to us. Hard to copyright something that’s been done before.

The Truth says:

From a Teacher's Perspective...

Schools do operate very similar to that of a private entity. If an employee develops a new invention on company equipment, the company owns it. The same goes for lesson plans created (authored) on school equipment. If a teacher develops a lesson plan 100% on their own time and without using any school equipment for development, then they own it and may do with it what ever they desire.

Normally, lesson plans are developed by textbook companies, then tweaked to meet the current teacher’s situation, and the school pays for them. Lesson plans used, but not developed by textbook companies, are either from a teacher outside of their “contract day” or during workshops, where, the teacher is compensated for their time.

Basically, there’s a cost no matter how to you look at it…

Anonymous Coward says:

Not quite so simple

Fact: If I open a business and use my school telephone as the main number, even if it doesn’t cost the school any more, this is using “government provided infrastructure to produce private gain”, which is illegal in almost all jurisdictions.

Now, lesson plans are not simple, there are a lot of background resources that go into them. Subscriptions to databases, online resources that are paid for by the district, and so on.

In this case, the district is saying that if you use district resources, databases and such, even when you are not working on district time, then the district has a colorable claim to at least some of the profits. If you didn’t use ANY district resources, then the plan is your own and you are entitled to any and all profits.

There was a case where a teacher was tasked to come up with a district wide plan, given many resources paid for by the district, and wound up in court because the teacher claimed the copyright. Clearly this is a case of work for hire. The courts ruled that way too.

Another case, a teacher came up with the lesson plan, made a ton of money, but didn’t use any district resources and had notes to show where the data was pulled from. The district looked at the notes, agreed, and shut up.

The problem is “If a teacher uses resources paid for with tax dollars, how is the public interest to be served?” If you think it’s OK for tax dollars to engender private gain, then the district has no claim on those rents. If, however, you think that tax dollars should not be diverted into private gain, then obviously, there is some claim to that revenue, whatever it may be.

Again, it’s not a simple open and shut case. A lot depends on the details.

Anthony (profile) says:

If the teacher developed it whilst working for work purposes then yes the school district should have the copyright on that work. But only if any money made from the selling of the work goes back into the school district as extra funding and not have their public funding reduced by the amount of money they generate. It’s not right that any monies made goes into the pocket of the higher ups or have their public funding reduced since they have self-generate funding.

ann (profile) says:

I’m a writer, and I protect my work and research and teach how to protect work with copyright. One is an art I am protecting. A lesson plan is a method. Who is going to copyright the Socratic method? How much does it cost to mention a specific publisher’s textbook in that lesson plan? Or the title of someone’s novel? How much is it going to cost to lawyer up because some kid at some other school learned from your lesson method?

Scott says:

Utter nonsense

This is funny, because a big part of the reason one of the budding teachers I went to university with decided to drop that career path like a hot brick was the insanity that surrounds lesson plans.

A lesson plan is not a product that the school trafficks in, but rather a tool that the teacher is expected to develop on their own time in order to do the job they were hired to do. Writing a lesson plan is a huge undertaking, and it is expected that teachers will do so unpaid. If anyone has the copyright to that work, it is the teachers.

A school claiming copyright on a lesson plan is like the an employer claiming copyright over an office drudge’s daily to-do list, or a company claiming copyright on the presentation that an outside contractor used to land a gig with them. It’s utter nonsense.

:) says:

Most of you miss the point.

By miles. It is not about law.
The Law is an abstract concept created by men(and women).

We have congress exactly for that purpose to make “laws”.

The question is “This is a good development to society?”

I don’t think it is, nor the teachers nor the schools should claim copyright on anything having to do with education.

That concept of being rewarded financially for your troubles and using a monopoly to protect those assumed rights will just make educating anybody more difficult and expensive and eventually will burden the government with more expenses that in turn will be passed to citizens.

This is not a question of law is a question of functionality and consequences.

The law has no meaning here.

Michael (profile) says:

Missing the point

The point is not who should get money from this. Tax reductions, etc. are completely off point.

This is a public education entity and it’s employees. Anything an employee creates that will benefit other institutions should be freely shared. If a lesson plan is taught in one public school and it improves the ability of the students, it should be the responsibility of the schools to make sure other schools have the ability to use that lesson plan.

The focus of individual schools on their own students (and thus raising money) should be trumped by the benefit of a lesson plan to many schools.

Brian M (profile) says:

copyright lesson plans

If the teacher used books and materials supplied by the school, and/or made lesson plans on school time, or refined the lesson plan on school time, then I wholeheartedly agree that they should not be able to sell that material or share it. There are schools that compete for students, and better courses can draw students there, pulling funding from that school and possibly closing it.

I think a teacher helping another is a great idea, but sharing full lesson plans seems a little far in my book.

Just Bob says:


I make all my lecture notes and course material freely available on the web. In turn, my lesson plans were developed by borrowing from and modifying course material made available by professors at other institutions. This all perfectly natural. Nobody thinks of asking for money, and they should not. Support the opencourseware movement. This is a clearcut case where the information should be free.

abass says:

Stay at home and earn money.No scam.100% reliable

-Cash Making Opportunities – The Beginning The working life is already tough enough, but the worries of being out of work was even tougher. The unsecured working environment have prompted me to search the internet for an alternative source of extra income so that I could learn how to Make Money Work for me and be Financially Independent. I listed down a number of Free Internet Business Opportunity Ideas while researching ways how people earn money online while working-from-home….

dave says:

Who really own the ideas?
I have done many great things for my school, brought many new and innovative ideas that allow students to excel. For example:
1) I planned, organised and implemented a Chinese New Year Celebration that was participated by all the students, staff and community. A year later, the principal took the planning and organising of the Chinese celebration and asks one of his “friends” to be in charged of it. I had no say or contribution in the planning of this celeberation. He wanted her to have more leadership role. Well come up with your own ideas!
2) I created a school slideshow at the end of the year to celebrate school spirit and recognises all the contribution of the staff and students in the school. Again, he takes my idea and lets one of his friend be in charged of the slideshow; 2 years later, there was no end of the year celebration; because the friend decided to take a year off teaching.
3) I wrote a 90 page research paper to ask IBM computers to help set up a computer lap for the students at my inner city school. The principal took my work and wrote his name on it.
4) I created many Novel studies units for the kids to use to improve on their reading skills. At a parent teacher council meeting, the principal said that his “Ms. friend” have done a fantastic job with the reading program, “She is an excellent teacher because she creates her own materials that meet the needs of the kids.” What he did not realize was that my name was on the header of the Novel studies. But, I was not recognised.

So, from now on, I am going to sell and profit from my materials. Why should I work hard and have other people take credit for it? Who really own the ideas?

Miss teacher says:

I cannot believe that people are against teachers so much.

Here is the honest truth.

I have sold lesson plans through reputable websites. Lesson plans sell for a meager $1.00 – $2.00.

I have made less than $20.00

I get to school at 6:45 am. My contract begins at 7:30. I stay until 7:30 most nights working on lessons and helping kids with homework and also directing a play (for free). My contract ends at 3:30. How many hours were given unpaid?

I work for a high poverty school district. Last year I spent probably $400 of MY OWN MONEY to buy books, resources, educational films, art supplies, and basic needs like tissues and pencils. No compensation from the school. They simply don’t have the money.

This year I know I have spent about $200. It is only October.

After reading this, I dare someone to tell me “I’m money hungry,” or greedy, or stealing. My lessons come from my ideas.

Funny though. No one seems to get bent out of shape when I moved school districts and brought my lessons I made from one school to the other. It’s when money comes on the line that we see people’s true colors.

andrew s (user link) says:


One thing missing from this logic. Most public school teachers are not given planning time, nor a laptop computer, or resources to create physical projects at school. The dept of transportation likely does give its engineers time to think, plan, execute ideas along with the materials to do so. Most public school teachers are taking work home and do not get paid to do their work at home, nor are they compensated for their computers, software, internet, electricity or even basic supplies to make the lesson plans happen. If most districts don’t supply their workforce with time, and materials to create outside of the teaching day, why then should they own what they do outside of their contract hours.

Carolyn Darst says:

Teacher Ideas & Ownership

I don’t believe that school districts should be able to claim ownership of your efforts and ideas, especially when you put them together on your own time. Really, with the salary we receive it would certainly be more generous and appropriate for us to compensated for my intellectual capabilities. This concept is antiquated because many people are much better compensated by their companies for their mental skills and that skill application!

Stop being assholes says:

Okay, then I won't make custom stuff - how about that?

Okay, if the government own my unique lesson plans…then I won’t MAKE unique lesson plans. Nowhere in my contract does it say I am REQUIRED to create my own unique materials. If the government is going to steal MY work, then I won’t DO that work. I’ll just toss a textbook on the kids’ desk and they can do the questions in the textbook. Why should I spend a RIDICULOUS amount of hours to create something fun, unique, adapted for different levels, etc, if the output of that labour is not mine?

Your tax dollars pay me to be in the room, teach, and mark. I am not, at all, required to make awesome lesson plans. That is my CHOICE. I could literally never create anything and just use what is supplied by the school if you think you have the right to own teachers and our work.

But that would be a pretty crappy education, wouldn’t it? Isn’t it better when teachers DO invest to make custom and fun materials that explore unique ways of learning?

All you public, "My tax dollar" assholes don’t do the damned job. You have no goddamn idea how CRAPPY the materials are that are provided and the work teachers put in to develop engaging lessons, let alone the colossal workload of just doing the basics of the job these days. It’s called giving teachers some RESPECT. The more the public and the government decides to be assholes, the more teachers quit, and the more those that remain STOP CARING and do the least amount of work.

You get out what you put in folks.

And your tax dollars DO benefit: the kids that the teacher teaches with those great materials benefit from the creation. And us sharing that work, whether for free (which, many of us do – I NEVER charge for anything I develop, I am happy to give it to anyone who wants it to use in their classes), or to make some money to cover crappy salaries, or to make money because it’s THEIR labour ABOVE what is required in the contract) benefits more children who are getting educated.

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