Review of Teachers Pay Teachers for Middle School Career Readiness Blog Feature
Bri Stauffer

By: Bri Stauffer on November 28th, 2019

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Review of Teachers Pay Teachers for Middle School Career Readiness

Career Readiness | Middle School | Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT)

Are you scrambling to find career readiness lesson plans and activities to teach your classes?

If you’ve been thrown into teaching career readiness skills with little direction and few instructional materials, you’re in need of resources!

Many middle school career readiness educators in your shoes have turned to Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) to fill their curriculum.

But just because it’s used by other educators doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for your courses!

So should you use Teachers Pay Teachers for career readiness materials too?

In this post, we’ll answer five common questions about Teachers Pay Teachers:

  1. What is Teachers Pay Teachers?
  2. What’s available for middle school career readiness?
  3. What are the benefits?
  4. What are the drawbacks?
  5. When does it work best?

We’ll also share a few alternatives to Teachers Pay Teachers to ensure you have the best resources for your needs!

1. What Is Teachers Pay Teachers?

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Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) is an online marketplace where educators can share, sell, and buy resources like lesson plans, activities, and posters.

The resources are uploaded by “Teacher-Authors” from around the world and cover a variety of subject areas for grades PreK-12.

These resources are all added to the TpT “marketplace.”

You can search the marketplace for a specific topic and sort the results by grade level, subject, price, and resource type.

So what TpT resources could you use in a middle school career readiness class?

2. What’s Available for Middle School Career Readiness?

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The available resources on TpT will vary by what teachers add and remove from day to day.

To find middle school career readiness resources, your best bet is to take advantage of TpT’s search filter. 

Based on your search, you could find dozens of resources ranging from class activities to lesson bundles.

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Each of these products may contain a variety of instructional materials to help you teach career readiness skills, including lesson plans, worksheets, presentations, and more.

You can find more career readiness resources for detailed topics such as teamwork, communication, and public speaking by searching for those specific terms.

Overall, TpT has an abundance of career readiness lesson plans, activities, and more!

3. What Are the Benefits of Teachers Pay Teachers?

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TpT provides three main benefits to middle school career readiness teachers:

  • Variety of options
  • Affordability
  • Immediate access

Variety of Options

From lesson plans to class projects, you can find nearly any type of classroom resource on TpT.

When you couple that with the ability to search for the topics found on your career readiness standards, you can open the floodgates to different a ton of resources to pick from.

Compared to developing your own materials from scratch, this can save any middle school career readiness teacher a ton of time!

Affordability

If you’re like most middle school career readiness teachers, you have a tight classroom budget.

Luckily, TpT lets you filter the list of resources by price!

That means you won’t waste time reviewing content that’s way out of your budget.

Instead, you can focus on relevant resources that won’t break the bank!

If you’re really strapped for funding, you could set up a TpT ClassFund to help raise money to buy your curriculum resources.

TpT ClassFund works like DonorsChoose, GoFundMe, and other crowdfunding platforms. You set up a page to let others in your community donate to your cause, completely free of charge to you.

So if you find an amazing career readiness resource, but it’s out of your price range, you can set up a quick funding page to collect donations!

Immediate Access

Every teacher has felt the last-minute panic of needing extra activities to fill out lesson plans for the week.

That’s one area where TpT’s career readiness resources can be a real lifesaver!

With the ability to download products immediately after purchase, TpT helps you get supplemental career readiness material any time you need them.

So even if you’re thrown into the deep end of teaching career readiness at the last minute, TpT can help keep you afloat.

4. What Are the Drawbacks of Teachers Pay Teachers?

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Though TpT is meant to make teachers’ lives easier, there are a few drawbacks to know:

  • No quality control
  • No update requirements
  • Grade levels aren’t standardized

No Quality Control

With an open education resource like TpT, there’s no guarantee that the materials you purchase will deliver on what it promises.

TpT has guidelines for sellers, but they’re mostly focused on the types of resources that should and shouldn’t be posted in the marketplace.

There are no guidelines pertaining to the quality of what a seller offers in relation to topic coverage, engagement, or accuracy of information.

As a result, you could find a resource that sounds amazing at first glance but ends up disappointing you and your students!

You can do your best to avoid this by sorting search results by popularity. This reflects how many teachers have purchased a certain resource, which acts as a vote of confidence.

Still, popular resources can still fall short of your expectations and standards. That means it’s on you to research each resource you consider purchasing!

No Update Requirements

TpT was founded in 2006 and now hosts more than 3 million resources.

With the marketplace more than a decade old, some resources on the site are severely outdated!

Even in a more recent educational area like career readiness, you’ll need to keep an eye out for when the resources were posted.

For example, “Career Readiness Bundle: Are Your Students Prepared for Life After HS?” hasn’t been updated since 2013!

Some authors choose to make updates based on feedback from their customers, but those are few and far between.

The most reliable way to evaluate a resource’s timeliness is to look at the date it was posted.

If it feels like the resource is too old to be worthwhile, then it probably is!

Grade Levels Aren’t Standardized

When an author adds a new product to the TpT marketplace, they choose the appropriate grade levels for the resource.

While some authors focus on a specific grade, others pick a grade range to show up in more search results.

As a result, some of the most popular “middle school” career readiness resources are marked as “appropriate” for 7th grade through higher education!

That means your best bet is to look for resources that are specific to a single grade level. That way, you minimize the possibility that you’ll get learning materials that are too advanced for your middle school students!

5. When Does Teachers Pay Teachers Work Best for Middle School Career Readiness?

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At the end of the day, using the career readiness resources from Teachers Pay Teachers depends on your needs.

If you’re looking for supplemental lessons or activities to fill gaps in your existing content, Teachers Pay Teachers has you covered.

Though there are other free resources out there, TpT is a well-established marketplace with a wide variety of options to fit just where you need them.

However, if you need to create a career readiness curriculum from scratch, TpT is a bad fit.

To start, you’d need to purchase a lot of different materials from the marketplace and then spend hours figuring out how to make them work together in a cohesive way.

The cost of that quickly adds up and may even go beyond your budget.

Worst of all, there’s still no guarantee that your TpT-based curriculum will hit all of your standards while providing a good learning experience to your students.

Luckily, there are some alternatives to TpT that can help you establish a more robust middle school career readiness curriculum without all of the hassle!

Alternatives to Teachers Pay Teachers for Career Readiness Classes

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For middle school career readiness, the two main alternatives to TpT are textbooks and digital curriculum.

Many teachers instinctively seek out textbooks to use as the base of their curriculum.

Unfortunately for middle school career readiness teachers, there aren’t many textbooks about career readiness that have been published within the last five years.

Those that were published recently focus on college readiness as well, which is often considered a separate course!

Because of this, hundreds of middle school teachers have chosen to implement a digital curriculum system to teach their career readiness classes.

A digital curriculum is a full-fledged system that contains lesson plans, classroom activities, and interactive scenarios all designed to teach career readiness concepts and skills.

Along with the instructional materials, you’ll find automatically graded assessments to help you keep track of how well your students are learning!

Here’s one teacher’s experience with digital curriculum for their career readiness classes:

Business&ITCenter21 is valuable and relatable to real life, especially the career units and workplace readiness activities. Also, it aligns perfectly with various CTE task competencies.”

Natalie Walden
Shirley C. Heim Middle School, VA

If you’re looking for a ready-to-use career readiness curriculum that will give you back your free time, Business&ITCenter21 is here for you!

Click below to sign up for your free trial now:

Sign Up for Your Free Trial Now >

 

About Bri Stauffer

Bri writes content to help teachers and students succeed in the classroom. In addition, she runs the AES Educator Community group to help teachers collaborate from across the country.

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