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?