Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today's Golden Nugget From Teach Like a Pirate- Ask and Analyze

Well, teachers, you know how it is the first week of school - sore feet, tired back from standing, dry throat from going over all the expectations and procedures, but excited about the new school year. As my "bone tired" body crawled into bed last night, I instantly grabbed the book by my bed that I've been yearning to dive back into - Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.

Throughout the first week of school, I've been "welcoming my students to the world famous learning extravaganza." They now giggle and love it when I say this to them. Dave Burgess is "spot on" with using this and hooks to capture students' excitement. When I tell my students, "You don't want to miss tomorrow. If you do, you'll just have to hear the incredible stories," they all look at each other with wide eyes and wonder what in the world we'll be doing the next day.  I love it! With all of this stirring up and bringing excitement into my classroom, I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter in this MUST READ book - "Ask and Analyze."

Dave Burgess questions...do you ask yourself, "What can I write on the board to spark a conversation or create a buzz even before the bell rings?" We should constantly ask ourselves how we can create excitement or come up with REMARKABLE lessons that will WOW our students. It doesn't come easy, and it certainly (as he says) doesn't just "strike us like a bright light." It takes hard work, time and energy, researching, taking notes, and collaborating with others.

Not only should we be constantly questioning ourselves, but the "QUALITY of our questions is critical." We should ask ourselves, "How can I make this lesson memorable, impacting, powerful, and remarkable for my students?"  I told my students the first day of school, "I want you to WANT to come to school, not to feel like you HAVE to come to school."  Therefore, every day I will ask myself, "Is this lesson going to cause excitement and build that desire in my students?" If not, I'm going back to the "drawing board."

Yes, our lessons may blow up in our faces sometimes, and we may fail. If we don't fail, then we are staying in the "safe zone."  Dave Burgess states, "safe lessons are a recipe for mediocrity at best." Do we want to be mediocre teachers for our next generation? NO! Dive in, question yourself with quality questions, and analyze your lessons. The added time you take to do this will change the entire atmosphere of the classroom, your attitude toward your job and students and, most importantly, the way your students feel about YOU, your subject, and learning.

NOTE: All ideas come from the phenomenal book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess


Until the next "golden nugget,"

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