The Creative Classroom with John Spencer
By John Spencer
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I want to see teachers can transform classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder. So, here's where I explore what it means to make this a reality.
||CleanSeven Strategies for Building Empathy in Students||A few days ago, my son said something that surprised me. He said, “Dad, we have the best cafeteria lady at our school.” And I said, “Wait, what?” But then he went on to describe how this woman chose to memorize every studentsR||1/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Power of a Mid-Year Reboot||So, it’s the beginning of the year and all around I’m hearing conversations about New Year’s Resolutions. One friend is going Paleo, another is doing Cross Fit, and still, another has decided she’s going to read 100 books in a yea||1/7/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhat Our Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Learning, and Creativity||I wasn’t always a dog lover. I used to be a dog-liker and most of the time a dog-tolerator. I never understood why people would get bumper stickers with their favorite dog breed and I cringed a little when I heard the phrase “he’s part||12/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers||A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was choosing to write for fun.||12/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean4 Surprising Truths About the Creative Journey||About a year ago, I watched La La Land for the first time. It was as enchanting and mesmerizing as people had told me. And it struck a chord, in terms of the deeply human longing to chase your dreams, captured in the lines: Here’s to the ones who d||12/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMaking Time for Project-Based Learning||I’ve been at the college level for a little over three years and every time I visit one of my college students in the midst of their practicum, I am struck by how fast time moves in a classroom. It’s easy as a professor to forget the frantic||11/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTaking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership||Recently, I asked my students (pre-service teachers who are currently in their practicum) about the ultimate goal of education. Some described the need for raising democratic citizens who will think critically about the world. A larger group described||11/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy Balance Is Critical for Creative Work||Earlier this week, my friend George Couros wrote a wonderful post about seeing the value in balance and it had me thinking about the role of balance in creativity and teaching. Years ago, my friend Wayne gave me some great advice about balance and se||11/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhy Teachers Should Experience Productive Struggle||I’m sitting in front of the computer blinking, ready to press the “submit” button; knowing that if I missed this problem, the progress bar will drop down another 25% and I’ll spend half an hour trying to get back up to where I was||11/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSeven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating||I used to believe that creativity began in the mind. Ideas popped in and people responded externally by making things. I would get frustrated when students came into class having only used technology to consume rather than create. I would beg them to t||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
You're In The Room
John does such a great job at narrating and thinking out loud that you feel as if you are having a one on one conversation with him. And that's pretty cool.
Great podcast, video series, and author. Every educator needs to listen these podcasts.
Who is this guy?
John Spencer is an enigma. No one-trick pony, Spencer consistently comes up with new, thoughtful, and engrossing monologues on topics that span the gamut of pedagogical thinking. Nearly every episode leads me to an "Aha!" type response. How does he do that so consistently?
Recent topics have included philosophy in the classroom, project management, "deep work," top trends in technology, and "vintage ideas." (See what I mean?) They're meaty enough that you can listen to the same episode several times (or read the whole darn thing on your phone), and get more out of each one.
Content aside, I also love the tone of Spencer's delivery. Some other podcasts I listen to sound like talk radio of the worst sort: loud and hyper-enthusiastic. Spencer's enthusiasm is genuine, and his voice is conversational and soothing.
Try any one episode and you'll be hooked.
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