• Speaking
  • Resources
  • Podcast
  • Videos
  • Updates

1/5/13

What I Forgot When I Left the Classroom (Part Two)


A student stops by my classroom asking if he can borrow the computer over the break. "I want to blog on vacation."

"I don't really do extra credit," I tell him.

"I know," he answers. He spends two weeks blogging each day about video games, football, the holidays and movies.

Another student stops by with a gift basket containing a Starbucks mug, hot chocolate and coffee.

I wander outside before my duty starts and within minutes, I'm engaged in a conversation about holiday rituals with students who will be visiting Mexico.

When I was a coach, I remembered how to teach. I remembered what it looked like for students to get something for the first time. But I forgot what it was like to get an unexpected Christmas present. I forgot what it meant to know a student's story. I forgot what it felt like to watch a kid who who struggled for years with reading fall in love with a novel.

I forgot what it was like to have a circle of people around you while you're on duty, talking about life and arguing about football. I forgot what it was like when a kid decides to take on his or her own learning outside of school because of something that happened inside of school.

Don't get me wrong. I forgot just how hard teaching can be. But I also forgot just how rewarding it can be as well.
JOHN SPENCER
Professor of Instructional Technology
I want to see kids embrace creativity. As a teacher, this meant murals, documentaries, STEM camps, and coding projects. As a dad, this has meant elaborate pillow forts and home-made pinball machines and the story of non-magical wizard who makes robots. It's also why I co-founded Write About. Interested in having me speak or consult on design thinking and creativity? Visit my speaking page and fill out the contact form at the bottom. I'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Let's Connect

Send me your questions, ideas, or speaking inquiries.