It’s not often we see a story about teachers coming out on top financially, but some educators are making millions by selling their lesson plans and craft projects to others on the web, under aliases like “Miss Kindergarten” and “Lovin Lit.”

Turns out the macaroni necklace market is booming

Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers now feature 2.4m resources and have 80k “teacher-authors” who sell products from free flash cards to year-long math units for $120.

In fact, contributors on TPT collectively made $100m last year (at least a dozen of whom are millionaires), thanks to teachers’ readiness to pay out of their own pockets for tried-and-true classroom materials.

For teachers, it’s totally worth it

Why spend your entire weekend putting together a popsicle stick craft project, when you could buy one that’s equally good, and get to leave your house on Saturdays?

TPT authors set their own prices and get 40% commissions on sales from users with free subscriptions (15% from premium members) and resources are relatively affordable, typically running from $1-15.

So, students are getting A+ lesson plans and teachers’ lives are better… seems like a win-win.

“It’s not the money, it’s the principle.” — The Principal

Some educators claim monetizing lessons stifles the practice of teachers freely sharing ideas, while others raise legal questions about whether teachers actually own the lessons they’re selling.

According to the school, lessons are the property of the district if they’re created within the scope of their employment. Problem is, most teachers already create materials for their classes on “their own time,” so that’s pretty tough to police.

Can we let teachers have this one thing?

They’re already making next to nothing for wrangling hyperactive kids all day.

And, the sad reality of the education system means that for teachers, paying out of pocket is less expensive and more accessible than asking the district for new textbooks and resources.

So maybe we just let them have this one, right?