Without any doubt, teaching is an art and teachers are creators. Teaching requires a broad knowledge of the subject matter in all respects, a caring and enthusiastic attitude towards students and a longing desire to make a difference in the lives of young people. We can dig even deeper and say that teachers represent helpful aids and teaching materials they’re using serve as instruments.
But today’s article presents more than just what teachers and teaching materials are. It covers a topic that could be interesting for anyone working in the education field. If you’ve wondered how to create and sell your own teaching materials but never really put it into practice, take a seat and pay attention because a long journey stands before us. But first thing’s first…
What are teaching materials?
Explained as a generic term, we could say that teaching materials refer to the resources teachers use to deliver instructions. They may come in many colors, sizes, and shapes but their common virtue is to support students’ learning and increase their success.
Teaching materials can refer to a great number of teacher resources, but people usually like to exemplify them so everyone understands this term better. A wrong perspective many have is the fact that only worksheets and manuals count as teacher resources. Little do they know that games, videos, flashcards, chalk, board, charts, reports, infographics, etc are also a part of this list. Let’s go one by one and describe these examples thoroughly before actually learning how to create and sell them.
Examples of teaching materials
Like we said before, teaching materials focus on students’ interaction to learn new and useful concepts as easy as possible. If you’re a teacher, then you surely understand how important it is to diversify your teaching materials. Each student is different and approaches learning in their own way, that’s why it’s crucial to choose various methods of tutoring. By this means they won’t get bored easily and will find learning more entertaining. Plus, when information is presented audibly and visually, everything becomes more engaging!
I think worksheets represent the most popular and used teaching materials all over the world. There’s no kid in school who hasn’t heard of worksheets, right? I was a teacher for four years before becoming a content writer and I can say from my experience that worksheets are fun and time-saving. All of my students loved them. They are also a good resource for reviewing and practicing material. Students memorize information better and consider learning enjoyable and accessible. You can also use them for homework or testing. Another benefit of worksheets is the fact that you can either search for them on the internet and print them or create your own and share them with other teachers and students. But more on this aspect later.
These are other popular teacher resources that are extremely used in every classroom. Starting from chalk, boards, and crayons to gummy bears and rulers, manipulatives are physical items that assist student learning. They are very helpful in the younger primary grades, especially when pupils use them to solve addition and subtraction problems. Many teachers admit that manipulatives are a great influence on students’ way of learning.
Games were, are and will always be on teachers’ list when it comes to choosing entertaining and useful teaching materials. There are many things pupils can learn with their help: from money and grammar to social skills. Some popular and practical games are sight words bingo that help students learn basic vocabulary, money skills, how to tell time and even English grammar. Buuut, did you also know that outdoor games such as basketball, kickball or volleyball can improve students’ social skills as well? This is how they learn the lesson of sharing, of working as a team, and of being a good loser or thankful winner. I advise you to take advantage of the perks of games as much as possible. No other teacher resources will be as loved as this one.
We live in a digital era where everyone has access to the internet and its benefits. One of them can be the plentitude of websites that offer free educational videos for kids. Videos provide real and visual images that animate both learning and teaching. If used correctly, these videos can help students learn English grammar, advanced math, and even complicated literature or science easily. But be careful to choose videos that have real educational value. Here is a list of 21 best educational YouTube channels for kids. Feel free to use them. Your students will really enjoy them. Trust me, I’ve also been a teacher like you.
As I teacher, I have always loved to use flashcards in my lessons. My students admitted to learning things easily and they also perceived lessons as interactive activities. And it’s also super easy to use them. Print definitions or new vocabulary words on the front or back of flashcards and let the children guess what you’ve written there. Reward them if they guess correctly or let them try again if they were wrong. It’s a very good exercise for children who have auditory or visual learning styles. And the best part is that they are free, extremely handy and very advantageous for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Use them if you haven’t done this before and let me know what you think.
Classroom checklists to keep students, teachers, and parents on track
Welcome to the 21st century where checklists are great tools to have in the classroom. Students, teachers, and parents have to keep track of many things nowadays with so many subjects and classroom duties. From homework, assignments for the semester, whose turn is to keep the classroom clean to bulletin boards and daily pupils’ activities, there are a lot of responsibilities they need to remember. Write them down as a checklist, print it and put it someplace in the classroom where everybody can see it. Add some colorful icons to make it even more remarkable and easier to remember. You can inspire yourself from the example above.
Create your own teaching materials. Free templates to inspire from
Why should you, as a teacher, create your own teaching materials when there are so many on the internet that you can download any second? One of the main reasons I could give you from my experience and others as well is the fact that your students will have unique teacher resources and this strengthens your credibility and influence as a teacher.
Moving forward, you’ll see that your unique and supplemental resources would bring children to the next level or give them a deeper understanding of the skills taught and this can only boost teachers’ encouragement to create more. Also, by creating your own teaching materials you’ll build up your confidence. Just think that you can share your work on the internet and teachers all over the world use what you created in their classroom. Isn’t this an incredible feeling?
Now that I’ve convinced you to step out of your comfort zone and start working on your own teaching materials, it’s time to show you some examples you can use as an inspiration source.
Posters and flyers used as helpful resources
These are extremely easy to create and also very informative for the whole classroom. Teachers can use them as lecture materials, handouts or classroom decorations. Students hang them on the walls and in this regard they’ll color up the environment and will retain the information faster. And the best part is that you can create them by yourself. Flipsnack is here to help you with free templates that are waiting for you. You don’t have to worry about the design part. Choose a free flyer template from our collection and start customizing it to your own needs. Whether you’re organizing a school/classroom event or you want to create some helpful resources for your students, you’ll find what you need with a simple mouse-scroll.
School newspaper/magazine to get students informed about events
One of the most useful teaching materials is the existence of a school newspaper or magazine and I totally understand it. Everybody can contribute to it, it’s easily shareable and it boosts both students’ and teachers’ imagination. You can approach different topics such as school events, interviews with teachers and students, tips and tricks to learn better, the importance of education and the list can go on. Start with a template from above, then customize it as you wish. An important tip is to use image frames to share pictures of events at your school. Another great suggestion would be to incorporate your school colors and logo within the design.
Eye-catching prospectus to brag about your school
When thinking of creating helpful teaching materials, please take school prospectus into consideration. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your school to potential students and their parents. Keep in mind that its main purpose to attract and recruit new students, so make it as informative and eye-catching as possible. This is one of those teacher resources where both pupils and teachers can work on together. I remember I had a lot of fun with my students when we did this as a group. Inspire yourself from these two templates.
Creative presentations that capture students’ attention
Whether it’s a student or a teacher, everybody is sick of boring presentations. Pupils, and especially the smallest ones lose quickly their patience and need something that keeps them in line. Teach your lessons through spectacular presentations that will be remembered more easily for sure. Insert some bright colors, use attractive fonts, upload some photos that are relatable to the lesson and don’t hesitate to include charts and icons to illustrate different concepts or perspectives. I used to do this when I taught English and German a few years ago. What I learned from this is the fact that students get excited about a topic when it’s presented in a visually-stimulating way. Don’t panic if you’ve never tried this idea.
Start by choosing one pre-made template and then edit your presentation exactly how you like it. You also have the option to share it with your students on social media or embed it on the school’s website.
Stunning reports to make data and insights engaging
Reports are useful teaching materials from which students can learn a lot of things. Whether you, as a teacher, want to share some interesting research findings with your students or you want them to share their data or statistics with you, opt for a visually engaging report template. A visual report will always emphasize the important pieces of information that students need to remember. Inspire yourself from this free report template below. Feel free to keep its design and change only the text. Then share it with other teachers or with your own students.
Why and how you should sell your own teaching materials?
The benefits of selling your teacher resources
After we recapped together what teaching materials are, exemplified them and decided to create some, it’s time to see why and how should we sell them. There are many reasons why we should sell our resources online, but today I’m going to present to you some benefits I’ve discovered after I’ve shared my materials with others. You know what they say, from experience you learn best!
1. I made friends
Selling my teaching materials online gave me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful teachers all around the world. They are also building their teacher resource businesses and we help each other. After all, we’re all in this together. We all have the same goal, to help students. After so many interactions with these people, they soon became my friends. We even had a facebook group where we shared teacher-related or not related stuff and went to conferences together. This was a really nice period of my life. I still keep in touch with some of them today. Having a place where people understand you and share the same passion with you is something not to take for granted.
2. I became a business owner
Teachers put in a lot of time creating their resources. It’s a great opportunity to make a little extra cash by simply sharing your passion with others. After a while, selling your teaching materials becomes a real business. It also became for me. And it feels so good to finally living a life that you truly love!
3. I have built up confidence in my teaching expertise
I’ve always had a problem with my low self-esteem. But selling my teaching materials made me a more confident person. It helped me renew confidence in my teaching expertise. When I saw that people purchased my work, my heart filled with joy and gratitude. Teachers from all over the world were willing to pay their money for something that I’ve created! Trust me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
An easy and efficient way to sell teaching materials online
I’ve already introduced you to Flipsnack – an online publishing platform where you can create publications from scratch or by choosing premade templates. It’s the perfect tool for you to make your own teaching materials. But don’t stop here. Flipsnack also gives you the opportunity to sell your work online. Please keep in mind that you need a Business or Professional account to do this. I’ll explain to you the whole process in a few steps and I’ll also show you some screenshots. A picture speaks a thousand words, right?
- Go to Flipsnack and make an account
- Create something from scratch or by choosing a template
- Play with our easy drag-and-drop editor until you’re happy with your work
- When done, click on “Make it a flipbook”
- Take advantage of our customization options and click “Next”
- Choose a title, description, category or visibility option and then hit the publish button
- Click on the “Sell” option from the left side
- You need a Stripe account to sell publications with Flipsnack, so make sure to create one
- Set a price for your teaching materials that is both fair and profitable
- Each time someone buys your work you can collect revenue directly from your Stripe account
Summing it up
Thank you for sticking with me ‘till the end of this journey! I hope today’s article gave you enough confidence to start creating and selling your own teaching materials. It saves valuable time for other teachers and it also helps students learn and progress more quickly. Think about it. No one teaches it the way you do it, so it’s important to come up with your own input. It’s never too late to transform your passion into a way of helping others (plus the extra money ain’t too bad either).