Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pirates are Passionate

The book study has begun!  YAY!!!  I am joining with Rowdy in First Grade and Third Grade Tidbits (the two organizers of our book study) in reading Dave Burgess's Teach like a Pirate.

Teach Like a PIrate book study

Chapter 1 is being hosted by Guided Math today.  Head over to her blog to check out what she has to say about passion.

Guided Math

Chapter one is about passion (the P in pirate) and not just having a passion for teaching.  He talks about how content, professional, and personal passion interweave into your teaching.

One of the parts that really stuck with me was when he talks about what many teachers don't want to admit out loud:  "Here is the secret:  We are not passionate about everything we teach.  It's OK!  Let the freedom wash over you.  Now that the secret's out in the open, let's talk about it."  And you know what, it is okay.  I first began teaching as a social studies teacher and there were definitely topics that I really found boring and had no passion to teach, like geography.  Yuck!  I loved teaching the American Revolution, World War I and II, ancient Egypt, and medieval times.  However, geography was a tough to be excited about for me.  Latitude and longitude - not a lot to be excited about there.

I wish I had this book when I first began teaching!  The rest of the chapter is devoted to showing you how to bring another passion (like a personal passion) into the mix to make that topic you are not excited about more alive.  I love to read and read and read more.  When I retire (which is a looonnnggg way off), I want to volunteer at my local library.  How could I have used that passion to make the geography lessons better?  By reading aloud picture books and portions of chapter books!  Seems like such a simple thing now but didn't occur to me then.  All I knew how to do was survive one day to the next by teaching out of the book.

If you have your own blog, then tell us what you think about chapter one and link to Rowdy in First Grade or Third Grade Tidbits.  Leave a comment below and I will check out your post! 

I can't wait to hear what you are passionate about and how it influences your teaching.  How do you bring your personal passions into play in your lessons?


  1. Oh I am so with you about geography. I feel like the teacher in Charlie Brown when I teach it. Waah waah waah... We have made up songs/chants that are nothing exciting, but the kids remember them. And then they do little motions and dances for them. My class from 4 years ago came up with our cardinal and intermediate direction chants and I STILL use them to teach it.
    Third Grade Tidbits

  2. I loved this chapter, and I also loved how honest he is. Of course we aren't passionate about everything we teach! But, it's all about the drama!

    I bring in as much as my personal life as possible to spice up those boring lessons- and use lots of storytelling. Can't wait to keep reading!!

    Koonce’s Korner

  3. I am the same way with geography and LANDFORMS - ugh! But I am now thinking of ways to bring in more to these lessons to make them more fun for me so that I can bring some passion to them! I love technology and crafty stuff so I am going to spend some time looking for more ways to bring this in - I might actually really venture into salt dough or something to create maps.... LOVING this book!

  4. I'm not passionate about Science at all, but luckily I haven't had to teach it in a while. I am however, very passionate about reading and I can feel that passion flowing over to my students. I guess I need to deep more deeply if I ever have to teach science again. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. I was so relieved when I read that too! I cannot stand teaching about rocks and soil! I'm darn good at faking it though!
    Rowdy in First Grade


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