We asked, “Who are TpT Teacher-Authors you’d like to know more about?” and received a sparkling rainbow of suggestions and names. One name that popped up often was Mr Jimmy. He’s got great energy, is always ready with a helpful hand, and — until now — has remained hidden behind a chic profile icon. With our 5 Questions, it’s time to unveil this Teacher-Author…
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Mr Jimmy?
Hello Everyone! My name is Jimmy and it really is an honor to introduce myself here. I was born at a very young age (haha!) to Vietnamese immigrants in California who sought refuge during the Vietnam war. I grew up dreaming of being an artist while playing “school” with the other kids — yes, I made activities and handouts and even wrote a song for spelling the word “because.” My first job ever was teaching math at a junior college and it lead me to teaching psychology and ESL. Currently, I live and work in Hong Kong as an English teacher in an elementary school and it’s one fun wild ride!
2. What do you like about being a part of TpT?
Being a part of TpT is about being a part of a great community of people. I think TpT’s greatest feature is the forums! But unlike other forums, TpT’s members are educators who teach and learn from one another, and genuinely care about the betterment of others. From my hours of time spent there, I have witnessed global collaborations and exchanges of ideas. The charitable fundraising that’s been organized, friendly advice about everyday and not-so-everyday (classroom) issues, and even the silly banter are enough to convince anyone that teachers are — resourcefully — cool citizens of Earth! And that’s the group I want to surround myself with.
3. You clearly have a strong sense of graphic design. Where does that come from and how does it contribute to your teaching and to resource creation on TpT?
Thank you for noticing! I took art courses in junior college during summer breaks in high school and continued into university. I was the first to volunteer when it came to creating fliers for school clubs and the non-profit organizations I joined, so that helped hone my skills.
Regarding teaching, I think the way I conduct my lessons are heavily influenced by the way art lessons are done, where projects are displayed on the wall with everyone gathering around one piece to constructively critique it.
Similar to design, I try to push my students to come up with creative, unique ideas by asking them to throw out their first few proposals since those are usually the most obvious ones and the ones that other students are thinking of as well. It’s a painful process but I know their work is better as a result.
On resource creation for TpT, I view each of my resources as a product that requires just as much thought on the packaging as the thought put into the conceptualization and execution phases. I think this “curse of knowledge” places high expectations on myself and is the reason my store grows at a very, very slow pace.
4. What are your three favorite products and why?
To be honest, the book in this bundle is my favorite product because it’s truly magical and there is no other way of describing it. It’s worth the price alone (but it includes dozens of pages of activities and several writing craftivities anyway!). I am still amazed that I was able to create something like this even though it took me over half a year to finalize it and upload it into my store. There is no superlative that will do this justice: The interactive book in this bundle will amaze you, your students, and everyone you know.
The book, authored and illustrated completely by me, is a testament to printed books: how they will not and cannot be completely replaced by e-readers. Watch as each page transforms from one image into another, while revealing the answer in both the illustration and text! Should I also mention that the text goes with a well-known tune?
My best seller is also a favorite of mine due to its flexibility and charm. It’s not simply a rewards system for classroom management. It’s a keepsake book scattered with activities and ideas for lessons. You’ll enjoy the small touches that make this book memorable.
It’s too early to use this for Easter, but I like this book report due to its differentiated questions/prompts. Students choose the questions they feel comfortable answering which helps to build their confidence. Around Easter, the completed book reports are hung around the classroom. Each of the rabbits are unique and special.
5. What’s one achievement for which you are particularly proud?
As a university student and the co-founder and president of a club called The Artist Collective some years ago, I helped mobilize club members and students in the education department, worked closely with the head of the Education Department and a local non-profit youth center to provide at-risk teenage youths with a healthy and productive lifestyle. The biggest accomplishment, one I am still proud of today, was a long-term project that resulted in an art gallery exhibition. For the youths, it empowered them and demonstrated how commitment pays off. For me, it was an affirmation that working with youths and being a positive role model was my calling. And just to top this all off, an art buyer requested to buy the youths’ artworks.
Isn’t it fun to meet these vibrant Teacher-Authors? We think so! Be sure to check out the rest of the 5 Questions series.