Ahoy, Mateys! Teach Like A Pirate Book Study- Section One

Jun 28, 2013

Finally home from an AWESOME family adventure to California and ready to report my reflections from the first section of the Teach Like A Pirate book study! I greatly enjoyed reading this while we were on the road. It also helped me NOT pay attention to my hubby’s driving!  Hee! Hee!

About 30 minutes into the drive my book had underlining, stars, and post-it flags all over it:

Many of my fellow bloggers/book study buddies have had a lot of the same “A-ha” moments I had.  Certain quotes stuck with them as they did with me. As I was reading, I was aware that I was nodding my head in agreement and saying, “That makes total sense to me.”

One of the greatest compliments I ever got from my principal was when she told me I was her “maverick.” Maybe it was a nice way of her saying “HEY- you can teach an old dog new tricks!” but I am going to stick with the idea that I think outside the box. I am always trying new things and even though this is my 21st year I am willing to be visionary.  That is why my first BIG sticky went down in the introduction when I read this quote:

I liked it so much I made a poster.  I might sneak it up in the teacher’s workroom. 🙂
(Click on the image if you want a copy to hang too!)
By chapter two, I already had a bunch more stickies and stars.  I loved Dave’s analogy of immersion.  
He asks are you a lifeguard or a swimmer? 
 I’d like to think most days I am a swimmer, but this is definitely something I need to work on. I tend to “mother hen” a bit much. 
As I kept reading, I felt a kinship towards Dave. Being a (retired) professional clown, I could relate to his perspective of being a performer. When I would work two or more events a day (and was dead-dog tired!) I still needed to give each event the energy and enthusiasm as my first. I never really connected my two experiences before, but it totally works. Even teaching elementary versus junior high is a bit different. When I taught junior high,  I actually thought my lessons got BETTER as the day went on!  In second grade, I usually only have one chance to deliver a lesson or “put on a show.”  Dave asks in chapter 4,  “If the students didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching an empty room?” He also asks “Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?”  Excellent food for thought. 🙂
I also had a few cringing moments during my reading. I’ll admit it.  Like where he talks about “the medicine approach.”  I am totally guilty of this. Like within the past week guilty.  Ugh. Dave stresses the importance of what he calls “reframing” lessons.  Generally, making lessons seem relevant and being able to sell them to your students.  Getting the kiddos to buy in rather than the ‘ol “I know this is boring but it’s gonna be on the test!” approach.  Again, I am guilty.  The last week of teaching summer school, I was teaching telling my kiddos that they would need to know the identity property of multiplication, because the 3rd grade teachers said so! I taught the lesson and we did some hands-on activities, but bottom line I probably definitely could have used a better hook. Lesson learned. 🙂 
Avast, I am SUPER excited to move on to the second section of the book, where the rubber hits the road.  It is promised to be a treasure trove of strategies to implement all of of my new pirate ways. !! 
Stay tuned… as I am co-hosting the last two chapters in our book study. YAY!!!
Graphics courtesy of: My Cute Graphics



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