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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Teach Like a Pirate Book Study Part 2: Rapport, Ask and Analyze

Clip Art by Amanda Wittenborn

Welcome to part two 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.  

Here is the posting schedule


I really enjoyed reading the section and had the biggest smile on my face while doing it.  The level of energy and enthusiasm the author has for his students reminds me of my own favorite high school teacher.  His plan for the first 3 days of school is a sure way to get to know your students better and kick of your year in a high energy and fun way!

The big take away from this chapter for me is that you have to care about and be involved in your students' lives.  You need to get to know your students in order to effectively engage them.  I think this is the most difficult at the high school level where students have so many teachers each day.  For those teachers who are in a self contained room with the same kids all day I think this can be much easier.

My own situation is a bit unique because I see kids for about an hour a day like high school teacher but I see them over a period of years as well.  I think that the rapport I have with my students is the backbone of my success as a teacher.  I have had the opportunity to work with kids an hour a day starting in Kindergarten and going up through sixth grade.  It is truly amazing the level of rapport you can have with a kid when you have such a long term relationship with them.  Being invested in them from an early age and seeing them grow up builds a level of rapport that is hard to replicate.

I know many people who work in a job like mine are seen more as an interventionist than as a co-teacher.  It can be hard for them to build rapport with a whole class and if their groups change frequently they may be seeing a huge number of kids and for very short term commitments.  Because of my decision to try to do push-in interventions whenever possible I have much more opportunity to build rapport with my kids.  

Ask and Analyze

This section is all about the creative process.  The author does a great job of outlining some examples of how all people can be creative.  No one is creative by accident it takes time, energy and effort to be creative.  "Creative ideas don't come out of the blue; they came from engaging in the creative process.  That critical process starts when you ask the right types of questions and then actively seek the answers." 

There is also a strong focus in this section on asking good questions.  "The quality of your questions determines the quality of your answers, and the type of question determines the type of ideas your brain will receive and conceive."  I completely agree with these ideas.  I feel like I became a much better teacher when I started focusing on the types of questions I was asking my students and making sure I was asking myself questions about my lessons.  

One of the reasons I started this blog was to capture my good and not so good teaching moments.  I have a great memory but I still can't remember every single thing I liked, loved or hated about a lesson.  Back when I started this blog I was the only person who was reading it and it really was just a place to capture my ideas.  Now that others read my blog, it still is a place for me to capture ideas but now I just use better pictures and cuter graphics and links back to my other posts.  When I am planning a lesson now, I can search my posts for keywords and remind myself about how I did a particular lesson or intervention in the past or how I can do it in the future. 

Because of my blog, I feel like I am much better at noticing when I have a creative idea.  These ideas really are fleeting though and if they don't get written down, they tend to be lost forever.  Even writing down a few words can help me think of the idea later.  I do this very simply by using the notes app on my iPad which I usually have with me.  These quick little notes about lessons and ideas or tweaks really help move my teaching forward.  So does reading great books like this one!

I look forward to reading everyone's thoughts on rapport and the creative process!   

1 comment:

  1. Haha, me too - for a long time when I wrote on my blog, I was the only one who read it. I still enjoy looking back at what I've written. I haven't read this book, but I like what you are saying about practicing creativity. I have many things, personally, that are creative that I like to do, but when I don't do them cry often, I'm not as creative. Thanks for the thoughts. Sara