How I’m Using Design Thinking to Develop a Free Resource for New Teachers

I need your help. In the next few weeks, I plan on creating a free resource for new teachers. I plan to use the LAUNCH Cycle (the design thinking framework that A.J. Juliani and I developed) to move from empathy and awareness into research and ideation, before eventually creating a beta concept. I want to […]

Treat Every Lesson Like an Experiment

I’m just going to put it out there. I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to making videos. For the last six weeks, I’ve been experimenting and trying things out. Every time I get ready to publish a video, these fears swirl around my mind. What if it’s not good enough? What if […]

We Need Librarians More Than Ever Before

It was about five years ago when a boy walked up to me and asked, “Hey Mr. Spencer, can you talk to the district and see if they’ll open up the library over the summer?” “I don’t think they can,” I answered. “But the city library is just down the street.” “I can’t go there. […]

Who was the greatest teacher at Hogwarts?

For our number one choice, we went with someone who is not actually a professor at Hogwarts. You guessed it. Argus Filch. That’s right, the mangy, angry caretaker of Hogwarts. You know, the guy with the cat? Okay, we didn’t choose Filch. We actually chose Harry. Harry was a phenomenal teacher. When he trained fellow […]

Because of Teachers (Good Things Are Happening in Our Schools)

Don’t worry. I am still doing the Best Teachers at Hogwarts series. You’ll see that post later today. However, I thought I would share something that was on my mind this week. It is 11:47 on a Friday afternoon and I’m right here at home. But somewhere at a school right now there is a […]

I Was Just Like Neville Longbottom When I Was a Kid

When I was in the 7th grade, I this pair of shorts that were, well, embarrassing. They were way too short. They were pleated. They were plaid. They were everything you were not supposed to wear if you didn’t want to get beat up. But I wore them anyway because my grandma had made them for […]

Who Are the Hagrids in Your Building? How Are You Helping Them?

At first glance, it would seem that Hagrid has all the makings of a great teacher. He is willing to take creative risks. He has a deep and passionate knowledge of his content area. And most importantly, he cares about his students. But unfortunately, content knowledge and compassion aren’t enough to guarantee success. There’s a […]

Would you let your kids attend Hogwarts?

Warning: this post may contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the books, go do that now and then come back to this post later.  Let’s just put it out there. Hogwarts is probably a terrible place to send your kids. It’s dangerous, and I’m not just talking about the basilisks, trolls, and dementers. It’s also […]

Want Students to Be More Creative? Try Adding More Play.

This post is an expansion of my latest short vlog post (video blog) that I’ve been doing each week. You can view it above or check it out toward the bottom of my post. If you like this video, please click “like” and share it with others. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. It would […]