How I Told My School I Sell Resources On TeachersPayTeachersAug 18, 2021
You know that feeling, where you are trying to keep a big secret from everyone and you prepare for the day when someone is going to point blank ask you about your secret? Yeah, that was me with my TeachersPayTeachers store for many years.
I was hiding my beloved asset, the one that I created from scratch, from everyone I worked with at school, even though it was available for public consumption. I mean, I had my face on EVERYTHING- every resource, on my Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, and on the front page of my blog and website.
Sadly, this isn’t uncommon, to be keeping a secret and yet be totally open and available, especially as a TPT teacherpreneur.
Upon creating my professional development (Confused to Connected), I knew that if I wanted to reach as many people as possible, I had to use Facebook Ads to expand my reach. Thus, I was in jeopardy of being ‘found.’ I was ready to tell my school district I had a TeachersPayTeachers store and more.
To get ahead of getting ‘caught red handed,’ I reached out to a lawyer to confirm that I was working within my school district teacher handbook of expectations and my teacher’s union contract.
Brittany Ratelle, who reviewed both documents, confirmed that there was no breach of contract and I could move forward with informing my school district. (Use code SpecialLearning15 to save 15% from my affiliate link)
**I was very clear with Brittany Ratelle about the resources I have created, how I have used them, and the professional development I was working on. She gave me confidence and strength to move forward with an intellectual property contract agreement when I hesitated because SHE believed in ME. I appreciate that as both a professional and a woman entrepreneur.
I readied myself mentally, developing a mindset of how I would approach the conversation with superiors. I choose to meet with my school Superintendent, as we have had a strong relationship since they began working for the district. After reaching out via email to set up a day and time to chat with my Superintendent, I received a customized Intellectual Property agreement from Brittany and I had a print copy ready for a signature.
During the short meeting with my Superintendent, I informed them of my TPT store, multiple platforms, and plan for creating a professional development to fill a gap in my field. They were happy for me. Let me repeat, THEY WERE HAPPY FOR ME!
Just as I had hoped, they viewed this as a professional endeavour, where I was reaching and supporting other educators and students beyond my own classroom. I am an asset for the school and the conversation only lifted me up (I was smiling as I walked back to my car)!
I shared the intellectual property agreement with my superintendent who quickly reviewed and accepted it. They sent it along to the school’s legal team who did make some tweaks for clarity, and it was presented and signed by the school district’s board of education a few weeks later.
Once I had the signed agreement in my hands, it was as if the creative flood gates in my brain opened. I finally felt I had the mental permission to both continue doing what I was doing AND reach even higher.
If you feel you are living a secret double life, trying to keep your side passion project a secret for as long as you can and are curious if you have the ability to share your place in the TPT world with your school, consider consulting with Brittany or other legal counsel.
*I have never spoken about the district I work for by name or location. I do not use pictures of students or staff in my resources, social media or blog posts. My approach is always positive when it comes to my school and the staff I work with (because I am blessed, truly). I do not use identifying information that could be traced back to a student, family, or staff in anything because privacy is important. Maybe most importantly, I do not use my full name as this could be easily traced back.
You can save 15% by using code: SpecialLearning15 on Brittany’s resources using the affiliate links found in this blog post.