Free TpT resources and Teachers Pay Teachers gift card giveaway

Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Quick Links:

FREE TpT gift cards - what will you buy?

How to get “free” TpT Resources:

1. The seller gives it away for FREE.

2. Someone else pays for the TpT product. (For example, find some giveaways for teachers with TpT gift card prizes.)

3. Your school participates in the School Access program (which makes it easier for you to get the resources for “free” because the school paid for it.)

Obvious? Yup.

But, there’s a reason why that resource is free…

Table of Contents

About FREE TpT Resources

There’s a reason why that Teacher pay Teachers resources might be FREE.

  1. It’s FREE because TpT requires us to publish at least one free resource.
  2. It’s FREE because it’s teaser content for other related resources. If you like this, you’ll probably like that.
  3. It’s FREE because the teacher-author thinks this is an important resource to help more people teach a concept to students.
  4. It’s FREE because we want to build goodwill (or try to get great ratings) to help our store. Store ratings are social proof that your stuff is good stuff.
  5. It’s FREE because the TpT store is using the FREEMIUM model. You offer some stuff for free because you know people who really like this stuff will eventually want a premium feature or product somewhere down the road.
  6. It’s FREE for you because the school paid for it through School Access.

Personally, I have the first five different types of free TpT resources in my TpT store.

The last one (TpT School Access) isn’t for me.

  • It’s an annual subscription that principals sign up for.
  • Teachers can immediately access certain TpT resources in the TpT School Access directory.
  • Principals can see school-wide data and view “school activity to discover what instructional solutions are working for teachers and explore trends across your school.” (Source)
  • But… you don’t get to keep access to the “free” TpT School Access resource at the end of the year (unless you renew your school renews their TpT School Access subscription.)
  • I prefer offering my teaching resources in the regular Teachers Pay Teachers Marketplace. The one you’re used to seeing here.
  • When you get a resource on the regular TpT Marketplace, you get a lifetime individual license to use that resource
  • “A teacher who purchases an Individual License can use such Resource, in accordance with this section, for her or his lifetime …” (TpT Terms of Service – Resource Licensing Policy – Section B. Individual License)
  • You can read more about why I currently choose not to participate in the TpT School Access program here.

Some TpT resources are free because they have to be free

TpT authors like myself are required to publish at least one FREE resource before we can sell on Teachers Pay Teachers.

  • So, that resource may not be the best of the best.
  • The free resource might just be sample content. (This is because Teachers Pay Teachers really wants our free resources to be a maximum 10 pages or slides.)
  • Or, it may be awesome, but it may not look like high quality – learning how to market resources on TpT is a skill that grows over time.

What does that mean?

Are Free Teacher Pay Teachers resources any good?

Sometimes, absolutely!

(Was that vague or what!)

You might have to search through a lot of FREE stuff to find the diamonds in the rough.

  • Think about it. TpT requires new teacher-authors to publish a free resource.
  • We do this at the beginning of our journey as a teacher-author. (In other words, we don’t know anything yet about making resources that sell on TpT.)
  • A lot of people create seller accounts on TpT and list a few resources… but don’t ever find something that works… so we have a bunch of free resources that were half-heartedly created… sitting there.

On the other hand, lots of experienced sellers create fabulous free resources, too.

One of my first resources was a Growth Mindset poster that I made and used in my classroom.

  • It was a poster I made and printed on my classroom door. (Yes, I had an 11×17″ colour printer at home because I liked doing this sort of thing.)
  • It was easier for me to upload and publish this quick file on TpT than trying to polish up some of my other resources.
  • Sometimes, you just have to start and jump in (video)!
  • That first poster resource has only been downloaded 83 times in around 3 years.

Jump ahead to now, and I’ve learned a little more about selling on TpT.

This free “WHO IS INVISIBLE” diversity challenge has been downloaded over 3,500 times since it was published.

  • It’s an extensive lesson package that helps students think about which groups of people are represented or invisible in resources.
  • 88 slides in the slideshow lesson
  • Detailed, extensive lesson plan with talking points
  • 20 FREE YouTube videos for students to analyze / evaluate, and then create alternative scripts to amplify the stories we’re not hearing.
  • And it’s free.

Some TpT resources are free because they want to be

I should probably charge that WHO is INVISIBLE slideshow lesson, but I don’t.

The slideshow lesson is completely free. (In fact, I even posted the entire diversity and inclusion slideshow lesson on its own website!)

(January 2022 Update: I just launched a paid add-on for this free lesson! Teachers can now upgrade and get handouts to go with the free slideshow. So, now I’m also using the freemium model!)

TpT generally prefers FREE resources to be 10 pages or under.

(At least, that’s what they require if you want them to consider your FREE TpT Resource in their newsletter.)

My resource is definitely not under 10 pages. But, I’m still choosing to give it away for free.


I published the WHO is INVISIBLE challenge as a free TpT lesson because I want more teachers to use it.

  • Talking about diversity, inclusion, and race needs to move beyond “heroes and holidays.”
  • Taking a month, a week or a day to recognize the contributions of a group of people we don’t often hear about is a good first step.
  • Let’s keep walking on our journal towards cultural proficiency! (We don’t want to fall into the trap of tokenism: Oh, we did Black History Month, so I’m good for the rest of the year.)

Tackling big issues like racism, discrimination, surviving a pandemic, doing everything right and still losing your job, trying to build healthy relationships…

That ain’t easy. But, it’s worth it.

Preparing students (and ourselves) for the 21st Century means practicing transferrable skills that we can apply in any situation.

Nothing works for everyone, all of the time. The questions of tomorrow haven’t even been asked, yet!

How do we help students find their own answers?

It means we

That’s my core belief, and also my core product.

So, I give away what I consider to be an awesome TpT product for free in the hopes that it helps…

  1. make the world a better place.
  2. give teachers a sample of what my products are like
  3. encourage like-minded teachers who believe in 6 Cs and 21st Century Learning to check out my other products and resources.
  4. drive more traffic to my SEOT Steps to Success goal setting resources.

Oh, and I try to promote my free products by giving teachers a Teacher pay Teachers gift card…

Educircles FREE Teachers pay Teachers gift card giveaways

I've given away $825 in TpT Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Cards (as of Aug 4, 2021). Follow my store! Check your TpT inbox

I want to give back to the teaching community.

Teaching is a fun and rewarding job, but it can also be incredibly challenging.

And, that was before the pandemic.

If you receive a TpT gift card from me, you’re welcome to use it to purchase anything on the TpT store. (It doesn’t have to be from my Educircles TpT store, although I’d appreciate it if you have a peek at my lessons.)

Here are my current giveaways for teachers.

Here are some of the previous teacher giveaways / winners.

What do you (the teacher) get out of these free TpT gift card giveaways?

Well, free TpT gift cards.

My Educircles TpT Gift Card giveaways are always FREE to enter. No purchase is required.

You can enter and win multiple gift card giveaways.

  • Some teachers have received 2 or 3 different TpT gift cards from me.
  • But, please look carefully at the specific teacher giveaways, as they have a few different rules.
  • (More information about rules / teacher giveaway details can be found on the Google Form submission ballot.)

For example,

  • The $500 Who is Invisible Diversity contest lets you enter as many (unique) entries as you want (to improve your chances of winning the grand prize), but you can only win one of the 21 gift card prizes.
  • On the other hand, the monthly $25 Welcome to the Family gift card give away only lets you enter one entry, but your ballot stays in the fish bowl until you win (or the teacher giveaway ends, of course.)
  • And the Follow my Store give away is all based on speed. The first 10 teachers to fill out the Google form in my TpT Note to Followers win a $10 TpT gift card. But, if you win one month, you’re still allowed to try to win the following month.

What do I (Mike at Educircles) get out of these free Teachers Pay Teachers gift card giveaways?

Great question!

It’s important to think critically and wonder how the other person benefits if a message is accepted.

1. I really do want to help teachers like me

I want to help people who want to make the world a better place.

I want to help teachers who go above and beyond for their students. We’re all professionals. Use the free Teachers Pay Teachers gift card to get the resources you need.

The money for these TpT gift cards comes from the sales of my TpT products, so I’m happy to give back. (I’ve made over $18,000 USD selling on TpT so far.)

2. I want to know more about who uses my products and how things are going

Hello, market research.

Teachers are busy creatures. We often don’t have time to use the bathroom or eat lunch during the school day. It can be hard to find time to collaborate with teachers down the hall, let alone people around the world.

(And, at the time of writing, my Educircles resources have been downloaded over 25,000 times around the world – which is super cool. But, also makes it hard to stop by to pop by your classroom.)

So, in each google form submission, I ask a little question like whether you use Google Apps or Microsoft products… it helps me to know who you are, so I can make better products that meet your needs.

And, of course sell more products, make more money, give out more TpT gift cards, lather, rinse, repeat.

3. I want to create raving fans. (How to create a movement)

I want to find my people (video).

I know from experience that most people won’t bother to enter a contest.

The ones who win a TpT gift card from me multiple times are the ones who keep at it because they see value in this.

And, these are the people I want to support.

I used to show this video to my students about how to be a leader and make the world a better place. (It’s also a 3 min TED talk)

The way to create a movement is not to be the crazy person dancing but to be the first person who stands up and joins in.

There are two parts to creating a movement:

As the person who creates Growth Mindset and 21st Century Learning resources, I have to support the first followers.

  • They’re the ones who show others it’s okay to join in.
  • They’re the ones who teach these resources in the classroom where their colleagues might take notice.
  • They’re the ones who write great reviews, share ideas, and show it’s okay to have a paradigm-shift in teaching:
  • The point of teaching is not to deliver facts through the curriculum. It’s to teach transferrable skills and attitudes through exploration of the curriculum.

As the teacher who finds one of my resources and TpT gift card give aways…

If this stuff really aligns with who you are and how you teach, please enter the free TpT gift card giveaways.

I really do want to connect with you.

Also, you don’t have to use the Teacher pay Teachers gift card in my store – use it to get the resources you need for your classroom.

We live in crazy times. You’ve probably spent too much trying to adapt to a digital world, already!

“When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.”

Derek Sivers, (video 2:06) – First Follower transcript

I give away TpT Gift Cards

TpT support has emailed me to confirm they do not allow promotions on their website.

I’m also in the process of exploring some exciting ideas. It looks like my Teachers Pay Teachers gift card giveaways will be restricted to the US and Canada (excluding Quebec.) This has to do with complying with rules and regulations in different areas. Read this if you are not in the US or Canada.

I’m also working on updating my email newsletter process and thinking about how to get the word out about my TpT gift card contests.

Stay tuned!

Here are some of the people who have received a TpT gift card from Educircles!

Over $825 in Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Cards have been given out so far

(last kinda updated: Wed Apr 27, 2022)

Note: This list may not be complete. I haven’t created a system to stay organized and update it consistently… yet!

  • Educircles Survey – March 2022 edition – Winners

    Answer 3 easy questions to enter a random draw for a $10 TpT gift card. Terms and Conditions apply. See details on the contest form.

    ODDS of WINNING as determined when the survey closed:

    • 5 people won.
    • 7 people entered.
    • If you entered, you had a 71.4% chance of winning (5 out of 7)
    • (If there’s a problem with my math, please email [email protected])

    Educircles Community Survey v2022-03-31

    Questions sent to the Educircles Newsletter and posted on Facebook

    Contest closed

    $50 in TpT gift cards

    1. Lynn (Niagara Falls, Canada)
    2. Vanessa (Guelph, Canada)
    3. Alexis (Orangeville, Canada)
    4. Dianne (Horseheads, United States)
    5. Jason (Strathroy, Canada)

  • Easter Eggs – Winners

    Sometimes I hide Easter Eggs in my content.

    The last easter egg was found on Feb 7, 2022

    $25 in TpT gift cards given out.

    How do you know if you found an Easter Egg in a blog post, note to TpT followers, or somewhere else? It’ll tell you what to do. You’ll know when you see it.

    • Lesley M
    • Darlene Q
    • Dianne C

  • Welcome to the Family – Winners



    Contest closed

    $175 in TpT gift cards

    • Ramiro (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – JAN 2021
    • Christina (Littleton, USA) – FEB 2021
    • Jessica (Naples, USA) – MAR 2021
    • Kadain (Belcamp, USA) – APR 2021
      (Watch the contest draw: live stream 2)
    • Patricia (Bixby, Oklahoma, USA) – MAY 2021
      (Watch the contest draw: live stream 3)
    • Ezgi (Adana, Turkey) – JUNE 2021
      (Watch the contest draw: live stream 4)
    • A (Guam, USA) – JULY 2021
      (Watch the contest draw: live stream 6)

    Learn more about my Free TpT gift card giveaways!

  • Follow My Store July 2021 Edition – Winners


    Questions sent on JULY 29, 2021

    $50 in TpT gift cards given out

    CONTEST closed.

    The questions were sent to the TpT Inbox.

    1. Angela (Sacramento, US)
    2. Stephanie (Sarasota, US)
    3. Emily (Talybont, UK)
    4. Marisa (McHenry, US)
    5. Jessica (Alexandria, US)

  • Did I Cheat Round 1 Winners

    Did I Cheat Round 1

    CONTEST CLOSED on June 30, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET

    Only 2 valid entries were received!

    Watch a video replay of the live stream contest drawing held on July 1, 2021

    $150 in TpT gift cards given out

    1. $100 gift card: Emily (Ceredigion, UK)
    2. $50 gift card: Nadia (Sierra Vista, USA)
    3. $50 gift card: Not enough participation
    4. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    5. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    6. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    7. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    8. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    9. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    10. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    11. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    12. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    13. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    14. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    15. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    16. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    17. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    18. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    19. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    20. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    21. $10 gift card: Not enough participation

  • Follow My Store May 2021 Edition – Winners


    Questions sent on MAY 5, 2021

    $100 in TpT gift cards given out

    CONTEST closed.

    The questions were sent to the TpT Inbox.

    1. Angela (Sacramento, USA)
    2. Michelle (Toronto, Canada)
    3. Diane (Horseheads, NY, USA)
    4. Jessica (Alexandria, PA, USA)
    5. Dianne (Kyalami, South Africa)
    6. Marisa (McHenry, IL, USA)
    7. Marc (Middlesex, USA)
    8. Emily (Ceredigion, Wales)
    9. Tess (the Netherlands)
    10. Laine (Boston, USA)

  • Follow My Store April 2021 Edition – Winners


    Questions sent on APR 5, 2021

    $20 in TpT gift cards given out

    CONTEST closed.

    1. Emily (Talybont, Wales)
    2. Marisa (McHenry, USA)
    3. not enough participation!
    4. not enough participation!
    5. not enough participation!
    6. not enough participation!
    7. not enough participation!
    8. not enough participation!
    9. not enough participation!
    10. not enough participation!

  • WHO IS INVISIBLE 2021 winners


    March 15, 2021 11:59 PM ET

    Only 3 valid entries were received!

    Watch a video replay of the live stream contest drawing held on March 25, 2021

    $200 in Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards given out

    1. $100 gift card: Kati (Glasgow, Kentucky, US)
    2. $50 gift card: Emily (Ceredigion, UK)
    3. $50 gift card: Sara (Minnetonka, Minnesota, US)
    4. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    5. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    6. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    7. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    8. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    9. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    10. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    11. $25 gift card: Not enough participation
    12. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    13. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    14. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    15. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    16. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    17. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    18. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    19. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    20. $10 gift card: Not enough participation
    21. $10 gift card: Not enough participation

  • Follow My Store Feb 2021 Edition – Winners


    FEB 2021

    $50 in TpT gift cards given out

    CONTEST closed.

    1. Mette (Midtjylland, Danmark)
    2. Elizabeth (Fort Covington, USA)
    3. Alessia (Toronto, Canada)
    4. Greig (Queens NY, USA)
    5. Kristina (Belén, Costa Rica)
    6. not enough participation
    7. not enough participation
    8. not enough participation
    9. not enough participation
    10. not enough participation

  • Follow My Store November 2021 Edition – Winners


    NOV 2020

    $130 in TpT gift cards given out


    1. Lynne (Horseheads, USA)
    2. Veronica (Paterson, USA)
    3. Tara (Grand Rapids, USA)
    4. Gustavo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
    5. Ramiro (Montevideo, Uruguay)
    6. Claudia (La Paz, Bolivia)
    7. Tiffani (Waco, USA)
    8. Edith (Columbus, USA)
    9. not enough participation
    10. not enough participation

  • First 3 People to Email Me: Aug 2020 – Winners


    August 2020

    $30 in TpT gift cards given out.

    (on Mar 7 2021, finally!)

    • Jim (Toronto, Canada)
    • Jenny (New Jersey, US)
    • Emily (Wales, UK)

  • Other TpT gift cards (for various reasons!)

    Other teachers who received a Teacher pay Teacher gift card

    $10 in TpT gift cards given so far.

    (This list is super incomplete. It’s a work in progress lol)

    • Jamie

Sharing is caring.

Why don’t you give away all of your resources for free?

This is an excellent, and important question. (Especially because I feel guilty for charging money for my lessons.)

Let’s talk about why I charge a nominal fee for some of the lesson plans on my Educircles Teachers Pay Teachers store.

As teachers,

  • we care about our students, our program, and our school community.
  • We work with teaching partners, our division teams, and at school meetings to create a safe learning environment.
  • We watch our students grow, provide just-in-time scaffolding support, and we adapt our lessons and instruction based on the struggles and successes we witness in the classroom.

In other words, we’re lifelong learners, and like any artist, we perfect our craft as we go along.

I never thought twice about sharing the stuff I use in my classroom with colleagues down the hall.

I’m more than happy sharing copies of handouts with teachers in the photocopier room. I’ve designed plenty of lesson packages for my school to help create upwards movement.

And, of course, this is a give-and-take relationship. We all share. We all do that. That’s what a professional learning community does!

So why do I charge at all at my Teachers Pay Teachers store?

Here are four things to know about why I sell on Teachers Pay Teachers:

  1. I do offer FREE teaching resources.
  2. My teacher lesson plans and handout downloads SAVE YOU TIME. So you can do other things.
  3. Free is, apparently, not always good.
  4. My goal is to help make the world a better place

#1. I do offer FREE teaching resources

First of all, some of the lesson plans and handouts I’ve published on TpT are free.

Here are my free TpT resources:

  • Here’s my free “Who is Invisible” Diversity Challenge challenge – Complete slideshow lesson (88 slides) and detailed lesson plans. Help students analyze and evaluate which groups of people are invisible in our curriculum, media, and life. Then challenge them to create alternative versions that help amplify the voice to a group of people that may be under represented (or not represented.)
  • Here are the posters comparing marks – levels – and growth mindset that I put at the front of my class above my whiteboard. If you’ve seen my classroom, you’ll recognize these.
  • Here are the posters and handouts about literacy goals. They’re from the Ontario Language Arts curriculum and I use them to connect what we do in the classroom to the curriculum. I’ve seen these photocopied and used in other people’s rooms, even before I posted them on TpT!
Download Free Teaching Resources with Educircles

We’re just getting started, so we don’t have a lot of (free or paid) products posted… yet. Hashtag growth mindset.

#2. I try to make Teacher Lesson Plans and Handouts to SAVE YOU TIME.

So you can do other things:

  • Like marking.
  • And writing emails to parents to keep them up to date.
  • And collaborating with colleagues.
  • And doing supervision duties.
  • And running extra-curricular activities.
  • And coaching sports teams.
  • And connecting with other organizations to keep students safe.
  • And organizing field trips.
  • And booking the buses.
  • And getting approval for things that your students need.
  • And bringing in guest speakers to enrich your program.
  • And collecting money for various fundraisers, lunch programs, and enrichment opportunities.
  • And advocating for the needs of your community.

  • And convincing colleagues about the value of new teaching practices.
  • And figuring out work-arounds in your class because you don’t have what you need, and you’ve already spent too much on your classroom.
  • And impromptu meetings about issues that pop up.
  • And dealing with classroom behaviours.
  • And writing accomodations and modifications in IEPs.
  • And differentiating for the wide spectrum of abilities in your class.
  • And preparing your students for standardized tests.
  • And photocopying resources.
  • And trying to get the photocopier to just work.
  • And then leaving your portable to go to the photocopier room only to discover the file didn’t send properly.
  • And preparing report card comments.
  • And figuring out the most recent, and most consistent evidence of your students’ performance.
  • And having student-parent-teacher meetings because it takes a village to raise a child.
  • And trying to keep up on professional development and changes in best practices.
  • And supporting new teachers in the profession survive and thrive in the first five years.
  • And going to the bathroom because you’ve been holding it for that long.
  • And being a shoulder to lean on for other teachers who are going through a tough year.
  • And attending school / parent council.
  • And going to staff meetings.
  • And worrying about the well-being of the students in your class.

And somehow, with all of this stuff that you do as a teacher, you also need to prepare fantastic lesson plans that are thoughtful, dynamic, well-researched, and based solidly in pedagogical practice?

  • What do you do if you’re a new teacher, and you’re expected to do all of that like a seasoned veteran teacher, right from day one?
  • What do you do if you also have a life, a family, and unexpected emergencies outside of your day job?
  • What do you do if you feel overwhelmed from reading the list above, and feel the weight of the world because you think you aren’t doing enough when you’re probably already doing so much!

You take a deep breath.

You try to be better than you were the day before.

And you download one of our teacher packages.

How much time do you save?

Well, here’s an example. I’m using timecamp to keep track of where my time goes – it’s insightful, fascinating and depressing at the same time.

Creating the Exploring the Six Cs “Week of Citizenship” lesson package took 53 hours of prep work.

  • 35 hours of development from the first slideshow and lesson plan draft, to creating and revising handouts, to polishing and double-checking the final copy, to finally posting on the Teachers Pay Teachers site.
  • 15 hours of revision to create a more distance learning friendly version (V2)
  • 3 hours of more revision to re-organize the files to make the new distance learning version even easier to use (v2.6)

And, that doesn’t include the hours of pre-writing that went in where we brainstormed ideas for our Six Cs unit and mapped out lesson plans about these transferable skills as a whole.

Oh, and this also doesn’t include the years of teaching experience behind the scenes that we’re pulling on.

(And, that number doesn’t include constantly revising the product packaging so it’s easier to find all of the files you need.)

The ideas on equity, fairness, empathy, and classroom debates all come from things done in the classroom.    

Would the typical teacher have time to invest 53 hours into a single week of lessons?


Especially not with that huge laundry list of things to do up above, in addition to lesson planning and development for all of their other subjects and things they teach..

Would the typical teacher choose to invest 53 hours into a single week of lessons?

No, probably not.

So, I’m in the business of trying to save you time. Hello, work-life balance!

#3 Free is, apparently, not always good.

One year, my grade 8 class analyzed Terry O’Reilly’s Under The Influence podcast on “Tourism Marketing” as part of media literacy. We were trying to make the world a better place and needed some wisdom.

O’Reilly walks us through the case study of Edouard and André Michelin who started a tire business in France in 1889. This was back in the day when people didn’t drive much and air-filled pneumatic tires were a novelty.

So, in 1900, the brothers created a guide to encourage travel, with articles on “how to repair tires, where to find gas stations, maps, and a list of mechanics.” O’Reilly writes:

They printed 35,000 copies.

And gave them out free of charge.

In 1920, André Michelin paid a visit to a tire retailer and noticed, to his dismay, that his Michelin Guide was being used to prop up a workbench.

That prompted André to charge for all subsequent issues, saying, “Man only respects what he pays for.”

That same year, a big addition was made to the Michelin Guide. It began to include listings of restaurants and Parisian hotels.

Circulation jumped to 155,000 copies.

I find this a fascinating idea. To paraphrase Michelin, people only respect what they pay for.

Going beyond the classroom walls: a thought experiment.

Let’s pretend you were really proud of a particular lesson.

  • You thought the slides were fantastic and legit awesome.
  • You thought the content was important: ideas about diversity and equity, growth mindset, and other things you wished more teachers were talking about.
  • You thought the talking points and discussion generated was really transformative.

How could you deliver this message to the most number of students in a meaningful way?

  • You teach it to your homeroom class, and you’ve reached 30 students.
  • Or, perhaps you’re a rotary teacher and you deliver the lesson plan to 3 class, and you’ve reached 90 students.
  • You share it with a few colleagues in your school, and let’s say you’ve reached a few hundred students.

Now what? How do you reach beyond the scope of your school?

You could do a TED Talk and reach a ba-jillion people. Absolutely.

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talk about the Danger of a Single Story is one I use regularly in my classroom.  The TED site reports 15 million views alone.
  • The late Hans Rosling’s TED talks and Gapminder work is fantastic edutainment that brings to life the Geography and Civics curricula. (RIP)
  • Even TEDX speakers like Boonaa Mohammed “Kill Them With Love” are great clips that can challenge stereotypes. (481K views on YouTube in Aug 2018; now over 641K in Feb 2021.)

TED Talks provide fantastic tools for us to use in the classroom. They spark conversations and quite frankly, these people have found a way to say things way more eloquently than I could.

But teachers are the ones in the classrooms, and we’re around longer than a 20-minute video clip.

So, how could you get more teachers delivering your ideas and lesson plans?

By selling lesson plans and resources online and letting market forces dictate success.

According to Business Insider in 2013 , one of the top sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers was Deanna Jump, a 15 year veteran of Kindergarten and Grade 1.

Apparently, she earns about $80,000 per month. If you look at Jump’s Teachers Pay Teachers store, at the time of this screenshot (Sep 2018), you can see she has a 4 (out of 4) star rating from 381,527 votes and she has 79,591 teachers following her.

Yes, the fact that she is a full-time teacher millionaire is exciting. Who wouldn’t want to be that?

But, she’s also reached a lot of classrooms. And, that’s an impressive legacy that extends beyond her classroom walls.

(Hmm, I wonder if she gives away a Teacher Pay Teachers gift card every now and then?)

#4. I try to help make the world a better place

“My Why” is to help make the world a better place.

Watch this SEOT YouTube video where I explain “my Why”

Aside from that, a portion of every lesson sold on my TpT store is donated to support student mental health.

Watch this video to find out why I’m so passionate about 21st Century Skills and supporting student mental health.

Bottom Line?

Visit my Educircles Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Article first posted on Aug 5, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Educircles Contest Rules for TpT gift card give aways

For those of you who are curious, here are the terms and conditions if you choose to enter one of my contests:

What it says on the Google Form:

By completing and submitting this form, you agree to the following terms and conditions.


You must use your real full name and school work email address in order to participate in this contest. This is to confirm that you are a teacher and to prevent people from entering multiple times using personal accounts. Any entries from non-school email accounts (gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc) or student school email accounts will be disqualified.

SPECIAL EXEMPTIONS from using a school email address can be made on an individual basis if you contact me at [email protected] BEFORE you enter the contest. For example, if you teach at a private school that requires teachers to use personal email addresses instead of a school supplied email address, please contact me BEFORE entering the contest to put your personal email address on a whitelist of approved emails. Approval for using a non-school email address must be requested at least 24 hours before the end of the contest to allow for verification.

If you win, I will send an initial email to confirm there are no typos and that the email is still active. Once you reply to that initial email, I will send out a follow-up email with your TpT gift card code and PDF.


Entries may be disqualified if they are not in the spirit of this contest as determined by Mike Fuchigami /

This includes entries to test the google form, duplicate entries, entries with duplicate answers, incomplete entries, spam-like answers, nonsensical answers or simplistic and/or one-word answers. For example, (1) The lesson went well. (2) No, there is no way to cheat. (3) No, there is no way to be more honest.)

In an effort to be transparent in this process, if any entries are disqualified, the nature of the disqualification will be disclosed (i.e. please don’t use one sentence answers: The lesson went well.), however Educircles is not obligated to inform the teacher submitting a disqualified ballot that their ballot has been disqualified.


If you win, your name, city / country, grade(s) you teach, your answers and the amount of the TPT gift card may be published on our website, Educircles TpT store, social media and/or other platforms. (For example, Congratulations Chris A, Grade 8 teacher in Ottawa, Canada who just won $25 in our Educircles Welcome to the Family contest!)

Your email address is collected on this form only for the purposes of sending winners their TpT gift card code. Your email address will not be shared or published.

Winners will be posted on the website.

If you do win but do not receive my initial email, please check your inbox (or spam folder) for an email from If you do not receive the email from me, but your name is listed as the winner on our website, please contact me at [email protected] using the email address you listed on this form.


Full contest details posted here:

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at [email protected]

Rules last updated: May 11, 2021

Educircles Contest / Give away Change Log

In an effort to be more transparent, when I make a change in the form or contest rules, I’ll record the changes here. Good luck winning a teacher pay teachers gift card!

Educircles Welcome to the Family

May 11, 2021

  • Updated the intro of the Google Form to require new entries to use their full name and school email address. (Previous entries will be accepted as is.)
  • Added a second spot to enter your email address (to reduce typo errors and to remind participants that only school email addresses are allowed.)
  • Updated the answer “TpT Digital Resource” to “TpT Easel (formerly known as TpT Digital resource)
  • Added more product options to the optional question about which product did you get this link from?
  • Updated the terms and conditions on the Google Form to match the general Educircles contest rules posted here.