Saturday, July 26, 2014

Teach Like a Pirate Book Study Part 3: Transformation and Enthusiasm

Welcome to part three of Teach Like a Pirate Book Study!  It is not to late to join in, so if you are looking for some inspiration for your teaching, grab a copy of the book and join our discussion!  Feel free to leave your discussion in the comments or if you have a blog and want to do a post about it, leave a link in the comments.  I have been working on capturing my creativity since last week's reading.  Check out these fun number sticks I made!

Here is the posting schedule

Clip art by Amanda Wittenborn


The focus of this section is all about knowing what you want your classroom to be like and how you want your students to feel about your class.  "You have to have a vision of what you want your ideal classroom looks like if you want to have any hope of creating it." By thinking about what your ideal classroom looks like, you can identify steps you need to take to realize your vision.  Burgess suggests writing a letter from a fictional student describing your class.  What things do you want kids to be saying about your teaching style.  Now think about what you need to do in order for that to become a reality!  I want kids to come away from my class with the realization that math is fun and solving problems can be entertaining.  I also want them to realize that math is all around them and that number sense is the key to solving problems.  

In order to do all of this, you have to ask yourself if your class is worth being in there.  "If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching to an empty room?"  Once you can answer that question with a resounding yes it is time to think about, "Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?"  That is really taking it to a positive, engaged and passionate experience!  To accomplish these two questions you must start by framing your material and  your class positively.  "Don't position your materials as if it is awful-tasting medicine!  Position your content as if it's amazing!  Give motivating reasons why the material is important to know."  To me, a lot of this goes back to having passion for your subject and your teaching.  

I want to work on creating more lessons I could sell tickets to!


"It is no accident that the cornerstones of the Teach Like a PIRATE system are Passion and Enthusiasm." 

This section is right up there with the section on Passion.  Like Burgess, I think passion and enthusiasm are the most important things for a teacher to have.  I think passion and enthusiasm are contagious and when you have them in abundance they can spread to your colleagues, your students and your school community.  I know if you asked one of my students what they think I do well, their response will have something to do with my passion or enthusiasm for teaching.  If you think you might be lacking in one of these areas, the advice to fake it till you make it might be cliche but it really does work.  I used to be so shy and quiet and would never speak up in front of people or argue for what I think is right.  I decided one day to pretend I was enthusiastic and confident about speaking in public and I faked it so well the response was amazing.  After that it got easier and easier to speak in front of people and now I actually seek out opportunities to do this instead of hiding in the back.  It is a great way to spread passion and enthusiasm.  

I look forward to reading what others thought about these two sections!  Next week we will take a look at how to craft engaging lessons!


  1. "Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?" What a great question and what a great challenge. I must read this book.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. It is a great question and it has really made me re-think some of my lessons! You will love this book!