Saturday, July 23, 2011

Featured Seller: David Rickert

1.   How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers? What made you decide to be a part of it? 3 years. 
 I read an article about it in the NEA Magazine. I had some educational cartoons called Grammar Comics! that I had drawn and had no luck finding a publisher who wanted to turn them into a book (in hindsight, I don’t blame them – they’ve been through several revisions since.) On Teachers Pay Teachers I was able to find an audience for Grammar Comics! Although I didn’t sell that many at first, it was still gratifying to find out that people found value in them.

2.   When did you know that you wanted to be in education?  
When I was a counselor at summer camp. It never seemed like work being with kids. However, the skills required to be a good camp counselor aren’t really all that transferrable to being a good teacher.

3.   How are you currently involved in education? 
I teach English at Hilliard Darby High School in Hilliard, Ohio. I am also the English Department Chair there. I have also been involved in doing some consulting work for the Ohio State University, presenting to pre-service teachers and consulting on textbooks.

4.   What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
It’s a great opportunity, but do it because you will find it rewarding to share your ideas rather than to make money. It took a long time for me to actually sell a lot, and it still is more fun to know how many people are using what I have created than it is to know how much money I made doing it. If I had done Grammar Comics! solely for the money, I would have become frustrated very easily and given up.

5.   What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers? 
Knowing that Grammar Comics! has found a niche in lots of teacher’s curriculum.

6.   What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I can play guitar pretty well.

7.   Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role? 
I’m pretty much just a classroom teacher and I work on Grammar Comics!

8.   What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I’d love to be a jazz guitarist or a full-time illustrator.

9.                What profession would you not like to do?
 Anything that has to do with money. I’m not that good at that stuff.

10.                Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why? 
My favorite book of all time is “The Dog of the South” by Charles Portis. My favorite book to teach is “Othello” or maybe “Pride and Prejudice.” I have to give a shout out to Kelly Gallagher and his books, which have been tremendously influential to me.

by David Rickert
Grammar Comics! Grammar and Usage 
 I am proud of this product because I feel like they really present grammar in an approachable way that students will remember. It was a fun collaboration with Mark Pennington; these illustrations also appear in his book Teaching Grammar and Mechanics. These were also the first cartoons I did in color, and I think they look terrific.

Poetry Comics! 
 This is probably my favorite out of all the ideas I’ve ever had – doing caricatures of poets explaining their favorite poems. I had what I feel are some of my best jokes in here. They’re not my best sellers, but Poetry Comics! will always be something I look at with pride. Like the Grammar Comics! I feel that Poetry Comics! helps students approach poetry with more enthusiasm.

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