Week of Giving Thanks: T is for Teachers Pay Teachers

24 November 2014

I am linking up with my friends over at Blog Hoppin' for a week of thanks.   Today's letter is T and I am thankful for Teachers Pay Teachers.  Here is my TpT story:

In 2007 I purchased a tiny home on Long Island.   It was at the height of the market and $325,000 was a lot for me to swing on one income.  I did not budget in groceries, emergency pet surgery, and furnishing my home.  I was slipping into debt, transferring one credit card balance to another.  I was stressed and trying to think of another job where I would still have time to make things for my classroom.  Then, I took a course called Teachers as Authors with Mary Beth Spann.  She told us that Scholastic had recently purchased an online company called Teachers Pay Teachers and that it was founded by a former teacher named Paul Edleman.   I decided to check out the site and in October 2008, I posted my first item and a freebie.   Sales were very slow then.  It seemed to be more of a market place for upper-elementary teachers.   I put things on anyway as I made them for my own classroom.  At the same time, I was offered a contract with Scholastic to write a teacher resource book.  I quickly accepted and got to work on my 50 Just Right Reading Response Activities book and then the next year, my 20 Super Spelling Activities book.   Then in 2010-2011 TpT began to pick up.  I remember reading the newsletter about Deanna Jump hitting her first milestone and I was floored.   She was a new seller to the site, so how did she make so much money so fast?   I did some research and saw what she was doing that I was not, she was using commercial use clip art and font instead of Microsoft Office clipart and fonts, she was also creating products like they were teacher resource books, and she had a blog.   I revamped the way I made products and started a blog.  My sales started to increase.  I got out of debt.  I fixed a hole in my bathroom ceiling that I had been living with for 2 years because I could not afford to fix it.  I could breathe again!  TpT continues to provide me with financial security.  I purchase so much for my classroom, my classroom library rivals our school's library.  I am even able to give back!  I foster animals and cover their expenses with my TpT money and I donate to charities.   
My foster puppies for Save a Lab.


Some of my former foster kittens for Bella Bast Cat Rescue:

I just got two new foster kittens last night.   Fostering is such a rewarding experience.  I know that I am an important part of saving their lives, either from a terrible life on the streets or from being put down in a kill shelter.   

Besides financial security, I have found the best of friends through TpT and blogging.  I have traveled to meet them and to go to events and conferences.  I even met and became good friends with Deanna Jump.  I just love all of my TpT friends. 

TpT has also opened avenues for me.  I started presenting for SDE.  I designed a classroom for Carson Dellosa.  TpT has truly changed my life!!  So, thank you, thank you TpT!

TpT has helped me connect with and help teachers all over the world.  The feedback I get on products keep me motivated to create and blog more.   One of my customers even told me that they started fostering kittens because I did.  That was just a WOW moment for me.  I don't want to sound like I am bragging but wow!  I am reaching teachers on all different levels and I feel like I am making a difference in their lives, too. 

If you are interested in getting started on TpT, check out this post:

What are you thankful for?  Click below to link up over at Blog Hoppin' and to read more posts.


  1. I love your post!! TPT has provided so many wonderful opportunities to not only teachers and students but so many more. I love how you foster pets :) TPT has helped me pay for graduate school and also those never ending household repairs!!!

  2. You are a precious person Erica!! LOVE this!

    1. Awe, thanks Sarah! I just realized I don't have a picture with you up here! I am going to add one of the Nashville or Chicago ones! I am so happy that you all are a part of my lives.

  3. What a sweet story, Erica! I didn't know about how you started on TPT. Love how much you give back!


  4. Such an inspirational story, especially for someone just starting out in TPT (me)! Thanks for sharing your successes. I have a new target to aim for. :)
    Literacy Loving Gals

  5. Thank you for sharing your story, Erica. It's always wonderful to give back when you have been blessed. You're an inspiration to new sellers and bloggers like myself.
    Teaching, Love, Cupcakes

  6. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story, Erica! I'm a big animal lover too (I love my bulldog & puggle!), that is so amazing that you foster animals. I wish I could do that! Maybe someday! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)
    Science for Kids Blog

  7. Very thankful for TpT and letting me go to Vegas and meet all my blogging family and friends. It's allowed me to buy a lot of stuff for my classroom this year without worrying either!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher


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