Are You a Pirate or Not?

It is that time of year again!  Excitement is building as the 2013-2014 school year begins.  As an educator, what does this mean to you?  I am in love with the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  I think it is a great beginning of year read to inspire and motivate us.  If you do not feel the passion for teaching and learning after reading this phenomenal book, here are some things you can do to refuel that fire:

  • Join a book study
  • Tweet with your PLN
  • Become part of a PLC
  • Collaborate with team
  • Blog about your own professional passions
  • Observe other pirate teachers
  • Surround yourself with positive energy

Burgess uses a pirate to show his audience what it means to be the best educator you can be.  A pirate is adventurous, fun, risky, and daring.  As an educator, do those words describe you?  Let’s take a look at the acronym PIRATE and what each letter stands for according to Burgess:

P- Passion– I am glad Burgess puts passion first.  I don’t think you can be an educator without a lot of passion.  When you believe in something so greatly, the passion will be there.

I- Immersion– Be there!  Be fully there!!  Give yourself to every moment of the day your with your students.

R- Rapport– Relationships are  a must!  Even the most challenging and difficult students need YOU!  Yes, you!  You can make a difference in their lives.

A- Ask/Analyze–  Ask the right questions when building your lessons, analyze them, ask for feedback, approach criticism as an opportunity to take a recourse, not a failed attempt.

T- Transformation–  Change the way you’ve always approached teaching/learning if you need.  Ask yourself two questions:

  • If your students didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?
  • Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?

E- Enthusiasm–  In the words of Dave Burgess, “It is not accident that the cornerstones of the Teach Like a Pirate System are Passion and Enthusiasm.  I believe excellence as a teacher starts with having passion for what you do in life, and is driven home with your enthusiasm.”

The enthusiasm cannot stop on weekends, holidays, or summer break.  A true educator never lets the enthusiasm die.  It cannot because it is instilled in them.  It is  why the person was called to be an educator by our divine creator.  I don’t mean to sound harsh, but if you don’t have the passion or enthusiasm it is time for you to change.  Only pirates should be on this ship.  The lives of children are too important to not be taught by a pirate.  It doesn’t mean you are always going to feel 100% on top of your game.  That is not humanly possible.  It does mean you are committed to giving your personal pirate best.  So, will you be a pirate this year or not?

What if we were always this excited to teach???

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