When Cassie Tabrizi’s first child was born, she wanted to follow the dream of many women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and become a stay-at-home mother. But with her husband in the middle of getting an MBA from BYU, it seemed she would need to keep teaching to support her family. That changed when she found a unique way to assist teachers throughout the nation right from her own home.
Tabrizi, a former Utah teacher, manages her own online store, where she sells classroom resources for elementary school teachers throughout the U.S. She makes the materials herself and is able to support her family and still care for her two children at home.
“We are able to support our lifestyle right now, and it is just through Teachers Pay Teachers,” she said. “Each month I set a goal and see if I can make more than the last month, and so far it has been working.”
She created her store through a website called Teachers Pay Teachers, where teachers from all over the country can open up a shop and sell resources for any grade level. “Teachers take their experties, open a store, and become entrepreneurs,” their website states. Tabrizi’s store is named Create-Abilities.
Third grade teacher Katie Kimber, a former Utah resident, finds that Tabrizi has frequently created just what Kimber needs for her classes. “I think, I wish I had this … oh, she’s already created it,” she said.
Kimber explained that using Tabrizi’s materials helps her fill the gaps that school-provided materials don’t cover and adds more practice and variety to her lessons.
Las Vegas elementary school teacher Joy Hollander said using Tabrizi’s materials reduces the amount of work she has to do to prepare for class. Instead of creating new materials for each lesson, she finds materials she needs on Teachers Pay Teachers.
“If it weren’t for Teachers Pay Teachers many of us would be up the creek without a paddle,” she said.
Tabrizi said she enjoys the freedom creating resources from home provides. She can put in as little or as much time as she wants and make adjustments as needed to care for her children.
“Teaching is a very stressful job. Being able to make resources at home is a lot less stressful, but it is also rewarding,” she said.
Although she enjoys the freedom, being a full time mother and provider isn’t easy, she explained.
Tabrizi’s husband, Shawn, estimates that she has made more than 5,000 pages of virtual content since she started Create-Abilities in 2012.
“Having two small kids, it is difficult to have the time to create everything,” Tabrizi said, “Trying to get it done and have it be your best work is challenging.”
Although Tabrizi no longer teaches in the classroom, she still considers herself a teacher. She continues to maintain her teaching license and attend trainings for teachers in order to create up-to-date and effective materials.
“I’m a teacher; that is just me,” she said.