A New Jersey teacher is the star of a new Windows 10 commercial.
Toney Jackson, a fourth-grade teacher at Nellie K. Parker School in Hackensack, is known as the “rapping teacher” to his students. In the commercial, he showcases his rapping skills and the importance of bringing creativity into the classroom.
Jackson applied to be in the commercial after he heard from a friend that Windows was seeking subjects for the project.
“The reception has been beyond what I imagined," Jackson said. "One of the best things about it, is that I'm being recognized for doing what I do everyday. People are commenting about my work as a teacher and a writer, and I'm incredibly proud and thankful,” he said.
The commercial features Jackson's original rhymes and drawings to highlight Windows' digital writing pen.
“Welcome to fourth grade. Today will only be a short day. I’m Mr. Jackson. I like to laugh and of course play,” Jackson raps in the commercial.
Jackson says bringing fun and creativity into the classroom really resonates with his students and that bringing your personal passion into the classroom, whether it is rapping or something else, can be beneficial for any teacher.
“I'm not embarrassed to be silly or corny with my kids, and I share with them the things that make me who I am," Jackson said.
And rapping is not the only tool Jackson uses to get through to his students. He says he also uses puppets, funny voices and dancing to aid in the learning process.
When it comes to being judged for being a different type of teacher, Jackson says he does not worry about that.
“Be your best self and give others your best," Jackson said.
Jackson hopes his students and those who watch the commercial remember to take that message with them in their endeavors in school and beyond.
Jackson holds a degree fine arts from Rutgers University and also has a master's in education from Graceland University.
Jackson is also active in the local poetry scene. You can see some of his live performances at the Puffin Cultural Forum in Teaneck.