Teachers Pay Teachers

Earlier during spring semester of this year, my Comp II students read a book called The Glass Castle. I knew the themes of self-preservation, self-reliance, and success beyond a familial influence of poverty and addiction would be perfect for my students. We compared the book’s characters and symbols to those from poems and short stories.

We read The Glass Castle, discussed it, and my students composed three essays (an article summary, an analysis of a symbol, and a researched argument) about it but I also had accounted for 10% of their course grade coming from a book test.

In addition to all of the discussion and writing, I needed something comprehensive that tested my students’ basic knowledge of the book. I wanted something that was easy for those who’d read to ace, but something that if a student hadn’t read, he/she couldn’t fake. With 125 students, I also needed something that would be easy and quick to grade, preferably by the Scan-tron machine.

I spent several hours making up a killer 100 question multiple choice test and made a class set of copies. I administered it before spring break and had a great result. I had nearly a perfect bell curve of scores which told me, the test had done its job. Not too easy, not too hard.

I then wondered, “I have this awesome test I’ve made, surely it could be of some benefit to other teachers. But, what do I do with it now?

Enter Teachers Pay Teachers.


I did some research and landed upon a great site that I’d used before to download some homeschool resources; some freebies and some I’d paid for.

Realizing TPT was *exactly* the place for my test, I quickly set up my teacher page. I uploaded one free document (which is one of their initial requirements), and then uploaded my The Glass Castle test.


Since March, I have added one shorter (less expensive) essay test from the book and I recently added another novel test for a book called Speak. I just uploaded it this week and it’s already getting activity.

So here’s the thing. There are teachers who are literally making more from TPT sales than they make from their classroom jobs. Seriously, there are people devoting a lot of time to making great products and making BANK.

I’m not making bank. In fact, Ryan has teased me that we should just go ahead and retire on this big-bucks-earnings of mine. Very funny. It may not be enough to retire on, but I can find some way to spend that PayPal payout from one little test. =)



Since March, my one test has been downloaded nearly forty times. Other than my initial investment of sitting down to type up the test, I have done literally nothing else except earn a portion of the sale price and receive monthly payouts from PayPal. That, my friends, is what you call passive income.

I have a goal over the next few months (while I am not working outside the home) to continue reading some “banned” books that are popular books to teach and then spend a few hours to make a 100 question multiple choice test. Apparently, teachers are more than willing to spend $5 bucks to avoid doing that work themselves.

Teachers Pay Teachers is for any grade level from K-12 to adult education to homeschoolers. There are no limits on what you can think up or dream to upload. The possibilities are truly endless. For now, I’ve decided to work a little niche of multiple choice tests on controversial books for older students. I’ve called my store “A Novel Idea-Tests for Banned Books.”

Here’s why I’m sharing: I know countless teachers who create many of their own materials and have them saved in filing cabinets or in digital files. To you I say, “You are sitting on a goldmine.”

I encourage you to create a store. Start uploading those valuable files there. You’re helping other teachers and earning passive income. Win-Win.

If you do create a store, I’d love it if you use this referral link. (I’ll earn 5% off of your sales too for the first two years.) So Win-Win-Win.


I wish I’d known about Teachers Pay Teachers years ago. I think this is an outstanding resource for teachers (current or retired) any way you cut it. I’d love to hear your experiences. Leave me a note in the comments.


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