This is the third in a multi-part series on teachers building their own sense of wealth.
Angie Kratzer has enjoyed 23 years in education, including 18 in the high school English classroom and three years as a 6-12 ELA curriculum specialist for the third largest school district in North Carolina.
She earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification (Renewal) 2005 Larry Saunders Excellence in Teaching Award 2004 Greensboro Jaycees Young Educator of the Year 2001 National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification
Angie lives in Asheboro, North Carolina with her husband, a former elementary teacher, and her son, a four-year-old hurricane. In addition to creating instructional materials, she serves schools and districts as a consultant and train teachers in writing instruction.
1. Which came first, your blog or a Teachers Pay Teachers account? And why?
The two happened at about the same time. In 2009, I decided to move from a central office curriculum specialist position back to the classroom because I needed to get back on the front lines. I missed being with teenagers all day! Just before I made that move, I opened my store on TpT to make up for the salary decrease. I started blogging my first year back in the classroom and simply shared the hilarious one-liners my students wrote and said. They loved seeing their words on my blog and would beg to be “today’s post.”
2. How much time and work goes into the writing, design, and development of each product you create for Teachers Pay Teachers?
Because I am home this year with a BUSY four-year-old boy, I have to work in small chunks of time. It takes me months to create one of my longer units for a work of literature or a specific writing mode. Some days, I can squeeze in 30 minutes. Other days, I work for five hours. Because I have just a smidge of OCD, my lesson plans are really detailed, so I’m definitely on the slow end of the seller spectrum.
3. How are your products and blog a natural extension of the work you did as a teacher?
I create resources for units I love to teach, and I blog about issues that matter to me as an educator. If my heart’s not in it, I can’t make it. I never blog just to drive traffic to my store, and I never create a resource that a first-year, lateral-entry teacher couldn’t use.
4. If a teacher were interested in succeeding on Teachers Pay Teachers, what do they need to know in order to earn income from it?
A new seller needs to STUDY. Read the forums, study the handbook, join collaborative Facebook groups, go to the annual conference, and be humble enough to learn from veteran teacher-authors. We have an inviting, collaborative community, and we bring newer sellers along with us. It’s the TpT philosophy that we work in collaboration, not competition.
5. Please provide a realistic estimate — if a teacher is willing to work hard at developing a blog, a book, etc. how long would it take to earn a consistent monthly income from it?
This might sound like a dodge, but there really is no way to estimate. Experience, time, writing talent, design skills, grade level, content area, marketing knowledge, and familiarity with social media platforms are all factors. That list is not meant to deter teachers from setting up a store, but they should know that the quality of materials is on a dramatic rise.
— Visit Angie’s Teachers Pay Teachers store