I just read an article about the power of compound interest, and I nearly laughed out loud. Still trying to get my own business started, every cent I have going towards necessities, I can’t really consider investing at 8% for the next 30 years. However, the article got me thinking about another kind of compounding--compound knowledge. And you’re invited to help.
OK, some of you don’t know me, so I better explain. My name’s Brian Jaeger. I was once a teacher. My contract was not renewed (with no reason given) after twelve years. My union did not even acknowledge my layoff. Two kids and a wife at home. I know, it’s all kind of hard to believe, but that kind of thing happens in post-Act 10 Wisconsin. Usually to someone else. Others in my department figured I’d land on my feet because I was good at more than just teaching. I thought so, too. Most of my family and friends are still waiting for me to find another teaching job.
As I’ve been going through my old lessons to sell them online, I began to realize that I was a pretty good teacher, and I created a lot of very good lessons. Over 200 original lessons were mine. Then I added Lisa’s. However, just as some money starts to trickle in, I’m running low on new material to post. Then I thought of compound interest, or compound knowledge. It’s kind of the point of the site that sells lessons by teachers to other teachers. But my idea is this: not all of you teachers want to sell your lessons. Maybe you only have a few, or maybe it just seems like a hassle. Maybe you plan on doing it once you retire or get displaced like myself.
Here’s my proposal: send me one lesson. Just one. I don’t want your most coveted unit, but how about a worksheet? Maybe something from a unit you created in college and never used. A test on whatever (with an answer key). If enough of the talented teachers who still have jobs send me one lesson, I’ll be able to make some money selling knowledge; compounded knowledge. Sure, if you’re retired or just done with teaching, go ahead and send more than one worksheet. Not only will you be helping fellow educators (including me), but you’ll be spreading some of your own knowledge out there for others to use. That’s why we do it, right?
If you are a teacher, feel free to send a lesson to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not a teacher, please share this article with someone who teaches or used to teach, especially someone who got to keep that 30-year job and retire with all the benefits. I can remember voting “no” to contracts that would have taken away some of those retirement perks, believing someday someone would do the same for me. Now, any teacher reading this has a chance to return the favor. Administrators, if you’ve ever felt guilty about sending another human being packing, here’s your chance to make it a little less wrong. I’ll even take lessons from professors. Any grade level, even staff development items. Just as long as it’s your own, I’d love to have it. You can think of it as charity or as my union finally coming through. I’d told my wife that if only 1% of teachers out there bought one of my books or joined my tutoring site or needed website services, I’d have plenty of success on my own. However, helping me out a little has yet to catch on as much as reading my article about getting free college t-shirts. But I think teachers are good people and they will help me to become the biggest seller of teaching materials in the history of mankind. Or at least a few more quizzes about obscure short stories.To read more, a subscription is needed: Click here to subscribe