Martin Grundy, who has 292 free and premium resources published on TES, talks to us about his background, what makes a quality resource and what essential advice he would give to new authors.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I started teaching in 1999. I worked in a number of secondary schools as an English teacher, literacy co-ordinator and assistant head of department until Christmas 2010, when I took a leap of faith and left full-time teaching to start up the web-based education company Online Teaching Resources. My first website was aimed at secondary-school English teachers such as me and featured the teaching resources that I had used successfully in the classroom for over ten years. The website quickly went from strength-to-strength and in 2012 I expanded into the primary sector adding English resources for KS1 and KS2. It got so popular that I’ve had to launch a separate website just for primary resources.
Why do you publish resources on TES?
Throughout my teaching career, it always struck me how much work was being repeated in isolation. So many teachers are teaching the same things and all making great resources that don’t see the light of day outside their own classroom.
TES offers teachers the chance to put excellent materials into a marketplace where they can be deservedly rewarded for their hard work. Those teachers can also discover great resources created by other teachers and buy materials from them with their own income if they wish.
It’s a fair system which rewards those who make the very best materials. And, of course, the main beneficiaries are the pupils whose lessons can be transformed by theses new ideas, activities and materials.
TES enables teacher authors the chance to introduce their work to millions of teachers worldwide. It is an established and trusted name and is the first place that many teachers look when hunting for resources, so it’s a good idea to be on there if you want other teachers to find your materials.
What do you think makes a good resource?
The key to a good resource, in my opinion, is high quality. The internet is full of free materials, many of which are of a good standard, but many are not. Too many materials are poorly presented and full of basic errors. Scruffy worksheets or half-baked unfinished PowerPoints often require the teacher to spend a lot of time bringing them up to scratch so that, by the time they’ve searched, found, downloaded, understood it and spruced them up – they might as well have started from scratch themselves! Therefore, a good resource should be focused, detailed and purposeful. It should look like a professional product – especially if you are asking teachers to part with their money – and have depth and substance. It should save the teacher lots of prep time and improve their lessons and, therefore, the students’ learning experience.
What three pieces of advice would you give to a teacher who is new to being an author?
Ask yourself these three questions:
1 Is the resource relevant to teachers’ needs at the time of publication? For example, is it up to date to meet the demands of the new national curriculum or the new-look GCSEs?
2 Does it look slick and professional? Would you buy it? Are you proud to show it to other teachers? What makes it so much better than a free download? Does it save the teacher lots of prep time?
3 Does it have substance? Is it detailed and purposeful? Would it help improve lessons and students’ learning?
If the answer to all of these is yes, then the chances are it’s a good resource!
Martin Grundy's TES Shop
If you're interested in becoming a resources author, but don't know where to start, email our TES Authors Team for a friendly nudge in the right direction.