“Just-in”: Everything you need to know about Mr. Spear


Jenna Meri

Our wonderful CAS advisor, Mr. Spear teaches freshman English at U.A.I.S

Jenna Meri, Reporter

If you can go back in time, what would you do differently in high school? What was your favorite part of high school?

Mr. Spear: I would have liked to take more risks and be more self-confident. I would have also liked to work harder and stand out as a student. My favorite part of high school was definitely the relationships I maintained with several of my teachers.


If you were able to, would you go to an IB school?

Mr. Spear: Yes, I would have liked to attend an IB school in order to grow as a student and build a sense of community and belonging.


What inspired you to go into teaching? Was that your first choice, and why?

 Mr. Spear: My main goal was to inspire young people and be the teacher that I didn’t have growing up. I wanted to have purpose and meaning in life, so teaching was ultimately my first choice. Rather than choosing a career, I was not highly interested in, I chose a career that would mean the most to me in the future.


Did you teach at a homeschool, and if so, how was your experience?

Mr. Spear: Yes, I taught at Malow for 7 years. I was not expecting to enjoy the experience [at a junior high versus high school], but I learned to love it over time. I loved the kids at Malow and it was an amazing experience.


What profession would you choose if you didn’t become a teacher?

Mr. Spear: I would definitely become a Psychologist/Therapist


What do you most enjoy about teaching? / What is one challenge about teaching?

Mr. Spear: I enjoy the connections I make with each student and the relationships I form with them. I also like the fact that I am personally able to help students become better writers and readers. I believe that the lack of funding and support for each school is becoming more challenging. The fact that teachers are not valued as much as others in our community is also very difficult.


What was your favorite/funny memory while teaching?

Mr. Spear: At one of the conferences held for Key Club, my students had put together a very large application for me to earn Key Club Advisor of the Year. This came as a surprise to me because I had previously withheld the document from them in order for them to put more time into the awards for the club as a whole. My students ended up finding the document and they submitted it, which is why I was extremely shocked upon hearing my name called for the award. This was one of the nicest things my students selflessly did for me which is why it has to be one of my favorite memories.



Who is a memorable student and why?

Mr. Spear: Josh Barthel- The connection I still maintain with him, even after 10 years, is very strong. We write letters to each other every year about our lives and I feel as if I have never had that type of connection with any other student.


What led you to go to the college that you attended?

 Mr. Spear: I attended Michigan State University because I appreciated the smaller environment that I did not receive back in high school. I was also able to go to the Honors College, which heavily influenced my choice. I do have to admit that my girlfriend attending played a large role in my decision.


Did you do any sports during high school and college? Any extracurriculars?

 Mr. Spear: I was not very interested in any sports, but I did swim and play instruments in school. I did join Key Club in high school, but that was it for the most part.


Recall your biggest challenge in life?

 Mr. Spear: The biggest challenge in my life is raising a daughter who has been diagnosed with both Down Syndrome and Autism.


What are 3 things on your bucket list?

 Mr. Spear: Travel to every continent, write a fictional novel, and take voice lessons in the future.


What places have you traveled to? Where do you want to go to that you haven’t been to yet?

Mr. Spear: I have traveled to many countries in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, England, France, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City.  I would love to go to Asia and see Japan or China.


What is your favorite television show?

Mr. Spear: All in the Family


What is your favorite movie?

 Mr. Spear: The Shawshank Redemption


What is your favorite song? Artist?

Mr. Spear: “Let it Be”-Beatles/ Elton John or Bob Seger


What is something students don’t know about you which might surprise them

 Mr. Spear: I am one of the shyest people.