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Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: Teach Like a Pirate #tlap

Book: Teach like a Pirate
Author: Dave Burgess.

Three years ago, I was giving this book to read for staff meetings and full disclosure I did not read it. After reading this book it was exactly what I needed. I was struggling with staying passionate and giving my best every single day. After finishing this book today, I am so excited to finish the school year and try out new ways to engage students.

The Pirate System:

P-PassionI blogged about this last month but trying to find more ways to infuse passion into my lessons.
I-Immersion: The students deserve my full attention. Limit outside distractions.
R-Rapport: Most important and fun aspect of teaching. Get to know your students.
A-Ask and Analyze: How can I make my lesson more "creative" Need to learn to ask the right questions. I want to make a 11x17 poster of all the hooks and questions prompts and put them in my office. That way I have a visual of all the prompts that I can reference of how to make my lesson more engaging.
T-Transformation: Need to remember that there are more important things that I do then what gets assessed on test’s.
E-Enthusiasm: Almost thought this book should be teach like a magician. I love the concept that I need to think of every class period as someone's birthday party and I need to give my very best every time. As a magician, the mom in the back does not care if I have had a bad day or that this is my fifth birthday party or I woke up late. For her this is her kids only 7th birthday party that her daughter will ever have. I want to keep this mentality when I teach. My students deserve my very best. When I am struggling to give my best effort, I can fake it till I make it and realize that my physiology will change my psychology. Also, when I am having a bad day I can remember to focus on the positive. This last advice is something that has really helped me. I tend to focus on the few students who didn’t enjoy the lesson instead of focusing on the students that did enjoy the lesson and where fully engaged.

Major Takeaways:
  • What is more important that my students know facts about the civil rights act or that they have the courage to stand up to racism when they see it? One of those is more important than the other but only one of those is tested. What we do as teachers will be measured not on test but in the outcome of our students lives 20,30,40 years from now.  
  • Be my own measure of success.
  • Be willing to take action and try ideas. 
  • It's "ok" not to be the master of every detail. Learn to let go and not be a perfectionist.
  • It is ok if I don’t know the answer. Let students know that and maybe we can work together on to figure it out. Dr. Google is a great resource.
  • Need to work on transitions in the classroom. 
  • Find ways to use some of the hooks discussed in the book. Figure out what will work for me and my content area. 
  • Don't let people who are not on the "pirate ship" throw me overboard with their negativity.
  • Don't let the few students who didn't get engaged with the lesson get me down. Remember that if 10% of the students didn't enjoy the lesson that 90% of the students still did. 
  • I want to advocate for more PE minuets at the elementary school that I teach at. Not only am I passionate about teaching PE but I also realized that are students need more times to be active. 

Favorite Quotes:
  • “Why have so many schools reduced the time and emphasis they place on art, music, and physical education? The answer is beyond simple: those areas aren’t measured on the all-important tests. You know where those areas are measured… in life! Art, music, and a healthy lifestyle help us develop a richer, deeper, and more balanced perspective. Never before have we needed more of an emphasis on the development of creativity, but schools have gone the exact opposite direction in an effort to make the best test-taking automatons possible. 
  • “If you haven’t failed in the classroom lately, you aren’t pushing the envelope far enough. “Safe” lessons are a recipe for mediocrity at best.” 
  • “It’s not supposed to be easy—it’s supposed to be worth it.” 
  • “Success is 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.” (I am pretty sure that John Wooden said this but still amazing)
Next Book:
Still reading "Do Hard Things"

Once I am done with "Do Hard Things" I think I want to read a book that will help facilitate Students to own their own learning. Also want to learn how to facilitate classroom discussions and collaborations in math. I would like to read, Learn like a Pirate” and “Empower: What Happens WhenStudents Own Their Learning” . Was hoping someone would buy them for me. Haven’t had to buy any of the books I have read so far this year. They all have been gifts but I guess I am going to have to spend some money.

Side Note: As part of my wife's birthday present my Mom got us a couple’s message and we both found us reading during some of our down time at the spa.  Someone at the spa asked why we are reading while we are on "vacation?". It’s amazing that when we have free time we both like to read and that there is something relaxing about learning.


  1. Feel free to hold off on buying’s in my cart 😊 also, don’t know if you’ve ready The Curious Classroom, but it’s on the way. Should arrive this week.