Sunday, September 15, 2013


This school year is off to a rough start. 

I'm trying to be positive and hope that things will settle down soon once a routine is established.

However, this morning I received very unfriendly feedback on one of my TpT products that was a little upsetting. It was for one of my novel units, which comes in at over thirty pages of questions, suggested answers, homework ideas, vocabulary suggestions, extension activities and more.  This product took a good twelve hours to create and I fully stand by its resourcefulness.  I have it priced at ten dollars, which seems reasonable considering the amount of time and quality of the discussion questions.  The rigor of the unit comes from the indepth questions students have to answer as well as from close re-reads where students are required to pick out specific textual support from their novels for their answers.  Rigor comes from discussions and engaging with the text, not the worksheets.

 I'm currently using this in my classroom and my students are begging for me to keep reading Percy Jackson.  Literally, begging.  It's a crisis if they don't earn our read-aloud time.  Clearly, it's working with the students too.  I left a little flexibility for the teachers to choose and to allow for student creativity, thus enabling them to have choices and access higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy.

However, the purchaser disagreed.  The comments were that there was no rigor and the buyer felt like this was a waste of money.  That hurt.  The person also posted the feedback on not one, but two of my products with the intention of discouraging potential buyers, which I felt was a tad malicious.

I'm sorry that this teacher did not appreciate the hard work I put into my product, but I will stand by it.  I didn't need the personal attack. I'm sure the website has some sort of refund option in situations like this and I don't think lashing out into cyber space is the best option.

To that unhappy purchaser: I'd like to remind you that behind the computer screen lays a person.  
A hard working, exhausted, type A teacher who diligently worked, revised and edited this product.  A teacher who field tested the product in her own classroom of rambunctious fifth graders before posting this product for sale.  A teacher who isn't just posting products to make money but rather has actually used everything with success in a Title 1 classroom and wants to share with others.  Think about that next time you unfairly lash out, hiding behind screen names and the veil of technology.  

Your comments were rude and hurtful. 

 I cried for a good twenty minutes and doubted myself as an educator.  That's not fair and it's not how I like to start my Sunday mornings.  Once I calmed down, I posted a reply expressing my condolences for the product not meeting expectations and then justified my product and my choices as an educator.

I understand the frustration of purchasing something that doesn't live up to expectations.  But to use the internet as a forum to attack the integrity of others is just unnecessary.  

Luckily, I have a wonderful support system that reminded me that one bad review isn't the end of the world.  That's true, it isn't.  But I was taken aback by the rudeness of this stranger.  I'm doing my best and I think what I made was worthy of being posted.

I just wish people would be kind to one another.

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