After reading such great reviews, I finally decided to download and read Dave Burgess’ Teach like a Pirate. Last night I dove in feet first and, while I haven’t gone out and purchased my pirate costume yet, I already am getting benefits from the book.
While I am only a few chapters into the book, I am quickly finding it very insightful. The importance of passion in teaching can never be understated and it seems Mr. Burgess has mastered the skill. “A lifeguard sits above the action and supervises the pool deck. Although he is focused, there is a distinct sense of separateness both physically and mentally. In contrast, a swimmer is out participating and an integral part of the action” (Burgess, 2012). What a profound statement. It is the swimmers that have more influence of the events going on in the pool; while the lifeguard watches over the events, the swimmers have the fun.
“The teachable moment is called that because if you wait it will be gone! It’s OK to surrender your structure in the pursuit of something far more valuable in the moment” (Burgess, 2012). All too often, as teachers, we get wrapped up in the lesson and fail to pursue those teachable moments. Getting off track can be frustrating, especially when preparing for those wonderful “assessments”, but getting off track can lead to wonderful experiences. Off the cuff learning can peak the students interest and increase class moral. It can also serve to build trust in your class, and I think we all know the value of trust.
And finally I leave you with this gem, “ultimately, we don’t want to develop techniques to win behavior management battles, we want to develop techniques that allow us to avoid the battles altogether” (Burgess, 2012). Wow, is all I can say to this one. How prophetic is that! Again trust that you built during your daily sessions pays dividends. Working hard from day one, building trust and rapport with your students will ultimately lead to bigger and better things,
Ok, well it’s off to dive back into the book…more to come!