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John Spencer
Attended Arizona State University - Bachelor's Degree
Lives in Phoenix, AZ
28,023 followers|1,890,494 views
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John Spencer

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Quit Bashing Theory
Teachers want practical ideas. I've seen how a list of specific, explicit ideas gets higher post views. I've noticed that when I do a training, the best received ones involved teachers learning and practicing something that they can immediately transfer int...
Teachers want practical ideas. I've seen how a list of specific, explicit ideas gets higher post views. I've noticed that when I do a training, the best received ones involved teachers learning and practicing something that t...
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Alan Stange's profile photoDan Gibson's profile photoJoshua Fisher's profile photo
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The practical, hands on, get to it, attitude that dismisses reflection on theory is not theory free. Everything rests on some theory. 
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If You Want to Build Grit, Don't Focus on Grit
I believe in grit. I want my students to persevere in a difficult task. I want them to approach learning with the same willingness to keep struggling that they feel when they try a skateboard trick or master a video game. I don't see struggling as a bad thi...
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Character Education
A few days ago, I sat in a room filled with private school teachers meeting to talk about character education. Some talked about giving badges and rewards for students that are caught showing great character. Others described the need for teachers to model ...
A few days ago, I sat in a room filled with private school teachers meeting to talk about character education. Some talked about giving badges and rewards for students that are caught showing great character. Others described...
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Alan Stange's profile photoJohn Spencer's profile photoMark Allen's profile photo
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I feel the same way. 
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I Am Comic Sans
I used to hate Comic Sans. I hated the kerning. At a grocery store, our manager had once used Comic Sans and Hispanic Foods became His panic Foods. I hated the fact that something designed for kids was used for everything from flower shops to emergency sign...
I used to hate Comic Sans. I hated the kerning. At a grocery store, our manager had once used Comic Sans and Hispanic Foods became His panic Foods. I hated the fact that something designed for kids was used for everything fro...
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John Spencer's profile photoWilliam Chamberlain's profile photo
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+William Chamberlain You got me there. 
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Good Things Are Happening There
I realize that I can be critical about certain aspects of education. I hate the excessive testing and the way it is driving instruction in many schools. I am bothered by homework and by meaningless packets. I want to see more inquiry and deeper thinking. I'...
I realize that I can be critical about certain aspects of education. I hate the excessive testing and the way it is driving instruction in many schools. I am bothered by homework and by meaningless packets. I want to see more...
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John Spencer

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This Is Terrifying
I've always been drawn to the surreal, to the creative, to the mental spaces not confined to the rules of the universe. I just never realized that there was something wrong with that.  When I first read the New York Times article, I figured it was an accide...
I've always been drawn to the surreal, to the creative, to the mental spaces not confined to the rules of the universe. I just never realized that there was something wrong with that.  When I first read the New York Times art...
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If You Want to Build Grit, Don't Focus on Grit
I believe in grit. I want my students to persevere in a difficult task. I want them to approach learning with the same willingness to keep struggling that they feel when they try a skateboard trick or master a video game. I don't see struggling as a bad thi...
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Laura Kedenyi's profile photo
 
Nice
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Changing What We Can Control
I love the fact that this space exists in my school. While the opt-out movement continues to grow, I find it interesting that as I talk with kids, they often have a different perspective on the best and worst parts of school. As much as I hate the excessive...
I love the fact that this space exists in my school. While the opt-out movement continues to grow, I find it interesting that as I talk with kids, they often have a different perspective on the best and worst parts of school...
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John Spencer's profile photoAnnabelle Howard's profile photo
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+Annabelle Howard I just took a regular picture and then e-mailed it and posted it on my blog. 
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I Would Totally Go See It
TED Talks have a distinct style. Say something provocative. Explain to the audience why everything they know about _____ is wrong. Use visual-oriented slides. Pause for dramatic effect. It's part of the branding of TED, even when people do TEDx events. I'...
TED Talks have a distinct style. Say something provocative. Explain to the audience why everything they know about _______ is wrong. Use visual-oriented slides. Pause for dramatic effect. It's part of the branding of TED, eve...
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Seven Horrible Things That Really Aren't All That Horrible
Teachers are quick to bash certain practices as obsolete in a twenty-first century classroom (a term which, in itself, seems kind-of obsolete). However, here are seven things teachers bash that aren't quite as bad as they seem: Computer labs: I realize that...
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John Spencer's profile photoRich Schurter's profile photoKatharine Klevinskas's profile photo
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+Katharine Klevinskas I think people forget that kids are often concrete thinkers. Sometimes the accomplishment of finishing something simple and tangible makes a difference. 
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People
In his circles
548 people
Have him in circles
28,023 people
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