"Most days are like all of the others- go to work, come back home, watch tv. But brother, if I had me druthers, I'd chuck it and head out to sea. For I dream of the skull and the crossbones, I dream of the great day to come. Where I dump the mundane for the Old Spanish Main and trade in my computer for rum"..
While I'm not trading in my computer for rum, I do want to dump the mundane; mundane teaching that is... Where am I going with this? Well, I feel in LOVE with a book I read for professional development called " Teach Like a Pirate" by Dave Burgess. Once I opened this book, I could not put it down. seriously. This was not a boring and stuffy book. It's filled with humor, inspiration, challenges and motivation. It's pages truly spoke to me.
When you think of pirates, you often think of them as adventure seeking, daring, takes risk, willing to use unorthodox tactics.. you know, this guy.
A pirate teacher really isn't so far off from the pirates we've seen on the screen and read in the books. Their lessons are packed with adventure, they take risks with new ideas, use unorthodox methods to teach, and embark on uncharted territories. Burgess's Pirate stands for
a-ask and analyze
Each letter has it's own chapter dedicated to help you think, question, and gain inspiration on becoming a better teacher. I was completely inspired by the passion chapter. The 'passion' chapter talks about the 3 types of passion- content, professional, and personal passion. He asks you to find what you are passionate about in those areas and look for ways to bring them into your classroom. Using your passions can be a simple way of taking a mundane lesson or curriculum and transforming it into a ticket worthy performance.
He points out that we idolize great athletes and musicians. For example, when you go see your favorite musician- you want to see a side of them that you hear on their records, but you want to see it play out in front of you. You want them to give you so much of their heart and so much of their spirit that after they are done, you have to sit an take a breath. That's what makes singers legends. And when we don't get that, we get disappointed when they don't fulfill their potential. So, why are we as educators afraid of being great or admitting that we are? Burgess encourages YOU to be great- It not only raises the bar and model for others to emulate, but it also contributes to a school culture for greatness to flourish.
Well, I admit it- I want to be a great teacher. I've thought I was a "good teacher", but after reading this book, I have LOTS of work to do. One way I am going to try to be a 'great' teacher is bring some of my passions into the classroom. Well, I have a lot of passions. However, I'm thinking Netflix and chill probably isn't the best one to start with. Some of my personal passions include rapping, (I'm pretty fly for a white girl), singing, acting and cooking..
I'm teaching 4th grade Texas History and Science this upcoming school year. New grade level and new subject. I want my students to leave my classroom loving history or at least have an appreciation for it- but I remember, I hated history growing up. I remember calling my Grandmother in California (My mom was PISSED that I called long distance from TX to CA) and crying about studying for a Texas history test. (Weird, how this came full circle.). I told her, "History is a bunch of dates about old, dead, white guys." My Grams (who can be described as a day old Italian loaf of bread-ya know, hard & crunchy on the outside but warm on the inside) ripped me a new one. I got an A on the test because I didn't want to disappoint my Grams, but I did not start liking history until high school. I had this AMAZING teacher who told history as a story, allowed us to be creative, challenged us to go beyond what we thought we could do. How could I still be me and bring my passions into my classroom and emulate this great teacher?
Well, I'm about to use some unorthodox teaching methods while also appealing to my personal passions. I've decided to create 3 characters that sporadically come in as guest speakers. This should make the lessons exciting... The first one is Rapper Notorious T.E.X. who raps about famous people and places throughout TX history. Here's a little taste of what Notorious T.E.X has been working on...
" Now, this is a story all about how, Texas history got turned upside down. I'd like you to take a minute a sit right there, I'll tell ya all about how the State of Texas popped out of nowhere!"
The other is Drop Dead Diva, who is a valley girl/ know-it-all- who pops up along history and gives her 2 cents about it.
The other character is for science. I'm still trying to think of something. If you have any ideas, I would LOVE to hear them!!!
I'm kind of excited about these characters. I hoping that because I am excited the kids will be too. Plus, we all can remember lyrics to any song. I can't remember what I did yesterday, but I can sure tell you all the lyrics to "Bye Bye Bye".
This year, as I embark into uncharted 4th grade, I want to really embrace teaching like a pirate. After all-sailors tell stories, pirates create legends.
How will you teach like a pirate this year?