I would like to thank Jocelyn Kupperman, SLP, for doing a guest blog this week. She tells SLPs how they can save money on speech therapy materials and also how to make money on selling their own materials.
Teachers Pay Teachers – Save and Earn Money
Speech and language therapy is an extremely individualized program. Each student that we come across has his or her own challenges. Because of the uniqueness of each student, the amount of speech and language materials a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) may require can really add up in costs. If you work in a private practice, you are the sole purchaser and incur the full cost of the materials you may need. If you are a school based SLPÂ like me, tight school budgets mean you are probably the last to receive any funding, if any, for programs or materials.
Speech therapy materials typically cost more than your average classroom resource. Even though I have found some great activities from big publishers, I rarely use the materials straight from the book or out of the box. I often have to adapt the materials to use in my speech sessions. Think about how many times you have purchased an activity book and only used one page from it, how frustrating. So, what is an SLP to do? We need to get creative and find inexpensive ways to keep our materials fresh and provide our clients with what they need. One great resource for this is a website called Teachers Pay Teachers.
Recently, the website called Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) blew up in the media when Deanna Jump, a Kindergarten teacher, earned one million dollars selling teaching units online. Of course I had to go and check her store and was amazed to find that most of her items are priced under $10.00, far less than the average product from popular teaching stores. When I looked at some of her work, I was amazed at how complete and user friendly the packets were. Knowing a teacher created and used these items, made them even more appealing.
This inspired meto start searching for Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) on TpT. Since I am not a Kindergarten or classroom teacher, I wanted to search for items that would be more appropriate for my therapy. This is when I came across Jenna from Speech Room News and Jenn from SLP Gone Wild. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many fun activities at such a low cost! Just as I was amazed at the overall completeness of Deannaâ€™s work, I was also impressed by the thoroughness of Jenna and Jennâ€™s products. I started to think about how many materials I have created over the years for my students in an effort to save some money, and realized I too could sell my items on TpT and help support the SLP community by sharing these materials for free or at a low cost. You can check out my store here, http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Msjocelyn.
Creating items for TpT has truly inspired my therapy practice. The process of creating materials makes me think deeply about my studentsâ€™ needs and the types of materials I would need to develop in order to help them achieve their goals. Purchasing items from TpT has also been inspiring for my therapy instruction because these materials are being created by SLPs, most of whom work in school based population, and these materials are engaging and align well with my studentâ€™s goals.
Most items sold on TpT are digital packets available as instant downloads. You could literally find a great activity at lunch, print, and use it that afternoon! Many products can end up being 50 pages or more. Because they are digital, you can print what you need, when you need it, but also you have it forever! Also, you can print multiple copies of items which is great for when you have students working in groups or you want to be able to send home practice work. Another added benefit is that your only other cost is to print the documents which you can do at home, school, or at a Kinkos. I think back to all the times I would buy new workbooks and resources after my students had used them up or lost them. Realistically, making packets from my printer is much more cost efficient than constantly repurchasing student activity books.
As I had mentioned earlier, creating my own materials came from the necessity of having to save money.Â However, creating these materials from scratch also requires time. TpT offers SLPs and classroom teachers ready-made, complete products at a reasonable cost which saves you not just money but also TIME!
Toward the end of 2012, more and more SLPs started popping up with stores on TpT. As our community grows on this website, SLPs are able to find low cost materials and expand their thinking about their therapy instruction. Many SLPs on TpT also host blogs where they provide you with a look at their resources as well as ways to use them in your therapy room. At www.msjocelynspeech.com, you can find blog posts about my TpT products with suggestions for how they can be used for assessment or instruction as well as other therapy tips.
I encourage you to check out TpT for time saving, low cost, and motivating activities to use with your caseload.