Man with a brain and a toolbox behind him

Embrace Your Maker Mindset

Helping K-12 teachers unleash the power of creativity through project-based learning & design thinking

Hi, I'm John.
This is my promise to you.

As a former middle school teacher and current full-time professor and best-selling author, I’m a big believer in empowering students (and teachers) through the power of creativity. Whether you sign up for one of my online courses, enroll in one of my cohorts or invite me to spend time with your staff, I promise you’ll walk away with a fresh perspective and new ideas to transform your classroom.

How I Can Help

3 ways to reignite your passion for teaching & improve student outcomes

Take a self-paced course

My asynchronous courses were designed to give you practical ideas for the classroom — and work with your schedule. Start with a free option. Then take a deeper dive with premium content.

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Join an open cohort

Collaborate with your peers! Join one of my virtual cohorts and I’ll lead you and a small group of like-minded educators through a hands-on training experience, unlike anything you’ve experienced.

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Bring me in for a visit

Have a large group? Consider bringing me in (online or in-person) for a full day of design-thinking and PBL. We’ll work through problems of practice and set your team up for success.

Students Learn Differently Now

Try my project-based approach and experience the difference creativity makes

“As we continue our journey to provided quality learning opportunities to our students, Johnʻs work will be an important resource. We highly encourage other schools to offer Johnʻs resources to their teachers.”

JoAnn Wong-Kam, Managing Director of Ho'olaukoa

Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, HI

“Dr. Spencer inspired my teachers to get back to creating classrooms full of “creativity and wonder”. I now hear conversations among teachers as to how to “launch” a PBL project in their class, how they are incorporating empathy into projects, and how service learning is changing their students mindsets. “

Lauren Crabtree, Principal

Douglas County Schools, Douglasville, GA

“John brought a great deal of energy and a fun sense of humor to his workshop that created a fun learning atmosphere for our faculty in a stressful time. I highly recommend John’s workshop and hope he can come back to CFS in the future!”

Eric Fulmer, Dean of Faculty

Church Farm School, Exton, PA

Let’s Learn Together

Working with me is easy. Start by filling out this short form.











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    Keep Reading

    Check out the latest from my blog

    Empowering Students
    September 24, 2022

    Designing Socratic Seminars to Ensure That All Students Can Participate

    Socratic seminars are a democratic, student-centered, approach to class discussions. They can be used at any grade level with any subject area. In a Socratic Seminar, members meet in a circle (or more likely an oval, because, let’s be real, circles are really hard to…
    Empowering StudentsPodcast
    September 1, 2022

    Taking a Gradual Release (GRR) Approach to Student Choice

    Over the last month, I have been sharing practical ways that we can empower our students to own the learning from day one. This is the core idea that AJ Juliani and I wrote about in our book Empower. It's a journey I began in…
    Empowering Students
    August 22, 2022

    5 Ways to Get to Know Your Students at the Start of the School Year

    As an educator, you are a community builder. From day one, you getting to know your students on a relational level. It’s often in the little things, like sending an email the first time they miss a virtual class session. It’s what happens when you…