Teach Like A Pirate
Reviewed by Laura T.
Dave Burgess is an award-winning and nationally recognized teacher who travels to all kinds of conferences, keynote lectures, and campuses to spread his word and enthusiasm for teaching. He inspires colleagues, fellow teachers, and even his own students by using the creative acronym PIRATE. If we “Teach like a pirate,” Burgess strongly believes our students’ engagement will increase, our own creativity will rise, and our life as educators will be transformed for the better. His book is split into three parts: Teach Like a Pirate!, Crafting Engaging Lessons, and Building a Better Pirate. In part one we learn that P stands for passion, I stands for immersion, R stands for rapport, A stands for ask and analyze, T stands for transformation, and E stands for enthusiasm. Since I am only going into my second year of teaching, I found this acronym to be extremely valuable because it gives me an idea of what I need to show and display every day to be a successful teacher. Burgess even opened my eyes to things I have never really thought about. For example, when he discusses immersion, he points out that students can feel when we’re not “all there.” We owe it to our students to be fully present; to be interacting with and teaching them in ways that they know we are there for them and not for anything else. As the book progressed, I even gained some strategies I would like to try and implement in my classroom this year, such as a battleship review game. I strongly recommend this book for any teacher, even if you have been teaching for 10+ years, because we can all use new ideas, strategies, and insights regardless of how far we are into our career. As an elementary school teacher, however, this book does seem to pertain more towards those who teach high school and, in particular, U.S. History as a subject. Burgess teaches U.S. History in San Diego and has unbelievable tactics that could really transform your life and the lives of your students. We need to change the status quo and make school an enjoyable and memorable experience for all. Sometimes that starts by doing something as simple as reading a book and gaining some inspiration.