Does Education Have A Pinterest Problem?

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UPDATE: Some readers have asked to read the post, so we’ve included a link to it off-site if you’d like to read it.

Ed note: After dozens of comments (not all got published) and even half a dozen emails today alone, this post has been pulled. Ultimately the message was not clear and the tone problematic, and I accept full responsibility for that.

Thanks as always for your comments, and passionate work. That always comes through with TeachThought readers, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

–Terry Heick

Director, TeachThought

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26 Comments

  • As a teacher who has used TPT and as a TPT seller, I am offended by the lack of judgment and expertise you are claiming teachers have. We do not need a teacher manual from Houghton Mifflin to tell us how to teach. It sounds like you believe a student textbook should be taught from cover to cover. Unfortunately, textbooks are outdated and often don’t even cover all the standards we are required to teach our students. Why would choosing (or creating) a lesson to teach main idea after I have already taught the other building blocks necessary for them to understand main idea make me a lesser teacher than another? Maybe some teachers are buying TPT products and simply handing them out as worksheets, but good teachers know how to take any material and adapt it to their classroom to meet the needs of all their learners. It’s why we went to college. Perhaps you should trust the 87% of teachers who know what is working for them in their classroom and can see the light bulbs going off over their students’ heads. Why should we use materials created by people who aren’t even in the classroom?

      • You’re right, I should have said “implied.”

        There is an implication that a teacher would buy a single lesson and not understand how to apply it to her classroom, or not be able to judge when it would be appropriate to use this lesson. Buying a “ready-to-use lesson plan” can be no different than opening a teacher edition of a textbook if the teacher chooses to follow it like a script. But a good teacher will know how to adapt it and reach her students. If the real concern is how materials are being used, that sounds like another issue, not one that is any fault of the TPT website. If a teacher is only purchasing pages to print and give for busy work and not creating meaningful lessons, that same teacher is probably using the basal cover to cover as well, and not trying to stretch her students’ thinking. It doesn’t matter where her materials are coming from, the problem is with her and not the materials.

        It is indeed, “a given” that all students don’t learn the same, but again, the article is implying teachers don’t know how to find ideas and resources that will meet the needs of their own students. I don’t know any teachers that do a search, click on the first thing that pops up, print it, and hope it will work. Good teachers often don’t use the same lesson plan book from year to year either because their students change. Being able to search for new ways to teach a new “batch” of students is something someone following the same textbook manual will never be able to do.

        Finally, the article said, “Without background knowledge (which would qualify the product as some-assembly-required), a teacher can’t expand and relate the topic in a manner to generate use of those higher-order thinking skills,” which is very untrue of teachers who have finished college (and those are the only kind I know) since this is precisely what we are taught in our education courses. As I said above, this implies that teachers don’t have the expertise to adapt an activity to her students’ needs or thinking skills. I also wonder how digging through a filing cabinet full of outdated “worksheets” (because what else would be in that cabinet?) is better than searching online for an activity, a mini-lesson, center/station games, high interest articles, or assessments other teachers have created, or just creating your own…?

      • I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that although some things weren’t blatantly stated, there was PLENTY that was being implied. Statements like “Now, teaching is all about polka-dots and homemade palm trees” diminishes teachers judgement, dedication and seriousness to the profession. Another statement: “After all, there isn’t room for a creative mess in a tidy classroom, and children are missing the pride of seeing their work as art if it’s never hung up, just because it’s off-theme.” Readers can infer that teachers are so selfish and superficial that they won’t hang up students’ work. THAT diminishes teachers judgement and expertise. The article states “Beyond that, there’s also no opportunity to create greater challenge, to apply to real-life situations or to extend to a child’s own line of inquiry.” That statement diminishes teachers ability to adapt and extend lessons. Any teacher with adequate judgement and expertise would be able to do so. If we all use the higher level thinking skills and comprehension strategies that this article “claims” cannot be achieved through TpT resources or taught by such superficial, polka-dot tree loving teachers, it would be overwhelmingly clear that this article is a huge mockery of teachers’ judgement and expertise.

  • You make some good points, but you give no tangible solutions. Assuming that teachers will just apply whatever resources they gather without thinking things through is assuming that we are all lazy and don’t care for the well being of our students. As a teacher myself (and TPT seller, I admit), I never use teaching resources without taking in consideration my students’ needs, interests and learning styles. Whether a resource comes from TPT (or similar sites), or whether it comes from “professional curriculum designers” (a.k.a. well known publishing companies), I always adapt it to the current needs of my classroom. And you are right, some resources are just small blocks that need foundation blocks prior to their use. But then again, that is the beauty of TPT (and similar sites); we get to pick and choose the necessary blocks that we need to build up the learning process.
    And despite of what you said above, independently of where you obtain your resources, you still need to work things through so that the resources you use help your students develop higher order thinking skills. TPT resources, as well as the ones created by “professional curriculum designers”, don’t do all the work for you. They are not a simple solution. You have to do the rest on your own. How many times have you purchased a book of resources, just to find out that you can only use a few pages for your current classroom? We have all had this happen. TPT resources are no different.
    On another note, what is the problem of having pleasing classroom environments? Most children thrive in stimulating and welcoming classrooms. And I do acknowledge that special considerations need to be made when students with special needs are part of the classroom, but this does not mean that teachers shouldn’t take pride in their classrooms! It also doesn’t mean that if a classroom follows a theme, that the children do not get to display their own work or take pride in their accomplishments. You are being a little to linear 🙂
    Pinterest and TPT are a good source of teaching resources and ideas. We cannot assume that teaching professionals who use them on a regular basis are not good professionals. Your article makes teachers sound like they just don’t care and are just looking for easy ways to get through their day. That is not accurate. At least not where I come from.

  • I am also offended by this article. It is very clear that this is written based on opinion with absolutely no facts to back it up. Do you have any data to support that students using TpT materials are less successful than those using textbooks and other materials provided by publishers? As someone who writes curriculum and sells on TpT, I can tell you that I do have data that supports the use of TpT materials. Students using my curriculum have outscored those using other means. This has been shared with me time and time again from teachers all over the country. I highly recommend you consult with a large population of teachers and gather data before writing an article such as this.

  • I’m curious as to what research you conducted in order to write this article. Many of the sellers on TPT are highly qualified to write curriculum based on their years of teaching experience and education. I have taught kindergarten and first grade for 18 years and I have a Master”s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as an Ed. Specialist degree (40 additional graduate hours) in early literacy and reading. I have received numerous emails from teachers all over the country who have used my resources and seen an increase in student engagement, achievement and test scores. Additionally, I have had many school districts purchase my materials. I am very concerned that you have made blanket statements without research to support your claims in this article.

    • Thanks for the feedback. As I read it, the ‘criticism’ had more to do with the piecemeal approach that curricula represents, rather than the lack of expertise on the part of curricula-developers or teachers implementing said curricula. Not sure that line of thinking needs research.

      • While that line of thinking might not need research, it is clear that the author of this article didn’t accurately review and research the depth of materials that are available on TpT such as year round curriculum and complete subject curriculums offered in huge bundles for specific grade levels. These specific products on TpT can be $100-$200 each. They include all the “blocks” as you and the author referred to with days, weeks and months of lessons plans, adaptations and extension activities. It would have been much more accurate for the author of this article to research and be aware of these products on TpT before making huge false generalizations that misinform readers about all TpT products. I think we call can agree that the tone of this article was not intended to shine a positive light on much of anything mentioned. As a result it provides a very limited, demeaning representation of what TpT products are offered and teachers ability to find quality supplemental materials to their existing curriculum.

  • I agree whole heartedly with the comments below. I’m offended to think that you believe teachers just simply download a lesson and teach from it like a robot. Teachers are not robots. We are the most underappreciated career around because of this such ignorance. While you were there you simply should have said all we do is sit behind our desk all day. Teachers look to TpT and Pinterest not to find the job already done for them, but to help them find lessons and ideas that WILL meet the diverse set of needs their classroom. Further, the teachers who place lesson plans on TpT are very educated and knows what works and doesn’t work. They have personally been tested in the classroom and have been checked multiple times to confirm they align with standards. It’s better (but not any different ) than any textbook or supplement materials provided. If I received lessons from a colleague or a file cabinet left in my room, they are no different than TpT bought resources. I would still have to read them, analyze them for value, and tweak them.

  • You stated, “For example, you can’t teach a child to find the main idea for a passage without teaching decoding, vocabulary, finding details, and comprehension strategies, all of which could be separate lesson plans. But in order to be marketable, the products have to be sold in easily digestible nuggets – easy to apply, but rather like pulling one block from the middle of a tower.” — This statement shows the superficial research you must have done before writing this article. I chuckled to myself because, as a teacher with 12 years of experience who also researches and designs curriculum, I have a complete program that teaches those above reading skills thoroughly before reaching main idea…. so they do exist on TpT. Are the individual components also there? Of course, as they should be for teachers that need an activity or unit on one particular topic. Regardless, I’m not sure if you are a teacher yourself, but most experienced educators understand the basic sequencing of how to teach reading skills such as those you listed above. If a teacher is teaching comprehension strategies to students that don’t know their letters or sounds…”pulling one block from the middle of the tower”… well, you have a way bigger problem than the teacher finding a comprehension lesson from TpT.

  • There’s really nothing magical about the “professional” curriculum developers that work for big publishing companies. I worked at a school where the GoMath curriculum was being researched. Half of the teachers were provided with GoMath curriculum and the other half had NO math curriculum to use and then our results were compared. So now GoMath can slap a “research based” label on their curriculum because their product was more effective than teachers who were left to come up with every shred of their math materials on their own late at night and on the weekends. I am more willing to trust fellow teachers on TPT than big companies using questionable research practices.

  • You started your article with the heading “Does Education have Pinterest Problem?” If all teachers are like the ones you describe in your article then I would say education has a teacher problem. As a teacher, homeschool mom, and curriculum writer and seller on TpT, I am highly offended by your article. Your article portrays teachers (and parents) as individuals who are unable to think for themselves. Your article suggests that a teacher would go to TpT, Pinterest, or a similar site and just choose a random activity without teaching or thinking about the underlying skills a student needs to complete that activity. As someone who has been i the trenches let me just tell you that this is not true at all. I am not sure of your experience in the classroom as a teacher or working with teachers as you neglected to add that information to your article. Here’s what I can tell you as a teacher: Teachers are some of the hardest working, caring individuals I know. We work long hours not to choose random activities, but to choose specific activities that will not only help out students learn new skills, but practice those skills in various applications (thus requiring different levels of thinking and application), and remediate those lessons for students that need that. Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest have both been huge assets because they allow me to do all those things. When I have tried everything I can think of or that is listed in a textbook to help my students, Pinterest and TpT give me fresh, new ideas. There’s no such thing as teach it once, in one way, and move on because all of my students have magically mastered the skill or topic. My students come to me with different backgrounds, different experiences, different abilities, different learning styles, different emotional needs and different personalities. As a teacher I take all of these things into consideration as I choose activities that help 20+ individuals learn in their own way. I can go to TpT and Pinterest and find new activities that will help my students do just that. I spend time looking for an activity that meets our learning goals and the teaching objectives I am required to teach. I don’t just choose the first thing I see and put it in front of my students. I research the product and make sure it fits the needs of my classroom. Additionally, I love the collaboration that both Pinterest and TpT have opened up. I’ll be the first to admit that don’t know everything! As much as I consider myself a creative person, I know that other teachers have great ideas too. I love being able to learn from other teachers and use activities that they have found success with. Does that mean I just grab any lesson or activity and use it blindly, absolutely not. I always have my students needs in mind. It might surprise you that there are very few activities that I do year after year. Why – because my students are different year after year and what works for some students doesn’t work with others. Does that mean my teaching objectives change – no. But the manner in which I teach those objectives changes to meet the needs of my students. In addition to being a teacher, I am also a mom of a child with ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, and Dyspraxia. Learning and school have been a struggle for him. Time and again, when I am out of ideas I have gone to Pinterest and TpT to find new, hands-on learning opportunities for him. As a parent I am offended that you would portray parents in a way that makes them look like people who only care about outward appearances. My child, now 12, has been in a variety of classrooms. Some more creatively decorated than others. But as a parent, I did not judge the abilities of teacher based on how the classroom was decorated and for you to suggest that parents do this shows your view of people as shallow and judgmental. I wish that you had more faith in educators and parents of today. I am disappointed in this article and how both groups are portrayed. If you would like to learn more about the other side of this story I would love to chat with you.

  • You started your article with the heading “Does Education have Pinterest Problem?” If all teachers are like the ones you describe in your article then I would say education has a teacher problem. As a teacher, homeschool mom, and curriculum writer and seller on TpT, I am highly offended by your article. Your article portrays teachers (and parents) as individuals who are unable to think for themselves. Your article suggests that a teacher would go to TpT, Pinterest, or a similar site and just choose a random activity without teaching or thinking about the underlying skills a student needs to complete that activity. As someone who has been i the trenches let me just tell you that this is not true at all. I am not sure of your experience in the classroom as a teacher or working with teachers as you neglected to add that information to your article. Here’s what I can tell you as a teacher: Teachers are some of the hardest working, caring individuals I know. We work long hours not to choose random activities, but to choose specific activities that will not only help out students learn new skills, but practice those skills in various applications (thus requiring different levels of thinking and application), and remediate those lessons for students that need that. Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest have both been huge assets because they allow me to do all those things. When I have tried everything I can think of or that is listed in a textbook to help my students, Pinterest and TpT give me fresh, new ideas. There’s no such thing as teach it once, in one way, and move on because all of my students have magically mastered the skill or topic. My students come to me with different backgrounds, different experiences, different abilities, different learning styles, different emotional needs and different personalities. As a teacher I take all of these things into consideration as I choose activities that help 20+ individuals learn in their own way. I can go to TpT and Pinterest and find new activities that will help my students do just that. I spend time looking for an activity that meets our learning goals and the teaching objectives I am required to teach. I don’t just choose the first thing I see and put it in front of my students. I research the product and make sure it fits the needs of my classroom. Additionally, I love the collaboration that both Pinterest and TpT have opened up. I’ll be the first to admit that don’t know everything! As much as I consider myself a creative person, I know that other teachers have great ideas too. I love being able to learn from other teachers and use activities that they have found success with. Does that mean I just grab any lesson or activity and use it blindly, absolutely not. I always have my students needs in mind. It might surprise you that there are very few activities that I do year after year. Why – because my students are different year after year and what works for some students doesn’t work with others. Does that mean my teaching objectives change – no. But the manner in which I teach those objectives changes to meet the needs of my students. In addition to being a teacher, I am also a mom of a child with ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, and Dyspraxia. Learning and school have been a struggle for him. Time and again, when I am out of ideas I have gone to Pinterest and TpT to find new, hands-on learning opportunities for him. As a parent I am offended that you would portray parents in a way that makes them look like people who only care about outward appearances. My child, now 12, has been in a variety of classrooms. Some more creatively decorated than others. But as a parent, I did not judge the abilities of teacher based on how the classroom was decorated and for you to suggest that parents do this shows your view of people as shallow and judgmental. I wish that you had more faith in educators and parents of today. I am disappointed in this article and how both groups are portrayed. If you would like to learn more about the other side of this story I would love to chat with you.

  • Wow. You sure do make some generalized assumptions in this article. What makes you think that everything you say about TpT products is not also true of curriculum materials sold for thousands of dollars by large publishing corporations? What makes you think that teachers just pluck random lessons and worksheets off Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers and toss them to their students? What makes you think that teachers are not using materials they find *anywhere* on websites to supplement the commercial programs purchased by their districts? What makes you think that young children can’t learn about main ideas and details, for example, through oral language? What makes you think that teachers who strive to make their classrooms bright and pleasant are not also creating a learning environment where students grow and thrive as critical, creative thinkers?

    Like any website where curriculum materials can be found, whether for free or for a fee, there are going to be many offerings that may not work for one teacher’s particular students, and many offerings that WILL work for her or his students. Only the teacher in a particular classroom will know what works from day to day with their own students. In fact, that teacher knows a heck of a lot better what they need from day to day, what works, and what does not work, than the writers of commercial curriculum.

    To imply that teachers who use materials from TeachersPayTeachers or Pinterest are being lazy and/or ineffective is demeaning and insulting.

  • “10 years ago (eons, in tech years) a new teacher would walk into her classroom and hope for a file cabinet full of well-organized and effective lesson plans and resources left by her predecessor. If not, well, maybe her colleagues would be willing to share some materials. Otherwise, she was on her own to come up with plans. Now, new and old teachers alike turn to Pinterest.”

    When I began teaching several years ago I was one of those “lucky” teachers who had a cabinet full of resources. I tried to use them at first despite the yellowing pages and moth ball smell. However, it was quickly made apparent that my students were bored and something in my classroom was not right. The work was not related to what the prescribed curriculum was. Also, my classroom didn’t feel like a home to me, therefore probably didn’t seem like a second home to kids.

    Before I even had my first classroom I wanted to have a theme correlate with my classroom. Students are engaged better with inviting environments that are organized. I was one of those teachers that had a fake tree…not a palm tree, but a tree nonetheless in her room. This was to add on to the garden theme I wanted, complete with bath mats for “grass” and a picket fence. Based on your judgements and lack of research, you would see this as “unnecessary”. I saw it as an inviting place for students to read. Was it actually unnecessary? I am not sure, but my second graders who suddenly were reading at a fifth grade level and beyond didn’t seem to complain.

    Let’s get back to your original topic which seems to be, Pinterest and TPT are hindering the idea of education. Long before either of these two made their way onto the scene, new teachers like myself scoured the web for ideas. Not every district is up to par with the latest curriculum and engaging kids is a learning curve. Times change, as well as how we can reach kids. I recall printing out pages and pages from Miss Powell’s Classroom Management website and spending hours reading ideas from Beth Newingham. How was it any different from going on Pinterest? Pinterest is a one stop shop for ideas, tips, resources, etc.

    Many sellers on TPT have been or still are teachers. A great number also have done extensive work in their classrooms to see what works and what doesn’t. Teaching from the book and not differentiating is not the way to go. I was once offered a job where everything was taught “from the book”. I was debating whether or not to accept the position and what ultimately was the nail in the coffin was seeing that students were bored, not excelling and basically didn’t want to be there. This may have been due to the fact that one of the textbooks was written hundreds of years ago. I thus declined the position because thou shall not teach my students in a manner so outdated. (I was bored just writing that).

    As a newish seller to TPT, I work hard to correlate my materials to what I think a student needs, and what would make a teacher’s life easier. Teachers are not robots, as Tammy said. Just because teachers look onto TPT or Pinterest for ideas doesn’t make them lazy. It doesn’t make them derail from the goal of helping their students succeed. In fact, it does the opposite. TPT and Pinterest has helped in so many ways. Need a quick last minute lesson plan for when you have an emergency? Done. Need a year round guided reading unit to correlate with books? Done. Need to figure out how to accommodate 28 students, with half having special needs? Done.

    Yes, going on TPT and Pinterest are easy to do in hindsight, but so much more work goes in beyond pinning to a board or pressing “print”. We take our students needs into mind and seek to find something that works and will not only educate them, but also engage them. The kids are what matters first and foremost, and how a teacher chooses to reach them and help them succeed should not be up for debate.

  • “10 years ago (eons, in tech years) a new teacher would walk into her classroom and hope for a file cabinet full of well-organized and effective lesson plans and resources left by her predecessor. If not, well, maybe her colleagues would be willing to share some materials. Otherwise, she was on her own to come up with plans. Now, new and old teachers alike turn to Pinterest.”

    When I began teaching several years ago I was one of those “lucky” teachers who had a cabinet full of resources. I tried to use them at first despite the yellowing pages and moth ball smell. However, it was quickly made apparent that my students were bored and something in my classroom was not right. The work was not related to what the prescribed curriculum was. Also, my classroom didn’t feel like a home to me, therefore probably didn’t seem like a second home to kids.

    Before I even had my first classroom I wanted to have a theme correlate with my classroom. Students are engaged better with inviting environments that are organized. I was one of those teachers that had a fake tree…not a palm tree, but a tree nonetheless in her room. This was to add on to the garden theme I wanted, complete with bath mats for “grass” and a picket fence. Based on your judgements and lack of research, you would see this as “unnecessary”. I saw it as an inviting place for students to read. Was it actually unnecessary? I am not sure, but my second graders who suddenly were reading at a fifth grade level and beyond didn’t seem to complain.

    Let’s get back to your original topic which seems to be, Pinterest and TPT are hindering the idea of education. Long before either of these two made their way onto the scene, new teachers like myself scoured the web for ideas. Not every district is up to par with the latest curriculum and engaging kids is a learning curve. Times change, as well as how we can reach kids. I recall printing out pages and pages from Miss Powell’s Classroom Management website and spending hours reading ideas from Beth Newingham. How was it any different from going on Pinterest? Pinterest is a one stop shop for ideas, tips, resources, etc.

    Many sellers on TPT have been or still are teachers. A great number also have done extensive work in their classrooms to see what works and what doesn’t. Teaching from the book and not differentiating is not the way to go. I was once offered a job where everything was taught “from the book”. I was debating whether or not to accept the position and what ultimately was the nail in the coffin was seeing that students were bored, not excelling and basically didn’t want to be there. This may have been due to the fact that one of the textbooks was written hundreds of years ago. I thus declined the position because thou shall not teach my students in a manner so outdated. (I was bored just writing that).

    As a newish seller to TPT, I work hard to correlate my materials to what I think a student needs, and what would make a teacher’s life easier. Teachers are not robots, as Tammy said. Just because teachers look onto TPT or Pinterest for ideas doesn’t make them lazy. It doesn’t make them derail from the goal of helping their students succeed. In fact, it does the opposite. TPT and Pinterest has helped in so many ways. Need a quick last minute lesson plan for when you have an emergency? Done. Need a year round guided reading unit to correlate with books? Done. Need to figure out how to accommodate 28 students, with half having special needs? Done.

    Yes, going on TPT and Pinterest are easy to do in hindsight, but so much more work goes in beyond pinning to a board or pressing “print”. We take our students needs into mind and seek to find something that works and will not only educate them, but also engage them. The kids are what matters first and foremost, and how a teacher chooses to reach them and help them succeed should not be up for debate.

  • Articles like these are why so many people who are outside education don’t treat the profession with respect. This article (by a teacher) infers that most teachers aren’t professional experts who know what their students need or don’t need. A curriculum developer is not the answer. I’m disappointed in this article; teachers need to lift each other up –not tear each other down with things like this.

  • I can understand wanting teachers to be more than worksheet drones, but I’m curious why you feel the TeachersPayTeachers world in particular is hurting this any more than the workbooks teachers would buy at teacher supply stores, Mailbox magazines that would send cute seasonal activities, and the files of worksheets left behind by a previous teacher.

    Yes, as educators, we need to value content over cute. We need to think critically about the things we are using. We need to ensure we’re not allowing any paper to replace our teaching. But you still need materials to teach with, and in my school, I am provided with a few haphazard sources and expected to pull together what I need. I have used TeachersPayTeachers as one resource to find materials, and saving time creating my own materials has allowed me to use my time in other ways that help my students. Yes, there are materials that are not perfect- but if I use my teaching experience, my pedagogical knowledge, and a critical buyers’ eye, I have generally found materials to be at least as practical and helpful than those found in a boxed curriculum set (and typically more engaging, as well). It’s not about cute clipart or fonts- it’s about people who are working with children every day instead of those sitting in an office somewhere.

    If there is a big concern about the future of education, it may be reflected by the sheer number of teachers who are desperately turning to Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers because they don’t have the time or resources needed to truly match the needs of their students. This desperate dependency speaks to a MUCH more significant problem than teachers wanting to make their classrooms look nice.

  • To suggest that teachers use TpT only when they’re in a bind and need a random lesson the next day whether it fits in with their curriculum or not, or use Pinterest so that they can pin a picture of a craft activity and make students do the exact same one is such a narrow view. Are there teachers that do these things and use resources from TpT and Pinterest irresponsibly? The answer is 100% yes. Are there teachers that use curriculum resources from their districts irresponsibly? Of course! I think your article, however, is focused in on the exception rather than the norm. Most teachers use these resources responsibly to enhance the great things they are already doing in their classrooms.

    What about the teacher who uses Pinterest to find blog articles to help him with classroom management strategies? Or the teacher who scours TpT looking for resources to help her implement literature circles into her Reading Workshop? In my experience, the teachers who spend time outside of school immersed in reading about and exploring educational resources are the teachers I would want in front of children. They’re the teachers who have a passion for education and want to continuously learn and grow. Furthermore, just because a teacher has a “Pinterest-worthy” classroom doesn’t mean that teacher doesn’t have a classroom where deep thinking occurs for students. The “problem” you are describing in your article has nothing to do with Pinterest or TpT. It has everything to do with lack of teacher prep time, districts without a strong curriculum and vision, and not enough professional development for teachers to continue growing in their practice.

  • Toward the Editorial Note, I want to make one more comment. You stated this: “As sources of curriculum become more numerous and varied, what’s holding it all together? How can we fold in more diverse resources while creating a tighter, more ‘precise’ curriculum (i.e., use curricula to help create curriculum)?” and believed this was the primary focus of the article. Unfortunately I still disagree with you. I find it hard to believe that so many people (commenting below and those others that agree with us but didn’t comment) misunderstood the main idea of the article. It was clearly implied and insulting teachers and their use of 100’s of resources. It’s the author’s tone (another thing we teach). As a teacher myself, when I plan my curriculum, I first start with the standards and decide what needs to be taught. That involves a great deal of research and collaboration with other teachers in my district to make sure we are unpacking it correctly. Then I find resources that align to those standards- whether it is a textbook (which I can tell you Everyday Math had to do a complete overhaul because it ended up not aligning to CCSS like they thought), a worksheet, a TpT resource, or an idea I have found on a website- such as this. These resources all provide the opportunity for me to actually improve as a teacher. Even when I purchase products on TpT I look through the products and pick and choose pieces in the product or tweak it to my style, my class, or a whole different activity together. Regardless of whether it is more “numerous” and “varied” it is still teaching the same concepts – the standards. It’s about Backward Design. Have you heard of that? TpT falls in line perfectly with Backward Design, just as other resources. The number of resources is irrelevant. I don’t feel that the curriculum I teach is loose or imprecise. If anything I think the choices of supplementary material makes it easier for me to be more specific, precise, and target my students’ specific needs.

  • Put the article back up please, or make it available via link if we want it. For those that got offended by it, well maybe they should reconsider why they’re offended. It’s a great point of view. I know many teachers that teach from Pinterest and not the standards…they’re far to concerned about lessons being “cute” than lessons actually having any meaning. I read the article yesterday and I couldn’t agree more with it. Thank you!

  • I normally wouldn’t pull a post, but I had several emails from teachers saying they’d “never ready TeachThought again,” and feeling as though the article disrespected the entire teaching profession, which CLEARLY wasn’t the intention of the author.

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