California Educator

MAY 2010

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LESSON PLANS FOR EDUCATORS TURN GOOD IDEAS INTO TIDY PROFITS Story by Sherry Posnick-Goodwin • Photos by Scott Buschman When she began teaching six years ago, K r i s ten B owers f ound i t ex- t remely c ha llenging t o co ver t he state standards, teach literature re- quired by her district, and also pre- pare her students for the state’s exit exam and standardized tests. “I was under a lot of pressure,” re- calls Bowers, a teacher at South Hills High School and a member of the Cov- ina Unified Education Association, “and there was a disconnect between the materials that I used to prepare my students for tests and the materials I needed to teach literature.” Unable to find resources integrating content standards with literature, she created her own literary guides and es- say writing guides. S he shared them with colleagues, who loved the materi- als. She created her own company, Sec- ondary Solutions, in 2005, and one year later began selling materials online via (TPT), boosting her sales and recognition. Last year she earned $40,000 from TPT, making her the top-selling teacher in the nation. Bowers is a new breed of educator that s ome c all a “ teacherpreneur.” Thanks to the Internet, teachers can now sell materials that previously could only be shared with a few colleagues. While the practice has raised some eye- brows, teacherpreneurs say the advan- tages go beyond monetary value. “It has definitely made me a better teacher,” says Justin Lim, a reading in- tervention teacher at Rosemead High School, who sells materials on the TPT site. That’s because, as a seller, he has received a lot of feedback from teachers who have purchased or previewed his materials. LEFT: Reading intervention teacher Justin Lim at Rosemead High School. 16 California Educator | MAY 2010

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