Thanks for visiting my website today!
Email and chat are my preferred methods of communication, but toll-free phone and snail mail are available, too! I hate phone menus and virtual people, so I don’t have them. I have live chat, emails are answered by me, and you’ll get me on the phone if you call. If I don't pick up the phone, I'm in the middle of something--but please leave a message. I will get back to you.
I pride myself on giving excellent customer service, so if you have any questions or need some help, please reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you!
Mary Collins, Owner of Teacher's Pet Publications
Toll-Free Phone: 800-255-8935
Local Phone Number: 443-424-0877
US Mail: P.O. Box 19, Whiteford, MD 21160
A Little History of Teacher's Pet Publications
I started Teacher's Pet Publications back in 1989. After I got married and moved to where my husband lived, I was in an area where there were no teaching jobs available at the time, and I wanted to earn some money without putting our toddler into daycare. So I took the lesson plans I had made when I was teaching in the classroom, altered them to make them more flexible (and other-user-friendly!)--and Teacher's Pet Publications was born.
I started with a 286 PC, a Xerox copier with a 10-bin sorter, and a done-by-hand comb binding machine in the spare bedroom of our home. After selling lesson plans and listening to customer feedback, I came up with a more complete format, rewrote the original 74 titles I had done, and had to graduate to 3-ring binders because the units were too big for the comb binding. I couldn't afford professionally printed 3-ring binders, so I silk screened my own out on our deck. There were binders hanging off of railings, drying--it was quite a scene!
Business grew, and I needed a copier that could handle more volume, so I upgraded my Xerox machine. They told me they couldn't make the turn at the top of our stairs, so they widened the bedroom door across the hallway and put in French doors. However, they discovered they still couldn't get it in after all that. So...they took out the window on the front of our home, brought a crane, and put the copier in through the spare bedroom window. It was quite the event in the neighborhood that day!
Eventually, I was able to afford professionally printed binders with nice, neat tabs and the whole nine yards. Then...digital came along: wonderful things called .pdf files.
I had no problem putting most of the LitPlans into .pdf format, but the crossword puzzles and word searches were a challenge. When I inserted images of the puzzles, the file size ballooned to something that was too big to go over dial-up modems (which were the technology at the time). People would have had to have spent hours downloading the files, which made it impractical. So, I ended up making tables in the documents and filling in each of the black cells for the crosswords, one at a time. THAT was time-consuming, but it worked! I had dial-up modem-friendly file size!
Business continued to grow, and I had to move out of the spare bedroom--so we turned the garage into my office. That was sometime in the mid-to-late 1990's. It was around then that I started putting the LitPlans onto CD--mostly because I wanted a physical product to sell on Amazon.com, a product that was digital, light to mail, light for teachers to carry, light for me to take/ship to conventions, and pretty easy to make. So, I invested in CD-making software and CD printers and learned a whole new way of doing things.
At that time also, this thing called the Internet was born for people to use. So began my adventures with websites--web developers, platforms, languages, and .... well, you know. Everything! I entered the world of downloads and all kinds of interesting new things. It was all so new. Most of what I did was trial and error. Fortunately, most of it worked!
So somewhere around 2005 I moved my office to a commercial space, hired more employees, hired more writers, hired interns to help in the summers, and grew, grew, grew. By 2009 I had been at this Teacher's Pet Publications adventure for 20 years! I never intended to do it THAT long! I was tired, burned out, and ready to do something else. So, when PH offered to buy it from me, I sold it. It was a happy and a sad day.
Then I got home and woke up the next morning and realized the thing that I had been doing practically 24/7 for 20 years was ... gone! After some R & R time, I really missed it. I fiddled around with developing another company, but my heart was still with Tpet. So, in 2013 when PH decided to sell the Tpet assets, I bought them back! Happy day!
I didn't want all the overhead and headaches of having a company with employees and a commercial space, so since 2013 and to date, I work from home, myself, writing and talking with customers, and thoroughly enjoying where I am with the business. Everything is all digital now, so ... no more making CD's or printing binders or shipping things--I only do what I love to do...writing and talking with customers. I generally haven't done a lot of marketing; I'm not "into" marketing so much as people and products that help people.
So, if you need something, let me know. If you have a question or comment or want a little advice from someone who has been at this more than 30 years now, send me an email or hop on chat. And if you like my website and products, please tell your colleagues about Teacher's Pet Publications.
Many of you, my customers, have been with me from the beginning--either the beginning of Teacher's Pet Publications or the beginning of your teaching careers--and I so appreciate you. Thank you all so much for continuing to use my resources and supporting my business venture!
That little fellow who was our toddler in 1989 is now 34 years old, married, and has a toddler of his own. (Imagine, I'm a grandma!) Our younger son is now 30 and married with his own family, too. Time goes by so fast. You young folks out there take time to enjoy every day!