Ann Macleod works as a full-time teacher and publishes as TES Author, Apples of Gold. Find out how she manages to juggle a teaching career, a family and publishing resources!
Tell us about your professional background.
I have been teaching in primary education for eight years now. I have experience teaching across all age ranges and I have particularly enjoyed the challenge of working in composite classrooms. I am currently working in a P1-3 setting and find it thoroughly rewarding to be instrumental in children’s educational development during the initial years of their school life.
Where do you start when making resources?
When planning for the term and year, I note the curricular areas that need development and begin making resources that will engage the children.
I have some clip art favourites that I love to add into my resources. Sometimes they inspire me about what to create next! I will often insert a character theme into a unit of work, e.g. a maths detective that investigates numbers to 1000. The children love the interactive and imaginative aspect of learning in a fun and meaningful way. Engaging kids motivates them to do their best.
How do you make your resources stand out?
In order for my resources to stand out I think it is key to put myself into the ‘shoes’ of the prospective buyer and ask some questions, e.g. Does it grab my attention? Is the content accurate and good quality? I make sure that my products have an attractive front cover, with bright colours and bold text. When I put my resources up for sale, I make sure that I make previews to show the range of activities available within my products, thus giving the buyer a clear idea as to what they are potentially purchasing.
It is important that your product is stimulating to the eye; so that the initial reaction from people is that they want to buy it. For people to feel willing to part with their hard-earned money, I have to make sure the product is professional in its appearance.
How do you find the time to sell and promote your resources while also working as a full-time teacher?
I have a very understanding husband! Teaching can take up your entire day, and even the week if you allow it. As well as teaching and creating products, I am the mother of three lovely boys, and when they are tucked up in bed, I spend the evenings working on my products.
For me, creating the product is a labour of love. It’s great to use them with the children in school and to share them with other teachers across the world. Family time at weekends is an important aspect of my life. They are the priority for me, and I feel that I have found a good balance in the way that I work things now.
What advice would you give any teachers out there who are considering selling their resources?
Do it! If you make resources for your classroom already then why not? It is a great way to help other teachers across the world that may be struggling with teaching that particular area of the curriculum, or for those that just want to download a resource that would be beneficial for their class. I believe it enthuses the teacher in the classroom as well.
Sharing my products and making sure that they are of a good quality has increased my desire to make lessons fun for the kids. Using your creativity and educational knowledge will give you the opportunity to help the teaching community, and I am very thankful that other educators are investing their money into my resources and hopefully using them in their classes. That’s a great feeling!