TPT Forward Conference 2020: Takeaways

special education teachers teacher experience teacherspayteachers Jul 11, 2020

The TpT Forward Conference 2020 has come and gone, and even though it spanned a full week this year, it still went by so very fast. I attended my first TpT Conference in August 2019 and I was so spent from learning I laid on bed in my AirBnb in pure exhaustion at the end of Day 2! This year is no different! I attended 21 sessions and have a laundry list of ideas, marketing to-dos, and ways to be a better teacher AND teacher author.


If you weren’t able to attend virtually, then I hope this short list will help get your brain going on how you can improve your TpT store and resources!


Let’s jump right in!


Don’t make the teacher buyer choose!

Shelly Rees said last year, ‘if you don’t have quality resources then they aren’t going to sell!’ (or something to that effect). While I took about 6 months to really ramp up my resources (and the sales prove that my time and energy were worthwhile), I now have a better understanding of what my fellow educators need and want.


This year’s conferences sessions confirmed to me that resources need to be well rounded. I can create the same material and make it in PDF form, PDF with digital overlay (thanks, TpT for that great feature), Google Form, and in Boom Cards for review AND include it all in the same resource. This helps the teacher who still needs paper/pencil during remote learning, the teacher who needs writable PDFs for her Zoom classes, and the teacher who needs Google resources for her Google Classroom ALL IN ONE RESOURCE!


Yes, this is more work for me on the front end, but then teachers get what they want, they have choices, and they can differentiate for their students (ugh, hello- we are special education teachers after all).


Create the Video

We have short attention spans, let’s be honest. We are drawn in by shiny, moving things. We like a good trailer to a movie. My brain was stretched during a few sessions to think of how I can use video to meet the MANY needs of special education teachers.


Create the video preview for a resource. Create a video about how to access or use the resource or one of its features. Create the video so a substitute teacher can show it. Create the video for distance learning. Create the video to show how to do something that can’t easily be shown during a Zoom video class. Create the video for the class who has readers and non-readers. Create the video for the student who needs their parents' help and has to watch to learn after 3pm. Create the video!


I’m creating videos and posting them as Unlisted to my YouTube channel, then embedding the links into my resources for teachers to access. Videos take time and while I haven’t mastered them just yet, I’m working on it and hoping it provides my buyers with exactly what they need!

Real TpT Conference 2020 Notes

Make AND Market

I admit that I’m of the camp that believes I should focus my energies on making good resources now (aka summer time) and then market later (aka school year) (that also assumes that I’ve marketed before, which I clearly haven’t). However, there were a few sessions that were pushing me into the ‘market now AND later’ camp of thought. I’m not opposed, but I may need more time to really feel it out.


Either way, I learned many different ways to market my resources to more teachers. I mean, I don’t know how every high school and transition life skills and consumer math special education teacher doesn’t know about me yet, but they don’t and I aim to solve that!


I was that teacher many years ago, who didn’t know that TpT existed and spent endless hours creating everything from scratch. I want to save teachers like my younger self time, energy, frustration and the only way I will find them is if I market, market, market!


Instagram and Pinterest better watch out because now I got the knowledge and confidence to market!


So, there you have it. Those are my 3 main takeaways from the virtual TpT Forward Conference 2020. Yes, I came away with many other blog post ideas, freebie ideas, email subscriber newsletter ideas, and resource ideas. They are all in a long list on my computer now because the post-its, 3 sheets of paper, and notebooks were beginning to dominate my normally clean desk.


If you attended and came away with other big ideas, will you share them? Send me an email via my Contact page above or send me a DM on Instagram- I’d love to connect and continue learning!

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