John Loadsman, TES Author Resourcesyouwant, shares his experience of creating English teaching materials and offers advice for new authors
Tell us a bit about your professional background.
I have a particular passion for improving the literacy of young males, which is statistically far below that of females. Prior to teaching, I worked as a carer for troubled youths in foster care and I often found myself helping them with basic literacy and encouraging them to pursue education. For the past six years I have been teaching English to classes of differing ability levels and this has enabled me to recognise the value of a good teaching resource.
Where do you start when making an English resource to publish on TES?
When I first started, I was simply uploading any resource I made that I thought might be helpful. However, I quickly saw that the kind of resources that were most popular on TES were ones that all English teachers would need at some point. This included resources that taught literacy skills or offered writing support, which could be adapted for any lesson.
Now, when I start creating a new resource, I ask myself “What do English teachers teach all the time?” Then I do my research to create a resource that is universally applicable.
Which resource are you most proud of?
My best-selling and most reviewed resource is a presentation called Everyday text types – how to. I think this sells because writing everyday texts such as letters, journals, speeches and essays is a transferable skill, as it’s used for both responding to and composing texts in English. The resource can be a go-to for mini lessons on each text type and embeds easily into any English unit.
Tell us your top 3 tips for creating resources for English classes
- Do your research
Make sure that you trial you resources and refine them in your own classroom first. When a student gives you positive feedback on a lesson, it’s a good indicator that it’s ready to sell. Ultimately, teachers want resources that work.
- Look for gaps in the market
If there are already lots of resources that are similar to what you want to create, then remember you’re going to be sharing the market and potentially limiting your sales if your content doesn’t stand out. Instead, try to look for what is missing.
- Take on any criticism
Be willing to respond to any negative reviews by replying to buyers and taking steps to improve your resources. Reviews are opportunities for growth and development as an author. It is a very real insight into what your buyer wants and demands from a purchase!
What's next for your shop?
At the moment, I am developing resources that will provide analysis for popular poems of study in English. I plan to focus on the canonical poets as resources about them seem to be in high demand. I aim to create content that English teachers can integrate seamlessly into their programs, so that they can save themselves precious time.
*This resource is being sold by the author