Why I No Longer Use TES.com and Decided to Go It Alone

Being able to share with the world debating lessons and ideas for the classroom has been a desire for a very long time. For the average ‘free’ lesson, it takes around 4 hours of work, from researching the topic, finding a video on YouTube, and to then draft and finalise the text. It all takes time but knowing it can of use to others and improve the quality of lessons in class is rewarding enough. Since creating my small selection of lesson plans this site has received many visitors. So, it’s clear from this direct response that my work and lessons are highly favoured.

Selling my own materials

In addition to the free materials, I also created a more premium product. I want to create a book with each chapter containing an extensive list of material and activities for in-class use. As a teacher, I noticed that many students lacked background knowledge and vocab to describe aspects of debate. I used to find and adapt articles online to adapt and use in class. Many times, the articles were either too difficult to read or it wasn’t easy to print and photocopy. It was also without any activities so I needed to create my own. All of these are time-consuming.

The problem with TES?

I decided to place my work on TES online and have them sold on an individual chapter basis. I was charging $10 USD per lesson and instead, due to the commission and other taxes I often got less than I had anticipated. Many months of work and hundreds of hours to produce 250 colour pages of material. I felt a bit short-changed.

As you find below a receipt of one of the transactions on tes.com. Out of a potential 7 GBP I got roughly 4 GBP. It has taken such a long time to create these materials, yet much of the sale price was given to the creator. I feel strongly that the original author and creator should be given a fairer share of the sales.

It’s true that the commission rate is explained quite thoroughly during the sign-up process. It was only after seeing the cold hard prices and costs that my mind began to change. I sought to change this imbalance and create this website to better reward my efforts.

I’m hoping that this site is able to supplement my efforts and to encourage more teachers to use more concise materials for debating.

For the future

I’m hoping to create a number of new sections in this site to better expand the resources that are available. Once sales increase and there are more visitors I will be keen to work on the following multimedia:

  1. Video. I’m keen to start a YouTube channel which will feature custom-made animation on a debate. I’m hoping to have it a voice-over along with in-class materials
  2. Audio. To improve student listening performance I’m keen to product audio accompaniment to premium lessons
  3. Interactive. I’d also like to start an online forum on this website as a safe space for students and teachers to use so that they can discuss a topic with moderation.

With that in mind, I hope you all continue to enjoy these lessons. If you have any comments or feedback leave them below.