Monday, October 28, 2013

Teach Like a PIRATE Week 7: Building a Better PIRATE

This week's reading assignment is the last section of the book, Building a Better PIRATE. Dave starts this section by asking the tough question, "Do you want to be great?" How would you answer this question? How do you strive for greatness and stay positive? Visit the blog next week to share some final thoughts about the book.

Hopefully you were able to join us for our webinar with Dave Burgess last week. If you missed it or if you would like to view it again, you can view the webinar here.

14 comments:

  1. In the current political environment where the teaching profession is under attack and a highly effective rating on an evaluation is a rare event, it is very difficult to stay positive. So when I start of feel beaten down, bone tired, and stressed out; I go to the 'fountain of youth" that is sitting in my classroom.

    I chose the teaching profession in order to make a difference in the lives of my students. When I connect with them and build a relationship with them, then I am a great teacher. They know it and I know it. That's all that matters.

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    2. Very well said. I couldn't agree more.

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  2. I look at my students who have no idea how stressed teachers truly are and I gain my strength and my attidtude shift from them. They are eager to learn, to be challenged, and they are so very creative. Even the students who are constantly trying to "trip up the teacher" present a challenge and a desire for me to keep them motivated. I have a young lady that sings good morning to me every day as she enters my classroom. My students blog about the music they like and many times they blog about the classroom music. It is enlightening and keeps me motivated for them. I love what I do and the rest is just busy work.

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  3. I DO want to be great. No question about that. I’ve worked for greatness for 45 years now. Have I always made it? No, but there’s never been a time I wasn’t going for it. I have a lot of second generation students (third, too, I guess, although no one has said that) and it’s wonderful to get hugs and big smiles from the kids I had long ago,who are now parents. I’ve been so very lucky to work with others who wanted to be great, and we supported and encouraged each other. With the climate of teacher bashing in Indiana and the nation, I’ve struggled with the negativity the past few years. I’ll admit it has gotten to me at times. It’s always the students who have lifted me back up. When I concentrate on what I can do with my kids, I feel so happy to have chosen this profession. Nothing is better than a good day (hour, minute) of teaching, when you see the attention and light in their eyes or hear the excitement or laughter in their voices. Part III made me cry, it’s so full of truth. It’s all the things I wish I could say to the world about being a teacher. It’s been great being a teacher. It’s hard for me to give it up, but because of what’s happening to teacher retirement in Indiana, I’m afraid to stay. It seems a shame to be torn between what I want to do and financial security. Teaching is about passion (and it IS my life's passion), but it’s also about paying for college for your own children!

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    1. Oh, Ingrid. Reading your entry made me feel like you are a great teacher! As I'm getting older, many of the teachers who were here when I started teaching have retired. It is so bittersweet; I miss the retired teachers. Their attitudes, wisdom, experience, and calmness are missed by many of us. Some of them retired because they were a bit scared of the increasing technology. I'm sure there are going to be lots of teachers in your building who will be sad when you decide to retire.

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    2. Thanks, Michelle! You are just what a teacher should be...thoughtful, supportive, and kind! I wish you the joy I've continued to have through all my years teaching. It's true: If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life...

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  4. Ok, this is the number four attempt at this.

    In a nutshell, two years ago the special education teachers and our director were at a meeting where the director said that I was a teacher with "rigor". Well, I thought he said "vigor". Later that year, at a another meeting, he again said I was a teacher with "rigor". I understood the intent, that this was a compliment. Now with the help of our author, I understand the meaning of "rigor". Dave Burgess states that "rigor means improving higher-order thinking skills and offering students the opportunity for meaningful and challenging work". Bulls eye - that is exactly what I am trying to achieve in the In House Classroom at Vernon Manor. Most of my students have severe cognitive abilities, but they all deserve an appropriate curriculum that stimulates their minds.

    This book was an energy booster and gave me several ideas that I could use immediately. I like being part of the elearning blog. You see, a great teacher never stops learning. We are testaments to our students and fellow colleagues. Keep encouraged.

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  5. The want to be a great teacher is always present as I teach day to day. However as educators we are always learning and revamping our style. Since reading the Teach Like a Pirate, I have been working towards trying to have some sort of “wow factor” in each of my lessons to help the content stick with students. Of course sometimes this is difficult because of the topic, difficulty, the reasons are endless but I have been trying to stretch my imagination and of course use research to find a “wow factor” to make my lessons great! However along with being engaging, high level thinking and standards-based are obviously still top priorities as well.

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  6. I think that I strive to be a great person. For me that means wife. mother, and teacher. Teaching is just one aspect of my life and I strive for balance. I think it is essential to be in the moment and when I'm at school, I'm giving it 100% of my focus and attention. I can say that I truly feel called to teach children. I enjoy working with then and seeing them growing and mature in their learning and as people. I loved the part of the book that talked about not knowing how good of a job we did until 20 yrs later. I try to stay positive and encouraging everyday because that's what I want for my children, and that's what all children deserve. I have 22 bosses, and I want them happy and learning everyday or I'm not doing my job.

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  7. I read this chapter awhile ago, and I've waited to respond because several issues hit the fan in my district all at once. Most of the teachers in my building that I teach with are great! I believe we all strive to be great, however, it is concerning to me that little annoyances seem to build into big irritations this school year more than some other years. I remarked to my principal recently that I felt like I could write an episode for "Parks and Recreation" except make it school-related. The "rulings" that come to us (from the state, the fire marshall, our administration, and our parents) are well-intentioned, but sometimes so impractical. I try to keep them in perspective, but when several of them hit close together, it is easy to become overwhelmed, tired, and stressed. I had a week or two like this just as I was finishing the book. I had to step away from school-related responsibilities for a good chunk of the weekend. On top of it all, I was having technical issues with my laptop and had to get it reimaged! After weeks like this, I have to tell myself to jump through the myriad hoops that are placed in front of teachers as best I can, . . . .. and then concentrate on what's most important. It usually has little to do with the hoops I've had to jump through. Sometimes I have to intentionally turn down the noise of the well-intentioned critics, and "Keep Calm and Teach On!"

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  8. I read this chapter awhile ago, and I've waited to respond because several issues hit the fan in my district all at once. Most of the teachers in my building that I teach with are great! I believe we all strive to be great, however, it is concerning to me that little annoyances seem to build into big irritations this school year more than some other years. I remarked to my principal recently that I felt like I could write an episode for "Parks and Recreation" except make it school-related. The "rulings" that come to us (from the state, the fire marshall, our administration, and our parents) are well-intentioned, but sometimes so impractical. I try to keep them in perspective, but when several of them hit close together, it is easy to become overwhelmed, tired, and stressed. I had a week or two like this just as I was finishing the book. I had to step away from school-related responsibilities for a good chunk of the weekend. On top of it all, I was having technical issues with my laptop and had to get it reimaged! After weeks like this, I have to tell myself to jump through the myriad hoops that are placed in front of teachers as best I can, . . . .. and then concentrate on what's most important. It usually has little to do with the hoops I've had to jump through. Sometimes I have to intentionally turn down the noise of the well-intentioned critics, and "Keep Calm and Teach On!"

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