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John Spencer
Attended Arizona State University - Bachelor's Degree
Lives in Phoenix, AZ
27,827 followers|4,417,101 views
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John Spencer

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Here's my latest post. 
I have found myself saying, "Schools should slow down a little. They should be focussing on having kids doing less work that is more challenging." I've found myself arguing that quality is better than quantity in the classroom. This is especially true in a classroom like mine, where we are using ...
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I agree very much! I see it as a practice in every sense of the word: practice in order to acquire a skill, and also the sense of practice, habits, being in the habit of reading, writing, experimenting, learning from all of it. :-)
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John Spencer

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Here's my latest post. It's just barely about teaching. 
I've read about the dangers of using praise (especially vague praise) with students. It can ruin intrinsic motivation and make students dependent on the teacher. I've seen the research on the dangers of a fixed mindset and the problems inherent in telling a child "you're smart.
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Laura Gibbs's profile photo
 
Very nice distinction!
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John Spencer

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Here's my latest post. It's the final one in a short series about burnout.
When I was a new teacher, the anti-burnout advice I kept hearing was "Take care of yourself. Drink lots of water. Exercise. Eat right." That's not bad advice . . . if you're a personal trainer. But the truth is that burnout is far more complicated than simply eating all your veggies and hopping ...
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Dana Heirmans's profile photoLaura Gibbs's profile photo
 
Thanks so much for this post - we are having Twitter chat at my school about sustainability later this week, and avoiding burnout is one of the topics I hope we will include!
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John Spencer

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Latest post is on the topic of teacher burnout. 
People often assume burnout occurs because teachers work too hard, put in too many hours and don't take care of themselves. Just go to the gym, eat well and you'll be fine. Yet, few people ask why a teacher felt that she had to work so hard, put in so many extra hours and sacrifice a personal ...
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John Spencer

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Here's my latest post. 
I once wrote a blog post explaining why I am against homework. I started a Facebook group for the same reason. I was a vocal opponent to what I saw as a horrible waste of time. In the process, I didn't think about the nuance of the issue. I didn't think offer up any ideas.
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Love those ideas, and I embrace many of them.  I do sometimes give homework to reinforce a skill or to finish an activity we began during class, but the homework as extra credit or homework as optional practice works well.  
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John Spencer

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The perfect way to start your day is bacon. Loads of bacon. But the second best way is with Classroom Questions, a daily podcast that +A.J. Juliani and I just launched. Check it out here: 
What topics are we talking about on Classroom Questions? How to make it on a teacher's salary... What should new teachers focus on during their first year... Where can you find ideas for Project-Based Learning... Here's How You Can Listen... STEP 1: Subscribe to us on iTunes. STEP 2: ...
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John Spencer

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My latest post. Yet another one that isn't really about teaching. 
A few weeks ago, I did a Google Hangout with two classes that have just finished reading Wendell the World's Worst Wizard as a read aloud. It was pretty amazing. They dressed up as characters and created props that represented different locations in the book (like Smells Like Bundt or Tar ...
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John Spencer

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Here's a collection of posts and resources I've created about rethinking homework. http://www.spencerideas.org/2015/03/homework.html
I've been blogging for around a decade and I've never really curated my own work. So, each Monday, I will be posting all the resources, posts and presentations I have done on a particular topic. A few years ago, I wrote a post about why I am against homework. I created a Facebook group called ...
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My latest post.
I got some push back on the fact that I mentioned perfectionism as one of the causes of teacher burnout (something I included in my new book, The Fireproof Teacher). So, I thought I would clarify my thoughts on the issue right here. The issue isn't hard work. I've seen great teachers work an ...
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Here's a baseball metaphor, because, well, it's almost baseball season. 
The Astrodome was the most relevant stadium of its time. With the largest JumboTron, the trendiest color choice and a very modern, symmetrical design, it embodied the Space Age. It was the anti-Fenway. It was the ballpark of the future. It was relevant. It began with the notion of "blow the old ...
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Home run! 
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Here's an explanation of our new podcast. 
A few months ago, I approached AJ Juliani with the idea of a podcast. I wanted to make something that was idea-driven and practical. We tossed the concept around for awhile before eventually landing on Classroom Questions. The main premise is that we take real questions from teachers and we ...
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Have him in circles
27,827 people
Irwan aja's profile photo
Elena HOPKINS's profile photo
Sandra AndTim's profile photo
Lydia Surrett's profile photo
Kimberly Woodring's profile photo
branden frieson's profile photo
Nico Baird's profile photo
Eva Pearson's profile photo
q xu's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Teacher
Employment
  • Teacher, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Phoenix, AZ
Previously
Clovis, CA
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Story
Tagline
I teach, I write, I live. I want to do all three authentically.
Introduction
I teach. I write. I live.  I want to do all three authentically. 

Nothing beats smashing oranges in the backyard with my sons, a relaxing conversation with my wife, a venti coffee with a good friend, a long run that seems to end nowhere, alone with my mind.
Education
  • Arizona State University - Bachelor's Degree
  • Northern Arizona University - Master's Degree
Basic Information
Gender
Male