Teach Like a Pirate: a book review

 

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Sorry for no blog updates; I’ve been a bit preoccupied.

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Those first pictures you see are of the husband’s and my trip to Santa Barbara. We had a great time, but we cannot eat restaurant food forever so we had to come back to our humble kitchen. My wedding was the most meaningful and fun experience. Having our friends and family together in one place made it one big congregation of awesome. We are truly blessed.

I’m also glad to be back because it means I get to focus on doing what I do best, which is teaching. It’s pretty great to have some free time to plan curriculum for next year (something I didn’t have the luxury of doing last year).

To get me even more excited for this next year and to start using my Kindle again, I bought the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. 

“PIRATE” stands for:

Passion 

Immersion 

Rapport 

Ask and Analyze

Transformation 

Enthusiasm  

 

If you are a teacher, you must read this book because there is nothing quite like the way Dave Burgess looks at education. It’s revolutionary. I cannot do his ideas justice by trying to explain them here, but the focus he puts on presentation in the classroom totally made me look at how I deliver lessons differently. It not only changes that, but opens up so many avenues for incorporating larger-than-life experiences into the classroom—things I had never thought of (like recreating a speakeasy in the classroom). He makes learning fun and engaging for his students. I would love to see him action, and will probably be searching for some videos of him on youtube after this blog post.

Some interesting lines from the book: 

“Don’t fall into the trap of thinking time spent developing yourself into a well-rounded person, above and beyond your role as an educator, is wasted or something to feel guilty about. It is essential and will pay dividends in not only your life, but also in your classroom.” 

“Being merely good doesn’t cut it; you have to be extraordinary.”

“John Wooden said it best: “Success is a peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

“Great teaching gets messy sometimes and we have to constantly be aware of the changing landscape in our rooms and make “moves” based on what works, not on what is necessarily theoretically ideal or, God forbid, scripted. Great teaching, like a fight, can’t be scripted.”

These quotes are more motivational than anything, but his book provides avenues for beginning to incorporate some of his ideas into your own classroom. It is incredibly helpful, and will be easy to refer to when planning new units and lessons.

I hope all the teachers out there are enjoying the much-needed break and relishing extra time to prepare for the school year—I know I am!

-S

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