Tuesday, October 3, 2017

TpT Newbie: 3 Things I Learned

This summer I had a lot of time on my hands!  My summer also is about 6 weeks long due to the modified year round schedule, so I don't have much time to get a summer job.  Which I really enjoy! I take no shame in staying in pajamas and watching Netflix all day.  Though, after about a solid two weeks of this I start to get a little antsy!

Which brings me to TpT! Teacher Pay Teachers is so amazing!  I am so inspired by the creators on the site.  I have talked about how I would love to take a crack at creating my own resources to friends and family for almost two years!  After about two weeks of sitting on my butt, I thought to myself, you have this time you need to actually put this dream into motion!

So far it has been so fun!  Trying to push yourself to create resources and be creative each day is a fun challenge! Will something come of it?  Haha who knows?? But, I am really enjoying it :) Which is really important to me!  I am doing this for me, the bonus is if anyone else finds my resources helpful in their teacher lives!

There is a bit of a learning curve when first starting out.  I am still learning too! I would like to share some things I have learned starting up this process.

1. Clipart and Photography

Images are copyrighted, yo!  Just like we have to worry about music copyright, you also have to be mindful to the rights of visual artists.  This is the part that really scared me about starting my own store!  I didn't want to mess this part up.  Good news though, there is so much out there that is available for free or little cost.  Look for the terms on the product before buying or downloading, it must say you can use it commercially if you are planning on using it in your creations.  For the most part, I have found that most clipart is out there for teachers to use in personal and commercial scenarios. You just need to make to give proper credit to them by adding a credits page with a link to their website or store. Usually there a details about what specifically the creator would like in their terms of use.

Favorite places to find Clipart and Photos:
1. Teacherpayteachers - especially for free clipart - just search for ascending price and you will find so much for 0 dollars!
2. Etsy - Watercolor anything has been so popular right now and you can find the most beautiful watercolor clipart here.
3. Pexels - This site is filled with photography that is free to use commercially and you do not have to give credit.  These photos fall under the Creative Commons Zero License, which allows free use of the images.

2. Links don't transfer to PDF...

Power Point is a very user friendly program for creating TpT products.  Of course, to protect the amazing clipart and fonts used most TpTers export their finished product as a PDF.  I have found that when your file includes links they do not work after becoming a PDF document.  Which is a problem especially when giving credit to various clipart artists, as stated above. As I started to research how to solve this problem, I found a pricy solution. You can use Adobe Acrobat which is about 15 dollars a month ($180 dollars a year).  Which really isn't horrible, adobe acrobat is an amazing program! If you have the money this would be the easiest option.  Though, I am trying to save in any way I can, so I continued to search.  I came across an app called PDF Expert.  This app is $9.99 for iPad and iPhone.  If you can deal with a smaller screen for adding in links this would be a great fit.  Ten bucks, paid once, and you have a PDF editor for life!  It also, is an available app for mac computers though the price significantly jumps to $60.00.  Though, still better than paying a monthly fee forever!  I have found the app has worked out just fine for me.  It is a little annoying sometimes going between the laptop and iPad but I think it is well worth it! 

3. Social Media 


All social media is your friend!  I have never been much of a social media person. I don't think I have changed my Facebook profile picture for about a year!  Surprisingly, I really have had a lot of fun setting up my teacher accounts.  This is a way to promote your products, interact with other teachers, and find inspiration.  It is hard at first to put yourself out there!  I have always struggled with "tooting my own horn" and never wanting to come off pushy.  I remember doing fundraisers growing up and procrastinating going door to door because I didn't want to pressure anyone into anything.  Thinking back though, it was just cookies....haha who doesn't love cookies!?  The internet is a vast place and putting your products on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, even Twitter is just going to cover all your bases!  Not everyone is on every social media platform.  And if they are, oh well! That person probably loves being in the know and doesn't mind seeing some of the same content. As teachers we should be lifting up each other and supporting one another! I have had to tell myself don't think, just do!  I love when teachers share and share and share! Why would other teachers not like it when I do it? 

There is so much more, but those have been my top three when starting out on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I hope this helps any other teachers just starting out like myself!  Sharing and community is one of my favorite things about being a teacher!  Every idea has benefit!  We are in this together!