I’ve been an ed tech publisher since 1995, back when CD-ROMs were first arriving on the scene. It’d been a couple of decades since I’d been in front of a classroom so I took the opportunity to return in 2019. Lots had changed but much was the same. The interactive whiteboards and chromebooks were an improvement, but there was still paper everywhere: paper worksheets, paper tests, messy folders stuffed with student papers!! And most importantly, Teachers’ arms loaded with papers as they headed home for the day. Technology was a big part of scheduling, communication, and lesson planning, but had little impact on the teaching and learning taking place in the classroom. Most ed tech tried to supplant the Teacher, not support and supplement their work.
My partner and I started designing a web-based teacher productivity tool that would turn the printed pages of any classroom into engaging digital activities. Teachers would be happier, less stressed, and more productive. They could reuse their favorite materials so their perspective and teaching approach would be supplemented, not supplanted. And, of course, students would be ecstatic.
We were taking our time to learn the web development world and design the platform properly… and then COVID hit. And all of a sudden our laconic pace was replaced with a frenetic race to get TeacherMade into your hands as quickly as possible!! We launched on September 8th, 2020 and have been building the plane as YOU fly it. Thank you so much for helping to shape the product you’re using today. — Laura Bresko, CEO – January 2023
Brad Smith and Laura Bresko, the co-founders of TeacherMade.com, have spent all of their lives in the education world. Raised in families of Teachers– aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers and, most importantly, moms who all taught school, there was little doubt where they’d direct their professional attention. Coming of age during the 80s and 90s, they combined their natural attraction to technology with their education DNA. They’ve been making impactful edtech ever since. They’re happiest when they’re solving problems for Teachers– and always capitalize the word out of respect for the beautiful, caring people who build the future each and every day. We’re all “Teacher-made.”
Though TeacherMade is two years young, we are veterans in the edtech space. Our first company focused on the ELA classroom, making fully annotated and hyperlinked, multimedia books before the internet was available. A college textbook publisher acquired it. In our second company, we made desktop software (remember that stuff?): puzzle makers, worksheet generators, test builders, etc. Harry Potter’s publisher bought most of those products. We didn’t really want to sell but sometimes it’s foolish to say no.
We kept our test maker software because we were excited about the promise of data-driven instruction. Laura and her content team wrote 100,000+ test questions, and we spent over a decade publishing Teacher favorites like FCAT Test Maker, STAAR Test Maker, and other state-specific assessment products. That company, Progress Testing, was acquired by Illuminate Education in 2018– and in 2022, Illuminate Education was acquired by Renaissance Learning. (Shhh. It seems to be a well-kept secret.) So we’ve been building and supplying some of the biggest names in education with great products for decades.
With TeacherMade, we’re so glad to be back where our hearts have always been– with YOU, the classroom Teacher. (I hope you’re able to feel our joy right through this screen!) We look forward to hearing from each and every one of you. What was born in a pandemic now reaches around the globe to help Teachers everywhere combat burnout and deliver instruction in a more productive and personal way.
Though there are many professionals who make TeacherMade possible, from software developers and data analysts to support specialists and designers, there are three women who you’re most likely to interact with: Laura, who you’ve already met, Jen, and Kate. Take a moment to get to know Jen and Kate so they’re more than just a voice on the phone or an email in your Inbox.
Hello! Most of you know me from our TeacherMade Community Forum. Officially, my title is Teacher Success Manager, but you can just call me Kate. My main focus is making sure all of our TeacherMaders are finding answers that lead to success when using our amazing app.
I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Business Administration and live in Boston, Massachusetts now. Between graduation and joining the TeacherMade adventure in September of 2020, I completed a year of service with City Year. I worked as a math tutor in a 10th grade classroom at The Jeremiah E Burke High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. It was an awesome and humbling experience where I developed great respect for the work that Teachers do everyday!
I’m excited to be working in EdTech as that’s always been a passion of mine. However, I could definitely see myself re-entering the classroom down the road and, as our CEO Laura always says, moving somewhere much warmer than New England!
Hi! I’m Jennifer Chorma. I have been an educator for 29+ years. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Geneseo State University in NY and a Masters of Education degree in School Counseling from the University of West Alabama. I started out as a research chemist but that was not for me. (I like to talk too much 😉 I have a passion for all things education so I began teaching back in (ahem…) 1992. I began working in educational sales in 2016. In 2019, I went back into the classroom and resumed my teaching career. I became familiar with TeacherMade as a high school chemistry Teacher when COVID hit and everyone was scrambling to come up with a “remote education plan.” TeacherMade was a LIFESAVER, so I became the School Sales Manager in addition to my virtual teaching job.
I have two daughters who are amazing. My oldest daughter works and takes care of my grandson. My youngest daughter is attending Valdosta State University where she is a member of the Cross Country Track team.
Currently my husband and I are “digital nomads” living and working in our 29 foot RV as we travel around the country. Our goal is to run and hike in as many national and state parks as we can before our knees give out, while sampling the local pizza places along the way. We’ve visited 40 states so far and are looking forward to seeing all of this magnificent country.