Selling lesson plans

Okay, so there’s an article in this weekend’s Times about teachers selling their lesson plans. This is fascinating stuff on all sorts of levels.

1. In a world where teachers and administrators, depending on their orientation, complain or brag about scripted lesson plans, how can a market exist for lesson plans?

Is scripted curriculum being ignored?
Are teachers doing the script and then looking to do “real” lessons?
Are teachers trying to work within the scripted curriculum but need a bit of help?

2. In a world where everybody copyrights everything, how long can this last? I’m sure that at least one textbook company has copyrighted a lesson plan that contains the most basic questions about pretty much any text that’s ever been assigned. So how will this sort itself out?

3. Similarly, I discovered last year that if you put “philosophy of education” into google, you get a number of teachers from all across the country who seem to have published the exact same teaching statement. How can this be? Are unit plans published by teacher cooperatives being, well, co-opted, and put on these sites?

4. Many, if not most, new teachers hate the idea of writing curriculum. It is my favorite part of teaching — figuring out which texts to use, how to structure a unit, how to design fun, effective assessments –but I know that I’m that sort of loser/intellectual. Teacher ed programs have varying degrees of success with this; some seem to feel that curriculum is the district’s job while others spend much of their time teaching you how to do it. But in a world where teachers have far too many responsibilities, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a few teachers are willing to pay a few bucks to have something to do Monday morning.

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