For Your Classroom

Four [Legitimate] Ways to Get TPT Resources Without Paying Out of Pocket

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online open market for thousands of resources to support educators around the world. Whether you need classroom decor, a unique activity to support a lesson you crafted, emergency sub plans, or nearly anything else educational you can imagine, TPT is a lifesaver! But too many teachers find themselves spending their own money to acquire resources for their classroom. Here are four quick tips on how to add more helpful resources to your arsenal without pulling out your own credit card. 

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But why’d you add “legitimate” to the title? 

Just to clear up any confusion, sharing TPT a resource or account with another teacher is not a legitimate way to get TPT resources. In fact, it is illegal. Pretty much every single product on TPT is a single user license only. This means that the creator is allowing for you to use that resource with the understanding that if you have a teacher friend who also needs the resource, he will purchase his own. Each resource should include some type of “Terms of Use” page. Each teacher-author determines his or her terms of use, so you will find that some are general, while others might be more specific. Take a moment to read the TOU for anything you purchased or downloaded for free (TOU’s still apply to freebies too). 

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I have heard of teachers posting resources they downloaded from TPT in online teacher groups, offering to email copies of the resource to other teachers, and even sharing their TPT username and password so that other teachers can download the resources they have purchased on their account. All of these activities are illegal! I know funds can get low at times, and it’s tempting to take advantage of these (probably well-intentioned) offers to share, but please protect yourself by staying far away from sharing TPT (or any other similar types of resources) with other teachers. We don’t want our students to cheat on assignments – we can set the example by following rules ourselves. 


Now on to some totally OK ways to get TPT stuff for free!


TPT Classfund

Teachers Pay Teachers has recently launched a new feature that will allow anyone- parents of students, friends of the school, friends and family of teachers, etc.- to contribute any amount at any time to your TPT account. Imagine if each of your students’ families donated just $5! The user interface for the donors is very quick and simple to use. You will need to visit to create a ClassFund account. It will be linked to your existing TPT account, and you will be able to use the funds donated to you to purchase resources at any time. You can use part or all of the funds when you choose. At checkout, you can designate exactly how much of your available funds you would like to allocate to that purchase. 



TPT for Schools 

Another somewhat new feature available is TPT for Schools. This program offers additional account features to school administrators to make it easier for TPT resources to be purchased using school funds, rather than teachers paying out of their own pocket. All your admin needs to do is create a regular TPT account, and then set up and manage the available tools in the My School portal. Share the link with your admin for them to register and learn more: .

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TPT Gift Cards 

Did you know you can purchase gift cards for Teachers Pay Teachers? Many schools or {awesome} parents ask teachers if they have any favorites or preferences for gifts or treats. If asked, don’t be shy about suggesting a TPT gift card! They’re available in denominations ranging from $5-$500. It’s easy for anyone to purchase and email or print a TPT gift card. 

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TPT Credits

When you leave reviews on resources you purchased, TPT credits your account with free money to put towards more awesome resources! Just go to your My Purchases page from your TPT account, and sort by “Needs Feedback.” It will list all the resources you haven’t yet reviewed. Click the “Leave Feedback” button, write a review, and watch your TPT credits add up on your Account Balance page. With the addition of TPT ClassFund, your account balance is now a dollar amount (rather than just a number of available credits like before), and includes your funds earned from both leaving feedback and anything donated to you via ClassFund. Pretty awesome, if you ask  me!

(Just a quick note about leaving feedback: remember that the creators of TPT resources are hard-working teachers, just like you. Please take a moment to comment on something specific that you liked about the resource, or a kind suggestion for improvement. I for one read and take into consideration every single review I am given. We appreciate a 4-star rating and comment such as, “Great resource!” But we really, really love specific comments. 🙂 )

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I hope you’re able to take advantage of some of these ways to build your TPT resource arsenal! 


If you teach ELA, check out this big list of free online resources for even more teaching tools that you don’t have to pay for!

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