Amy Willson, of WillsonEducation, shares her teaching experiences, her motivation for publishing over 170 resources on TES and her top tips for aspiring resources authors.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a Geography teacher with over five years’ experience educating at various levels, ranging from mainstream schools, SEN and extra-curricular tuition. I also have experience in teaching humanities, English and PSHE topics, as well as having worked as a cover supervisor and an exams invigilator. I’ve had the chance while studying and practicing geography to visit some fabulous locations around the world, such as the Sahara Dessert, the American Heartland and Germany. All of my experiences have added to my passion for the subject and I continue to produce and edit educational material today with a view to passing on my enthusiasm for the subject as well as inspiring new geographers.
Why did you decide to join TES and share your resources?
I joined when I started my PGCE and found it a treasure trove of ideas. I have often come across ideas that seemed so simple but I would have never thought of myself. The TES members saved me and I wanted to help those who found themselves in a similar position
I have also often found the resources I put the most amount of time and effort into are the ones I enjoy using most with the students and I feel a little disheartened to think I won’t get to use them again for another year or at all. However, by sharing them and receiving reviews from others I feel my efforts aren’t limited to my department’s four walls.
You’ve published both free and premium resources, why?
I started publishing free resources as a hobby, as I wanted to help other users as they had helped me many times in the past. When I was approached to sell my resources, I took it as a fantastic opportunity to develop my passion into something more.
It was a chance to devote even more of my time to creating in-depth and comprehensive resources designed to benefit all those involved in teaching. The backing of TES enables me to focus on my larger publications and bring the best resources to the education community. The premium resources represent extensive booklets of schemes of work, which can translate into several hours of both class and home study.
What do you think makes a good resource?
A good resource is one that has the students questioning what they are learning and where it could lead them. It allows the teacher to sit back and watch the lightbulbs light up around the classroom as the students make their own discoveries. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved, be it through individual tasks or group activities, self-study or classroom-based work, written formally or performed as a news forecast, for example. The tasks also need to be easily comprehensible and sourced for the teacher. As long as these tasks are well mixed and tailored for your students, all resources have a potential to be an excellent resource.
What tips would you give to a teacher who is considering publishing their resources on TES?
Don’t worry about having to do too much extra work in producing these resources, you have already tried, tested and enjoyed using them within your own classroom and perhaps made a few amendments along the way – voila! You’re over half way there without even trying. If you’ve enjoyed teaching your lesson, by uploading it you can guarantee that others will, too!
When I first read that I would need to reference all the images I used in my resources, I nearly deleted the email – I thought it sounded far too complicated and would take up an awful lot of time. Thankfully, I came to my senses and decided to look at what was involved; it turned out to be so simple that I can now sit in front of the telly of an evening while simultaneously referencing images.
Lastly, I would say to have fun with it – remember that for each resource you upload, there will be a multitude of teachers thanking you for saving their Sunday night and that lesson…