Teaching is hard, and it is even harder when you switch grades and have to start from creating material from scratch. If you are an elementary teacher, you do not just teach a select course or a few courses, we have (I have) 10ish different classes/subjects to prepare for every single day; this is A LOT, it is overwhelming when starting from nothing. If there is something that I have appreciated immensely is when another grade alike teacher is willing to share their already put together units. Let’s be honest we are probably all “guilty” of accepting this most generous offer more then once and we do so with open arms. Then there is teacher pay teachers; I have a serious love affair with this website because why not? If it covers curriculum, is engaging, is possibly low prep (not all the time but sometimes) AND it looks nice, this is a win!
I have always been so unbelievably grateful for those teachers who have shared their work with me in order to get me started that I feel the need to do the same if anyone ever asks me now that I have a few years under my belt and created my own materials; if you didn’t know there is secret society of teachers that help each other out but you have to know the secret handshake and door knock. Honestly I feel that it takes a village to educate the minds of children and it is a hard and demanding career so if we can help each other out, take the pressure off, lend a hand why wouldn’t we? So you will find me sharing my material or ideas all the time with full disclosure of course that it is not perfect or complete.
Copyright is a serious thing but in my years of teaching there have been moments where I have received items that go against it and I have never done it to be malicious or intentionally thinking about copyright legalities but I do need to be aware of the legal and ethical issues and take a stand to know when it is not appropriate, when to only take the 10% or go purchase the product myself even when the convenience is quicker and easier.
When I share my units, material, or ideas I do give credit to its original creators if it warrants it or I will share where I have purchased the product but I know I could do better. This week really made me think of the reasons why I should and reflect on how I can still lend others a hand while protecting all parties at hand. My division has also been encouraging us to share our units these past few years and as I had said before I am 100% game for doing so but I have been very mindful of what I share and if it is something I have purchased from TpT I will give some sample pages and leave the link to where others can purchase their own license. This is good practice to me, we need to work together and help each other out, we are not on an island by ourselves, especially when teaching the exact same curriculum.
What are your thoughts? Do you share your work or do you keep your work more to yourself? How do you manage copyrights?
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Such a tricky topic to navigate as a teacher. I find lots of resources that are available on Google, and so many teachers find it easy to grab resources and roll with them. Often I change and adapt them heavily… it goes back to Alec and Katia’s notions about OERs sharing as a collective profession, not simply every person for themselves. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!
Yes Christine, and I have to agree with Dalton it is tricky…I have certainly been more aware of what I am using, where it is coming from and giving credit where credit is due since partaking in this class! I have alwasy been under the impression that what create during work hours is the property of the division so am always happy to share my creations…plus I always think they are gold so all students should experience them!
You raised a great question. There are some things that I am more willing to share than others. That being said, there are some people that I am more willing to share with than others. In the past, I have been burnt several times sharing things with people, and then turning around and either selling it, sharing it beyond who they’ve asked to share it with, or using it and saying that I was no longer able to use it as I was teaching a different grade (even though I made it). So there are some situations where I am a closed door, and I freely admit that. If I think I am in a sharing collaborative relationship with someone where equal work is happening, then I am more than willing to share, in fact, I embrace it and love it. So to answer your question, I guess it really depends on a lot of different scenarios for me lol. I do like helping people, but I also had to learn the hard way one too many times and can be guarded.
I agree with the statement from our other classmates that this is a very tricky topic. As as French Immersion teacher, resources are extra hard to find. Myself and many of my colleagues will frequently share activities that we have. I am sure we have shared things without even thinking about the copyright laws as well… this is something that I need to pay more attention to and do better at. I do find I am more willing to share with certain people (usually people who have also shared with me in the past).