A teacher is warning her followers about how using the education resource app Teachers Pay Teachers can lead to termination.
TikTok user @tiredteacher440 kicks off her video by asking, “Did you know that you can get fired for posting things on ‘Teachers Pay Teachers’? Because I didn’t.” @tiredteacher440 claims she wasn’t aware of this provision in her contract and urged fellow teachers to look into theirs.
According to @tiredteacher440, the school owns anything that she created or used in her classroom. For example, she isn’t allowed to make a profit off a slide show she created herself despite not using the school’s resources. She says that because she used it in her curriculum it no longer belongs to her.
In the content creator’s opinion, “very few schools check,” but she would rather not take the risk. Because she wasn’t aware of this, @tiredteacher440 wants to alert new teachers. “Check your contracts and see what kind of rights you have over the materials that you create,” she concludes.
The Daily Dot reached out to @tiredteacher440 via TikTok comment for more information. The video has received more than 803,000 views as of Sept. 9, with many viewers livid about the situation.
“That’s insane!!!! Our contract literally just has our hours & pay that’s it,” one viewer wrote.
“It’s crazy that they don’t even pay enough for planning!!! You’re doing so much of that on your own time,” a second user wrote.
On the other hand, some suggested potential loopholes.
“As long as you do not use school devices and do it on your own time not during contracted time they [cannot] do anything and you can post,” one user stated.
“Maybe do a DBA under a fictitious name?” a second suggested.
“Change it 10% from the material you use in your own classroom. Legally it’s not the same, and you’re safe,” a third commented.
Is it safe for teachers to sell their own teaching materials they create? According to K-12 Dive, “Under the Copyright Act of 1976, materials created by teachers in the scope of their employment are deemed ‘work made for hire’ and are the property of the school district, so teachers who sell these works for profit without the permission of the school district may be violating the law. Teachers also need to consider whether the works they produce and store on a school district’s cloud will be available to them if they ever leave a school.”
Teachers often work extra jobs to make ends meet. A full-time teacher recently said she had to deliver pizza to survive. A former teacher said she enjoys life more now that she works for Costco. Another former teacher went viral in August after explaining why even a raise wouldn’t convince her to return to the job.