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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Teach Like a Pirate Book Study Part 5: Building a Better Pirate

Welcome to the conclusion of the 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 to say that I have so enjoyed reading this book and it has really helped renew my enthusiasm for teaching.  This book is going to have a permanent place in my collection and will be one I will be going back to for inspiration and fresh ideas.  

Here is the posting schedule

Part III: Building a Better Pirate

Do you want to be great?  That is the big question in this section.  Do you want your classroom to be a place where students are engaged and building a love of learning.  Working towards being great makes you a better teacher and keeps your enthusiasm and passion strong.  "Teaching is a tough job filled with unbelievable hardships, hurdles, and headaches.  Our profession has a notoriously high burnout rate.  Unless you find something big to care about, you won't make it." I know I want to be a great teacher and when I am committed to putting passion and enthusiasm into my teaching, I enjoy it more and so do my students.  I love when colleagues notice my positive attitude and complement me on not just going through the motions.

I love the comments in this section about failing in the classroom.  If you play it safe all the time, not only are you not having any fun with your teaching, but you are not pushing your limits in your efforts to become great.  Some of my very best lessons have risen out of others that were complete disasters.  "If you haven't failed in the classroom lately, you probably aren't pushing the envelope enough.  You are being too safe." There is no perfect time to try out the lesson or the new strategy.   You  have to jump in with both feet and know that the cost of one failed lesson is not that high.  This advice rings so true with my own teaching practices as well as those times where I have been the teacher during professional development with other colleagues.  If you let fear of failing get in the way, it can be very difficult to get started.

Finding your crew

One of the things that has had the strongest impact on my teaching is the people I have met along the way.  All of the opportunity I have had for co-teaching has led me to develop relationships and learn from a huge variety of educators.  Attending conferences and taking courses had benefited me not only from the increased knowledge but from the increased opportunity to develop relationships and share my passion with other educators.  I have also been able to connect with teachers worldwide through my own and other educators blogs and Facebook pages.  I also have been fortunate enough to have a "best teacher friend" who I have been able to co-teach with, collaborate with and who has always been there to bounce ideas off of and push my teaching to the next level.

Classroom Kung Fu

In my school district it seems like every few years we buy a new math or literacy program that is supposed to fix everything and make everyone achieve the standards.  Despite words like fidelity to the program and rigor being thrown around, the program has never (and will never) fix all out problems.  "Districts and schools always seem to be investing in the latest, greatest program to solve all their problems."  It is not a program that will fix your school's problems.  It is people.  Teachers.  Great teachers who are always looking to "add more and more moves to their teaching style." 

Wrapping it Up!

My biggest take-away from this book is to continue to find what sparks my passion and enthusiasm for teaching and to think outside the box.  If you don't have passion and enthusiasm for your job than you need to find it or move onto something else!  The more passion and enthusiasm you have the better your potential for becoming a great teacher.  Find what fuels you and bring it into your classroom

What makes you passionate and enthusiastic in the classroom!  I look forward to reading your responses! 


  1. I finally own this book! I'm so looking forward to reading it. Thank you for sharing your take aways.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Thank you for all of your wonderful posts during the book study! I really appreciate you reading and blogging about #TLAP