Hi, I'm Stephanie, and I'm a pirate. No, not the kind of pirate that sails on ships and wears a patch! I'm a passionate educator and instructional coach who wants to create memorable experiences for learners and strives to impact the lives of learners every day. If you're still scratching your head, I highly recommend you check out the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.
During the first semester I facilitated a staff book study over Teach Like a Pirate (TLAP), in which we met once per month to discuss and reflect. Yesterday our staff concluded our book study of Teach Like a Pirate. To end the book portion of the TLAP journey, we Skyped with the author and original pirate Dave Burgess! During the Skype session teachers asked questions, shared successes, and were inspired by stories from Dave's teaching and presentation experiences, and how TLAP came about. A few standout sayings from Dave include:
"What we do as educators is powerful stuff! We are about a mightier purpose!"
"The lessons [and content you teach] they'll forget, but the experiences they'll remember forever."
"Everyday, make a conscious decision to keep your focus on having a life changing impact on students."
As with any study or workshop session, the true litmus test of how something has impacted you is whether you continue using what you've learned, or let it fade into obscurity. Dave encouraged the teachers to keep their focus on their students, and they even left with a small token in the form of a TLAP Crew Membership Card to remember their journey. I'm not sure what the teachers plan to do with their learning now that the book study is over. As for me, I plan to continue my TLAP journey through the #tlap twitter chat, joining other TLAP book studies, modeling the pirate philosophy, and developing my own spin off: Lead Like a Pirate, which is a way to incorporate the pirate principles into presentations and professional development facilitation. "Teach Like a Pirate is a way you look at your teaching and the world," was a parting statement Dave Burgess shared points at the importance of transforming your outlook.
I look forward to what the future holds, and am excited to continue spreading the Teach Like a Pirate word!
Yesterday our district's first year teachers and instructional coaches met for a day filled of learning, encouragement, and reflection. One task we were given was share the characteristics of a memorable teacher. Immediately I began thinking of two wonderful educators: my third grade teacher and a graduate professor. Both of these ladies were enthusiastic, passionate, and always made learning relevant. As our group of first year teachers and coaches sat around the table providing adjectives like caring, passionate, connection, fun, enthusiastic, and pushing us towards success, I quickly drew the connection between our favorite or most memorable teacher, and the book our staff is currently reading, Teach Like a Pirate. The first half of Teach Like a Pirate introduces the reader to the PIRATE acronym: Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation, and Enthusiasm, all of which our descriptions of our memorable teacher fit into. Being a Pirate has nothing to do with setting sail and instead revolves around teachers being passionate, creative, and fulfilled- all of which directly impacts the classroom environment and student learning. While I can guarantee my favorite teachers never read Teach Like a Pirate, the descriptions of a Pirate teacher, and many of the hooks Pirates use to engage their students, were embodied and exemplified by my former teachers.
What are the characteristics of your favorite teacher?