111: Be Flexible, Patient & Willing To Learn with TpT Author Donald Kinney

Ok it’s word associate time- Theater teacher, ESL teacher, TpT, and prison.  Stuck?  Well, as a theater arts teacher, Donald Kinney, taught theater to inmates at a North Carolina prison, got kicked out of the prison and then went abroad to teach English in Japan!  He couldn’t find materials he liked to teacher ESL, so he created his own on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Wow! What a journey! Let’s find out how this all happened!

First, he was a theater teacher in his hometown of Iowa and after years of difficulty in dealing with administration, his friend inspired him to move to Japan to start teaching English!  Yes, he did get kicked out of a prison!  A North Carolina prison didn’t agree with his messages, so the police escorted him to the state line!  Wowza!

With his teaching experience in theater, he was confident enough to take a risk in Japan.  His intended six month stay was extended to three years as he taught English to adults.  Fast forward 15 years, he brought his two brothers with him and he started teaching Japanese Kindergarten (3-6 years old) at a private school.  He did not like the textbooks, so he created his own materials.  He had long teaching days and taught a range of ages in his 25 years of teaching.

If you are looking to teach abroad, he suggests teachers do a lot of listening and watching to acclimate to the Japanese culture/norms as well as being flexible, patient and willing to learn!  Upon reading about Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) in a Japanese newspaper, his mind was blown as to the amazing community, support, inspiring ideas and creativity the platform offered him!  He suggests teacher authors need to stay motivated and authentic to their own products by being yourself.  His favorite tools are Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop to create his products and relies on the manual and on-line tutorials to learn everything.  To save time, he wants teachers to be list makers so that you can access your archive of ideas when necessary.

Listen to the passion in his voice and perhaps be inspired to start your own TpT store and/or teach abroad! Enjoy!


Links mentioned:

Donald’s English Classroom on Teachers Pay Teachers

Kinney Brothers Publishing Website & check out Amazon.com!

Kinney Brothers Publishing Facebook Page

email- kinneys@me.com

Music by the Passion HiFi www.thepassionhifi.com

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Sharon Jaravata

Sharon is a 3rd grade public school teacher.

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