Hanson and Spencer have forged a friendship through education.
August 22, 2019
The school day is always a drab. But with your best friend by your side, your day brightens up. When Suncoast High School moved to its new location, lone International Baccalaureate Psychology teacher Brian Hanson and Advanced Placement Psychology teacher Dennis Spencer decided to join forces. This dynamic duo has taken the psych world by storm as they are the only two psychology teachers at Suncoast. With these two teaching together, a brand new friendship was formed.
Brian Hanson and Dennis Spencer have been psychology teachers at Suncoast for the past nine years. Their friendship goes beyond their love for psychology and teaching the course. It has allowed them to grow into great friends outside of work.
“We went fishing one time but we didn’t catch many fish. However, we were able to collect some grasshoppers together for one of our experiments in class. We made the dead grasshoppers move their legs using a kit called “spiker box.” This was the introduction to neuroscience.” Hanson said.
This is just one of the activities that Hanson and Spencer partake in outside of school. Over the years, they have made many memories together.
“My favorite memory with Brian is getting to meet Zimbardo together. He’s a well known psychologist that we both hold in high regards. We got a chance to go see him when he published his new book,” Spencer said.
Hanson and Spencer’s bond over the subject is one that many Suncoast teachers have witnessed and envy when the two speak about psychology.
“They naturally gravitate towards each other because they are the only two teaching psychology. It helps to have somebody who understands what you’re talking about because the rest of us just look at them blankly,” History teacher David Traill said.
But their bond over the subject does not end at just talking about it. For many years, Hanson and Spencer taught IB Psychology to a class of juniors together. Unfortunately, they stopped this dual teaching class this year because they are not teaching the same IB Psych class during the same period. This is actually the first year in a long time that the two are not teaching together.
“It’s great to have somebody to be able to team teach with you and make it more interesting, offering two perspectives. One person can be stronger than the other on a specific topic and vice versa. We can keep a dynamic the way we did this, so I think that it worked out well,” Hanson said.
Assuming that they will not be teaching together forever, it is hard to imagine where this friendship will go.