Hey ya’ll, your friendly Southern educator here……
I was doing dishes this morning and puttering around the house a bit, and my mind started wandering (as it often does.) I was thinkin’ about pirates. Yep, pirates! Yeah pretty weird, but when I’m cleaning it’s a mindless job and my mind can go on adventures.
I love pirates. Always wanted to run away and become a pirate. I thought it would be great! No mother tellin’ ya what to do all the time. No chores to get done. Complete and total freedom! Oh and treasure! But mostly, it was the freedom to sail wherever and whenever I wanted and nobody telling me what to do.
Funny how time changes, anyway this morning, my mind went back to the land of pirates, only this time it was a different kind of pirate, a teacher pirate! It’s a way to teach and manage the classroom and have fun while you do it.
So What is a Teacher PIRATE?
I stumbled over the perfect book for me a few years ago that changed my attitude towards teaching from “fine, you win” to “hey, we can do this!” I read this professional development book in one sitting; it was fun, interesting and intriguing. I read it again and highlighted. I read it again and took notes. Now, mind you this was summer vacation and as much as I love professional development, I have never done this before nor since with any book.
Ask and Analyze
Why be a pirate? What’s special about pirates?
“Pirates are daring, adventurous, and willing to set forth into unchartered territories with no guarantee of success. They reject status quo and refuse to conform to any society that stifles creativity and independence.”
Pirates are “fiercely independent, they travel with and embrace a diverse crew. If you’re willing to live by the code, commit to the voyage, and pull your share of the load, then you’re free to set sail.”
“Pirates don’t much care about public perception; they proudly fly their flag in defiance”
–Dave Burgess, Teach Like a PIRATE
Why should educators be pirates?
We as educators have to be able to spark a fire within the students to get them on board with learning. If the students do not feel the need to learn, they won’t. Ever try to move a mule that didn’t want to move? Pretty amusing, but he ain’t moving. There’s nothing we can do to MAKE the mule move or to MAKE the children learn, but we can make them WANT to learn by being innovative and creative. We can give them a reason to be curious as to what we have to offer them for the day. Children are inherently curious. Give them a reason to want to come just to see what the day holds.
Who’s the stubborn one? You or them?
Create a sign for your door that invites them to want to open the door. “Now showing: The Dancing Clowns” is more interesting than “Dance Class 101” “Enter at your own risk” is better than Science room 9. Put a box on the desk with bunch of ?????? all over it. Trust me, kids will listen and participate just to figure out what’s in the box.
The suspense is killing me! What’s in the box?!?
Without educators willing to step outside the box and be PIRATES, our educational system is doomed to the boring cookie cutter system that kids will check out of as soon as they can. If you don’t want to be there, why would they?
A Pirate’s Life for Me!
Managing a classroom is hard work, but if you put in the work at the beginning to set the tone, the rest will fall into place much easier. If the work you put into it is fun, it’s even better!
Being a pirate is just one twist on a way to navigate the waters of the classroom. You’ve heard traditional ways, now let’s see how to do it as a pirate. Next time, we’ll take a peek at HOW to be a PIRATE!!
Get this book imported from the U.S.
Or buy a Chinese edition for your Chinese teacher/coworker/friend!
Who is Christy?
I’m just a simple country girl who wanted to make a difference in children’s lives by becoming the best teacher/model I could. I want to promote teachers to be more than just a person in a room. I want to help them to love and guide all children to become the best person they can be. I truly believe all children deserve a chance, but those who are less likely to achieve greatness, need the most, loving, kindest teacher they can possibly have because they probably do not get this from anywhere else. We have the ability to shape and guide these children and lead on to greatness and life they deserve.
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Cover Photo by Markus Spiske