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John Spencer
Attended Arizona State University - Bachelor's Degree
Lives in Phoenix, AZ
27,823 followers|4,198,887 views
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John Spencer

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Here's my latest post. 
It's no secret that I like to make stuff. My wife and I co-wrote Wendell the World's Worst Wizard and I have been blown away when classrooms choose it as a read aloud. I worked with two other people on creating Write About, a digital publishing platform. As a teacher, I like to develop projects ...
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We still need libraries. 
The conversation continued with bold ideas about transforming the library space. However, after awhile, I couldn't help but think that the conversation had shifted entirely to what it would look like to replace libraries rather than redesign them. I'm all about redesigning the library.
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Just putting this out there . . .
This morning I was a nervous wreck. I felt sick to my stomach. I was shaking. The culprit? My evaluation. I know, I know. After eleven years in the classroom I shouldn't feel this way. After all, I've never had a bad evaluation. I've never been put on a teacher improvement plan. Still .
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"Close reading" doesn't have to be a dirty word. 
Close reading is broken in many places. I notice this when I see teachers complain about it. I saw this when I visited a school a few years back and watched kids groan and whine when the teacher said, "Okay guys, it's close reading time." In many places, close reading has become a chore.
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A personal reflection that barely tiptoes toward 
Throughout college, Brad and Debbie were mentors to me. I hung out with them on Philosophical Fridays. We broke bread together. We shared stories together. Brad was a mentor and a counselor and though I didn't realize it at the time, so was Debbie. The two of them were in town today and they ...
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Very popular with kids yesterday.
This is Tiger. She's convinced that she's literally a tiger. Check it out here: http://www.writeabout.com/ideas/this-is-tiger-shes-convinced-that-shes-literally-a-tiger-write-her-monologue/
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Have him in circles
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Here's a reading list that I compiled for new teachers. 
When my wife first met me, her family nicknamed me "the book boy." I used to carry a book around with me everywhere I went. Over time, I have gotten more into fiction. I love fantasy (I even co-wrote a fantasy novel Wendell the World's Worst Wizard). However, I also love reading about education.
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I still love Up the Down Staircase. A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for and all.
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Why I carve out my own Genius Hour each week. 
My wife and I give each other one night a week to pursue our own interest. It's sort of like having a date night alone. Odd, I know, but something that allows both of us to pursue our own interests no matter how crazy life gets. I used to feel guilty leaving my kids for one night but now I ...
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Here's a visual writing idea. 
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A personal reflection on what I value as a dad and what I value as a teacher.
Somewhere in my first or second year of teaching, I said, "The purpose of parent-teacher conferences should be academic. The goal is to let parents know whether or not their child is mastering the standards." I've said similar things about participation points and grading for effort.
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I'm not crazy about the new Viewmaster. Here's why. 
My daughter loves the Viewmaster center at her pre-school. She loves flipping through the pictures manually and adjusting the contrast and light according to where she aims it. It's simple. It doesn't need an upgrade. It doesn't need an app. It doesn't need a social connection across the globe.
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I forgot to post this one. 
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People
Have him in circles
27,823 people
Jerod Frowick's profile photo
Kristine Schirripa's profile photo
Juan Oscar Brizuela's profile photo
Kelly Kozik's profile photo
Irwan aja's profile photo
Holly Thomas's profile photo
Jennifer Frazier's profile photo
Ellen Celske's profile photo
Madi Horner'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