I just read an article about the power of compound interest, and I nearly laughed out loud. Still trying to get my own business started, every cent I have going towards necessities, I can’t really consider investing at 8% for the next 30 years. However, the article got me thinking about another kind of compounding--compound knowledge. And you’re invited to help.

OK, some of you don’t know me, so I better explain. My name’s Brian Jaeger. I was once a teacher. My contract was not renewed (with no reason given) after twelve years. My union did not even acknowledge my layoff. Two kids and a wife at home. I know, it’s all kind of hard to believe, but that kind of thing happens in post-Act 10 Wisconsin. Usually to someone else. Others in my department figured I’d land on my feet because I was good at more than just teaching. I thought so, too. Most of my family and friends are still waiting for me to find another teaching job.

As I’ve been going through my old lessons to sell them online, I began to realize that I was a pretty good teacher, and I created a lot of very good lessons. Over 200 original lessons were mine. Then I added Lisa’s. However, just as some money starts to trickle in, I’m running low on new material to post. Then I thought of compound interest, or compound knowledge. It’s kind of the point of the site that sells lessons by teachers to other teachers. But my idea is this: not all of you teachers want to sell your lessons. Maybe you only have a few, or maybe it just seems like a hassle. Maybe you plan on doing it once you retire or get displaced like myself.


Here’s my proposal: send me one lesson. Just one. I don’t want your most coveted unit, but how about a worksheet? Maybe something from a unit you created in college and never used. A test on whatever (with an answer key). If enough of the talented teachers who still have jobs send me one lesson, I’ll be able to make some money selling knowledge; compounded knowledge. Sure, if you’re retired or just done with teaching, go ahead and send more than one worksheet. Not only will you be helping fellow educators (including me), but you’ll be spreading some of your own knowledge out there for others to use. That’s why we do it, right?

If you are a teacher, feel free to send a lesson to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are not a teacher, please share this article with someone who teaches or used to teach, especially someone who got to keep that 30-year job and retire with all the benefits. I can remember voting “no” to contracts that would have taken away some of those retirement perks, believing someday someone would do the same for me. Now, any teacher reading this has a chance to return the favor. Administrators, if you’ve ever felt guilty about sending another human being packing, here’s your chance to make it a little less wrong. I’ll even take lessons from professors. Any grade level, even staff development items. Just as long as it’s your own, I’d love to have it. You can think of it as charity or as my union finally coming through. I’d told my wife that if only 1% of teachers out there bought one of my books or joined my tutoring site or needed website services, I’d have plenty of success on my own. However, helping me out a little has yet to catch on as much as reading my article about getting free college t-shirts. But I think teachers are good people and they will help me to become the biggest seller of teaching materials in the history of mankind. Or at least a few more quizzes about obscure short stories.

Jacksonville News

New Jax Witty

Articles, reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law.
  • QR Code Interview Gimmick
    My kids' school created a pamphlet with a QR code that linked to the website, so I figured it could be useful to do the same thing when I bring in my resume to a job interview. Especially since I made a cool online resume that really looks a lot better than the printed kind. Plus, printing all that I've done over the last two decades would be a huge waste of paper (unless it gets me the job).

    I wonder how many people in the average interview will know how  to use the QR code. I didn't have the capability on my phone until last year, and it is kind of a gimmick, especially since you can usually just email links and whatnot. Then again, it's something different, and it might make me stand out a bit, so I'll print off the code along with some other important documents.

    I am sure plenty of people have used a QR code as part of their interviews, but I do think my online resume is pretty darn good, so it's more than a link to my Linkedin page. I suppose a link to a video of me would be even cooler, but that would mean making a video, and it's not like I'm trying to get a job as a videographer. Anyhow, feel free to use this idea as part of your next interview. Just like everyone started using student-written letters of recommendation after I introduced the idea back in 2002.

  • Who's Got My Back in Jacksonville?
    I've seen several political ads recently that focus on people who have the back of the police officers. I suppose that's a thing, but I am not a police officer (or a native of Jacksonville), so I'm kind of wondering who has my back as I settle in here.

    I assume JSO and JFRD have my back because it's their job. And all the military around here have my back in case Canada attacks. But I'm thinking about the everyday having my back kind of thing.

    In Milwaukee, I could count on some people, at least a little bit. Classmates from Milwaukee's John Marshall High School (91, 92, 93, and 94). Or Wilbur Wright Middle School (88, 89, 90). Or French Immersion school or 82nd Street School. Most of the people who might have my back in MKE are now cordial Facebook friends. Sure, our high school football team liked to say we went to war together and we were brothers for life an all that, but we're kind of distant cousins at this point, two decades since I've seen most of those old friends in person. That said, any meatheaded rivalries are now gone at least.

    I donated my time as a teacher at Menomonee Falls High School for 12 years, so there might be a few fellow teachers or former students who have my back. Then again, I didn't get a whole lot of love from many of the MFHS Indians back when I got laid off, so whatevs.

    People at church will have your back, generally, but it takes some time to build relationships. Same goes for fellow parents at your kids' school or new co-workers. Or new neighbors.

    I felt like my fellow baseball teammates in Wisconsin had my back when I played there, but that was also mostly the guys with whom I played for many years. Maybe it just takes a lot of time for people to really have your back, and you have to stay relatively injury-free.

    Family is forever, but I don't have any in jax. I bet that's fairly typical in this area with such a fast population growth in the area. Lots of new people without family, so probably a lot of us trying to figure out who has our backs, besides politicians, of course. Obviously, I have my immediate family, but that's a little different than the idea of someone having my back. Still, it's more than some folks might have.

    My wife's been fortunate enough to find a Meetup group with people who probably have her back. I have not found a good group to join myself, but that's one way to make new friends. Maybe not super close friends, though. I'm not sure. Meetups are hit-or-miss. Just like friendships. 

    I guess I'm glad I'm not in a gang or anything, even though gang members have each others' backs. But the cops and politicians don't have their backs, which is good. I suppose we can all relate to the appeal, especially if you grew up thinking no one had your back.

    I hope all people in Jacksonville find the connections that make them feel safe without having to join a gang, call the police, or vote for someone. That's my goal, anyway.