As of Feb 22, 2022, I have 282 reviews and have received lots of great 5-star reviews!
Instead of looking at what I’m doing well, let’s take some time to look at what I still need to work on!
This page includes nine reviews that had tough feedback. Please take a moment to read these comments to see if they might apply to your situation!
I’m hoping to help people make an informed decision before they buy!
- You win because you’re not wasting time and money on a resource that doesn’t meet your needs!
- I win because it helps me narrow down my search to find like-minded individuals who have a similar teaching style! I think this page shows the kind of person I am which influences the kinds of resources I create. If you like this page, you’ll probably like this.
TL;DR: Read comments before you buy, try some individual products first before investing in a bundle, and email me if you have questions before or after you get one of my resources! ([email protected].)
My goal is to produce high-quality resources for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students!
I love that you’re interested in buying one of my Educircles resources or the Educircles Everything Bundle.
I think I produce high-quality resources for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students!
First, I put a lot of work and effort into creating the teaching resource.
Then, I spend a lot of time figuring out the best way to present the product on Teachers Pay Teachers and other spaces. This way, you can make an informed decision about whether my resource meets your needs.
Not everyone is going to like what you do.
Not everyone likes what I produce for various reasons! (Read the bad reviews below!)
That’s okay! Not everyone is going to like what you do. It’s part of life.
You know how students in your class connect with various teachers in different ways? Some students really click with your teaching style and other students, not so much.
It’s like that with teachers and the different resources available on TpT.
FYI, I constantly seek out feedback to improve my work. If you have feedback, please email me at [email protected].
Remember: Different teachers will like different resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Some teachers don’t like my stuff.
- They find my resources frustrating and confusing.
- The content might rub them the wrong way or they find their students don’t engage.
- The resource is not what they thought it was.
- My Educircles resources wastes their prep time because it’s not obvious how to find the resources they need.
Other teachers love my stuff.
- It helps facilitate great conversations with their class about topics that matter.
- They can tweak my lessons to fit their classroom needs.
- My Educircles resources save them prep time because I’ve done 90% of the research, handwork creation, and differentiation for them.
I make mistakes. I also learn as I go.
Bad reviews always provide valuable feedback.
- Either there’s a problem area in the product that I wasn’t aware of and I need to fix.
- Or, there’s a breakdown in expectations. This means I need to improve how I communicate. I need to help teachers get a better idea of what they are getting before they buy.
Some of the bad reviews provide actionable feedback.
- Grammar errors can be an issue.
- Figuring out how to find files can be confusing.
- Not everyone loves my SEOT videos.
Some of the bad reviews are the result of different teaching styles and expectations.
- These teachers thought they were getting one thing, but ending up with something that didn’t meet their expectations.
- It shows me communication has broken down somewhere.
- How can I communicate more clearly in my product descriptions and images so there are fewer communication disconnects?
Please note: even though issues might be on my radar, it does take time for me to check and update everything.
So, if you have any questions about a specific resource, please email me: [email protected]
Why am I posting my worst reviews here?
I want teachers to be fully informed before they buy my stuff.
- I don’t want you to waste prep time. (I don’t have a time machine; I can’t give time back.)
- I don’t want you to waste money. (If you’re really dissatisfied, please email me at [email protected])
The Teachers Pay Teachers review system on the store doesn’t provide a way to filter reviews.
- Individual TpT products allow for filtering by star rating, grade, population, or standards.
- However, the main store page does not provide that filter (as of Feb 20, 2022.)
- My products follow a similar style and file organization structure. So a concern (or compliment) raised in one product review might be applicable to other products – but it wouldn’t be obvious.
Please note – the TpT review system also doesn’t allow me to deep-link directly to the review. So I’ve attached screenshots of the review, as well as a link to the relevant products. You’ll have to look at the reviews in the product to find the original comment. (You’ll also be able to see my response!)
Click here to view the Educircles Store Ratings & Review. (This link may not work on mobile devices due to TpT web design.)
Won’t celebrating negative reviews discourage sales?
Don’t get me wrong. I love impulse shopping!
If I point out all of the flaws in my product, some people will definitely stop reading and move on to the next product on TpT.
I’m hoping IMPULSE purchases of my products will go down.
I’m hoping INFORMED decisions to buy my products will go up.
I think people who like critical thinking will appreciate the information from the negative reviews.
These teachers will take the time to decide for themselves if the issues concern them.
I make products that encourage critical thinking.
So, I definitely want to connect with teachers who buy my products despite any critical reviews because they’ve determined there’s exceptional value in my resources.
Why don’t you hide or bury negative reviews?
I wish I could celebrate failure like this family. But, that’s not me (yet.)
Why am I putting my mistakes here in the spotlight?
Well, I’m a big fan of transparency.
- I think if your school shows a school play to elementary students about bullying and the play ends with monologues about how the bullied protagonist came to school, commited mass murder, and shot all the bullies… yeah, that information should be disclosed to parents. FYI: That’s my story.
- I think if you get a negative review on TpT, it shouldn’t get deleted if the person gets a refund and no longer has access to the product. That negative review helps other teachers with their purchase decisions.
- Mistakes are horrible and gut wrenching. I’m trying to have courage and use them as a way to level up. I’m hoping the more I do this, the easier it gets.
I love getting feedback from teachers who use my resources, whether it’s via email, the TpT Ask a Question tab, or a TpT product review. But, I get incredible anxiety before I open the reviews or check my email.
As a mental health coping strategy, I schedule when I look at my email / reviews.
That way, it’s not constant fight-or-flight mode for me.
I used to love hearing the chime of the TpT app on my phone, but once I started getting critical reviews, I started to fear the siren’s song! Whenever I read a tough review, I felt I needed to respond right away which would interrupt my life.
So, now I schedule the interruptions and stressful periods!
Low reviews are a part of any business.
As tough as it is to hear constructive feedback, listening to the pain points teachers have can help me improve my products for everyone.
After all, if one teacher is having this problem, chances are others are as well.
So, bring on the low reviews and constructive comments…
Please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions!
1 STAR Reviews
1 star -⭐ – Not at all satisfied
I find this product extremely difficult to maneuver; it is circular in nature, and will not save any time. The graphics … are elementary. However, my two largest concerns are with the grammatical errors that are throughout the product and the privacy of my Google Drive.
Oct 26, 2021
I find this product extremely difficult to maneuver; it is circular in nature, and will not save any time. The graphics, especially the one on the Axe Body Spray article, are elementary.
However, my two largest concerns are with the grammatical errors that are throughout the product and the privacy of my Google Drive. As I understand, I cannot make copies of the material without giving unnecessary access to my drive. If this is incorrect, please let me know how I am supposed to get the information into my drive otherwise.
The partial sentence below is a good example of the poor grammatical and typographical errors throughout this product. “The critical thinking mini lesson and discuss questions focuses” (Discuss should have been discussion, and focuses should have been focus; the verb needs to be plural!)
I would have sent this in an email; however, I could not locate one to contact anyone directly. I will not be using this information in any shape or form. I would like a refund. Is this possible??October 26, 2021
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
There are some excellent points raised in this one-star review! I’ll go through the concerns and outline what I’m doing to improve my products.
CONCERN #1: The files are hard to find. The links take you around in circles.
The product preview for the bundle shows you the product preview for all of the included products. In each Preview PDF, there is a page showing you what files are in the Google Drive products.
I’ve made a video to show people how to see what’s included:
When you buy this TpT bundle, you will see a BIG GREEN DOWNLOAD button. Don’t use this button!
- This download button only downloads the TpT products that are zip file resources.
- It will NOT download the Google Drive folders. You need to manually copy the Google Drive folders for each TpT product one by one.
This is an issue that impacts all TpT bundles that include Google Drive resources. TpT is aware of the confusion.
- I can help by trying to to do a better job of communicating this obstacle to teachers.
- I’m also in the process of converting all of my TpT Google Drive products into TpT zipped file products so this is no longer an issue.
I’ve made a video showing how to get access to the files without going around in circles:
CONCERN #2: The graphics on the articles are elementary.
- You can see what the graphics on the articles look like before you purchase the product.
- Screenshots of the handouts are in the product cover images. Here is article 001.
I’ve made a video showing you another way to see the penguin on the Axe Body Spray article.
CONCERN #3: Grammatical errors
The above video also shows how you can see the grammatical errors mentioned in the comment before you buy the product.
What I’m doing to improve the grammar and writing conventions in my ELA resources
Change #1: I’m now using Grammarly to help find errors in my teacher-facing documents and student-facing documents.
- Some of my documents (i.e. Read me first PDFs, File Table of Contents, Lesson Plans, and Answer Keys) are only seen by teachers (and not students.)
- I am now using Grammarly Business to help me identify and fix writing errors in these teacher-facing documents.
- Grammarly would have caught the two errors identified in the comment: “The critical thinking mini lesson and discuss questions focuses…”
- I use Dragon 15 to dictate long lesson plans into Microsoft Word. The first error (Discuss should have been discussion) was due to a transcription error that I didn’t catch.
- The second error was careless editing on my part. (focuses should have been focus; the verb needs to be plural!)
- Please note – I am also starting to use Grammarly with student-facing documents (i.e. handouts, graphic organizers). I am not using Grammarly when I write blog posts.
Change #2: I am looking to have the student handouts for my articles professionally edited.
- I am currently exploring options to have my reading articles (like this one) professionally edited.
- Please note – due to costs, at this point, this will only apply to the student-facing handouts and only the numbered paragraphs.
- Stay tuned!
Change #3: I am shifting my products to show a complete watermarked preview of handouts (instead of screenshots)
- By showing a complete watermarked preview of handouts, teachers can read the entire article before purchasing. This way, they can make sure the grammar meets their needs.
- My new products now include a complete preview PDF. Here’s an example: article 012. (On a mobile device, just swipe through the product cover images. On a desktop computer, click the green “view preview” button under the product cover images.)
- Older products are slowly getting updated to the new product preview format. It’s a long process.
CONCERN #4: Privacy concerns around giving unnecessary access to Google Drive
- I appreciate and recognize that not everyone is comfortable giving access to their entire Google Drive account to someone else.
- Here is TpT’s help page explaining why they require access to your entire Google Drive account.
- If you’ve purchased a TpT Google Drive product before and they didn’t require access to your entire Google Drive account, I’m going to guess it’s because that product only had one file to copy. My Educircles products have multiple files in a folder, so the TpT Google Drive product has to copy an entire folder to your account – hence access to your Google Drive Account.
Please note: access to Google Drive is given to Teachers Pay Teachers, and not the teacher-author. Educircles does not get any access to your Google Drive. I don’t even see your email address.
Here’s what happens behind the scenes:
- I give complete access to my Google Drive account to TpT. This way, they can access the files they need to copy.
- The teacher who buys my TpT Google Drive product also gives access to their Google Drive account to TpT.
- Teachers Pay Teachers acts as the middle person and copies the files from my account to the teacher’s account.
What I’m doing to reduce privacy concerns with my Educircles TpT Google Drive products
Change #1: I’m converting my existing Educircles products that use the TpT Google Drive product type into the TpT Zip File product type.
- By using TpT Zip File product types, it means teachers won’t have to share access to their Google Drive accounts at all.
- I’m still providing Google Apps versions of my files. Teachers need to individually copy files using a one-click copy link that I provide in my File Table of Contents. (Please check out the File Table of Contents in this free resource.)
- This will also make it easier for teachers to know what they get from me because they’re manually copying the Google Docs files. (As opposed to looking at a giant list of files in a folder and not knowing where to start.)
3 STAR Reviews
3 stars -⭐⭐⭐ – Moderately satisfied
They did not really care for the videos…
Feb 7, 2022
They did not really care for the videos, but my student’s struggle to care with many things. It was a very organized resource nevertheless.Used with 7th, 8th grade students
Primarily students on the autism spectrum, and with learning difficulties
February 7, 2022
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Here is the YouTube playlist with all 20 videos.
- Here is the free goal-setting slideshow lesson explaining the SEOT goal-setting process.
3 stars -⭐⭐⭐ – Moderately satisfied
Not what I expected…
Feb 1, 2022
Not what I expected for this resource.Used with 8th grade students
February 1, 2022
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Here is the product description.
3 stars -⭐⭐⭐ – Moderately satisfied
Grade 3 students
Jan 3, 2022
This resource has provided my students the support and guide they needed during informational writing.Used with 3rd grade students
Primarily students that are emerging bilinguals/ ELs/ ESOLs/ ENLs
January 3, 2022
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Here is the product description.
This post is under construction… (more reviews that I haven’t had a chance to format properly yet)
As you can see, there’s a bunch of reviews below that I need to format properly.
it was overwhelming to try to figure out where I should click, what I even had, and where to begin. I was a bit put off by the “I’ve made x amount of money since I quit my job” message… I tried the initial goal setting lesson … and they all nearly rioted. I probably won’t continue with this resource.
I think this could have been a good resource, but it was overwhelming to try to figure out where I should click, what I even had, and where to begin. I was a bit put off by the “I’ve made x amount of money since I quit my job” message. Aside from that, I tried the initial goal setting lesson with three different classes, ranged from 6th-9th grade, and they all nearly rioted. I probably won’t continue with this resource.Used with 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th grade students
Primarily students with learning difficulties, and with mild to severe disabilities
Sep 18, 2021
I am NOT a tech person by any stretch of the imagination. This looks like a great resource, but it was way over my head with so many pieces to it.
I am NOT a tech person by any stretch of the imagination. This looks like a great resource, but it was way over my head with so many pieces to it. I tried the Read Me First, but my brain just wan’t able to understand. For someone who is more technology minded, it would be a great source.September 13, 2021
The worksheets were on google docs which made it difficult for students to use. Every time they would type in their answers, the format would push everything else down to the next page.
Amazing powerpoint on google drive!! The worksheets were on google docs which made it difficult for students to use. Every time they would type in their answers, the format would push everything else down to the next page. A suggestion would be to make these questions the background on google slides and having text boxes for students to type in. This would make your product more user friendly.Used with 6th, 7th grade students
February 12, 2021
I was super confused trying to get started and organized. There is so much and I was confused how to get started… it is not a print and go, no planning unit!
This had some great ideas, but I was super confused trying to get started and organized. There is so much and I was confused how to get started and I have done the communication games, but I have put it to the side until I can find time to think about it and get it worked out in my mind! Tons of resources and ideas though! But it is not a print and go, no planning unit!Used with 9th-grade students
October 21, 2020
The slides are poorly designed and overly wordy. There’s too many to really engage students… I ended up recreating my own sets of slides loosely based on what I learned…
I teach creativity as a subject matter for my enrichment classes. I hoped this resource would have helped reach both my in-class and virtual students. The slides are poorly designed and overly wordy. There’s too many to really engage students. We played twelve and brainstormed about the mug. We talked about tools that we could use to make our creativity more fluid like the use of categories and getting inspiration from others. I ended up recreating my own sets of slides loosely based on what I learned from this resource. I wish I hadn’t spent so much money on it. I would have been better off purchasing a creativity builder book from Amazon. I was bummed.Used with 6th and 7th grade students
Sep 10, 2020