Teaching Like a Pirate: Getting Started
It started with a book called Teach Like a Pirate. I read it this summer and became engrossed with it. It had such great ideas and changed the way I thought about student engagement in my room. Suddenly, I started questioning myself, why had I done that lesson this way instead of this alternative? I asked myself why I hadn't tried to be more creativity with that group of wild ones instead of falling back into the same-old. It changed my thoughts about how to get "buy-in" from students and create suspense that we yearn for in our every day life. I don't go to movies unless they catch my attention, so why would a kid learn my lesson unless I sell it to them? Food for thought!
We went to see Dave in Des Moines in February, from there, we were all hooked! Dave's enthusiasm for education and real-world examples made it easy to connect with. We couldn't think of a better way to share what we had learned than to help others experience it themselves....and the J-Hawk Hook Challenge was born!
The J-Hawk Hook Challenge: Embracing the Change
We asked you to get involved! What a great way to keep student engagement high in the time of the year when it seems to be diminishing. The first day, we (the Connectors) walked around in full pirate gear (The Costume Hook) - I'll tell you from experience, there might not be a better way to create suspense for students than to dress up. I've never had so many stares, comments, and questions about why I thought a pirate was the best option that morning when I woke up! I know Michelle got some looks when she went to rural that day!
In short, we've already seen some great hooks being implemented in various rooms! That isn't to say that they haven't been there all year and couldn't be in other, but it has been fun to share them and talk about them together.
I've heard teachers say that it was "great to do something different for a day" or that they thought it was a "good challenge for themselves that the kids had fun with." If you haven't had a chance, check out the #jhawkproud feed to the right of this page to see some of the great things our teachers have tried so far!
Thus far, we've had 18 staff members participate in multiple hooks! We'll be holding a drawing for some goodies at the halfway point (Monday) for anyone who has participated thus far! Thank you for participating!
Skyping with Dave Burgess: A Recap
Wednesday, we were lucky enough to chat with the pirate guru himself, Dave Burgess after school. He talked with us about his vision for Teach Like a Pirate (and his publishing company), his beliefs about education and student engagement, and answered any questions we had for him.
Here are some the takeaways from our chat with Dave from those who came to chat with him:
- "To embrace the fidget toy! If kids are interested in them, make it a relevant lesson in your classroom."
-"Teaching like a pirate is change in mentality, not a strategy. To teach like a pirate you must be willing to be flexible, a little off-the-wall at times, and adapt to a change in the times."
-Being a pirate means being different, venturing into uncharted waters, and sometimes being a little spur of the moment. All of these are necessary in teaching and these hooks allow you to try to find that "thing" that gets your students engaged.
-"Connect with other educators and use each other. Twitter is a great way to find resources and ask others for their input if you aren't able to do so at school."