Teaching Unmasked


My new book Teaching Unmasked is available in the following formats right now:

Description
The Hollywood prototype of Silverscreen Superteachers presents a mythology that the best teachers are those who go into rough areas, make a huge difference and tell their stories in the process. The goal is to make a difference and change the world. After awhile, it becomes a mask that teachers wear - a mask of professionalism, of authority, of knowledge and expertise. Unfortunately, masked crusaders are not what children need. They need alter-egos more than superheros - regular people doing great things when they stop trying so hard to do bigger things. What if more is not better? What if changing the world is not a better goal? What if the best way to teach content is by teaching less? What if the best way to lead a classroom is by serving it? What if the solution missing in most of educational reform is not "more" but "less?" This is the main premise of a paradox of humility. It is the notion that learning increases when teaching decreases. It is the idea that teachers who quit trying to change lives are those who end up changing lives. It is the belief that the best way to achieve is by de-emphasizing achievement.
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John Spencer

John Spencer is a teacher, author, speaker, and incessant doodler. He is the co-author of Wendell the World's Worst Wizard and the co-founder of Write About. He is passionate about helping students develop into better writers and deeper thinkers.

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21 comments:

  1. Congratulations on completing your book. It's impressive that you just want it to be out there, rather than being concerned about profit. I wish you success.

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  2. Just ordered mine via Amazon.

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  3. @ Theresa - Thanks. I'm hoping people spread the word, because I suck at marketing.

    @ doyle - Very cool! You are actually mentioned a few times in it. I hope you like the book.

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  4. I ordered a copy, too. I look forward to reading it. I've glanced at the ebook but I want to read it as a real book.

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  5. Big congrats! I just ordered mine... and just finished my current bedside read, so I have something to look forward to. :)

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  6. Congratulations! I am so impressed and will definitely order one. Have a great week-end!

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  7. You make the rest of us non-published teachers look like bums! Just kidding... looking forward to reading it.

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  8. Halfway through the fourth chapter. I think this will be a multiple times read... thank you for your honesty. You are putting into words much of my greatest struggle this time of year. It is wonderful to hear someone else express the same.

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  9. Congrats! I am behind on my reading but am going to order a copy to read this summer. I love the fact that you also illustrate your books.

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  10. I made a comment but don't think it made it. Congrats! I plan to order a book. I love your illustrations.:)

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  11. sweet, john. congrats on the second of what i'm sure will one day be a long list of books. I, like some of your other commenter, prefer the "hard copy" route & look foreward to reading.

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  12. Congrats on the book! I am looking forward to reading it. I am going to purchase it at amazon.

    I love how you stress that teaching too much content is NOT relevant! I completely agree!! WE are going through a change in our school, and finally the people who make the decisions are understanding this concept too. I look forward to see the changes blossom! It is going to be quite exciting.

    tutor gal.
    tutor-gal.com

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  13. Very cool John, I want to get it on my kindle tonight. Looking forward to reading it.

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  14. Thanks for publishing it like this. It suits you. I am really looking forward to reading it.

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  15. John, this looks very very cool. I am going to read this now. I will also use it for some blogposts.

    I would like to upload it to www.youblisher.com and share it that way. Is that ok?

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  16. You bet! I've never used youblisher.com, so I'm intrigued by this idea.

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  17. check out my blog and see how I use youblisher

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  18. Teach in Gun, Masked? Running pretty close to my school's zero-tolerance policy, here.

    I'd better rename this file.

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  19. John: I just found your blog today and really admire your honesty and clarity of expression. I teach EFL at a university in China, and many times I feel as if I'm feeling my way in the dark. Somewhere among my various roles as token white face, performing seal, babysitter, friend, confidante, coach, and therapist there lurks a teacher, if only I can find him.

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas with us. I look forward to reading "Teaching Unmasked."

    Roger

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  20. your honesty is so refreshing and you've taken the words right out of my mouth. I can't wait to read some more. Being a shepherd as a teacher really makes sense to me. Keep it up. Thank you

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  21. I feel like you wrote this summary just for me John. I do have an unmasked superhero / alter ego (The Bulletman) and teach young people in a very simple way involving props, games and storytelling so it was nice reading something that actually meant something and made perfect sense. Yes less is more for sure. Just this summary was enough for me, also noting I don't read books, I look at comics! Great share. I got real and do not hide behind a mask...

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Please leave a comment. I enjoy the conversation.