I have to tell you about the best book I read this summer…Teach Like a Pirate. By Dave Burgess.
Mr Burgess spoke directly to me when he spoke (and explained) LCL’s, creativity, passion for teaching/learning, engagement, lighting yourself on fire with your passion, the difficult decision we all have to make dealing with caring more about teaching our students or teaching for a test, among many, many others.
LCL’s – Life Changing Lessons. Passion filled exciting learning
Creativity: It struck a nerve with me as he spoke of 6 words that are truly sinister (his words… I agree!) – “That’s easy for you. You’re creative.” Not true! – creativity is a lot of work! And it’s not easy!
Passion for teaching is a theme that fills his book! He speaks of lighting yourself on fire with your passion, letting it out, creating an environment where your passion is contagious to students and fellow colleagues.
Failure: Failure is an absolutely necessary part of the learning process. Sometimes we teach students to find the correct answer as quickly as possible, but the process of making mistakes, learning from those mistakes and “righting the ship” and finding the solution is the most rewarding part.
There is an amazing place I will now give a Shameless Twitter plug! Twitter is an excellent place where educators are sharing their thoughts, ideas and collaborating with one another about the book at the same time. Teach Like a Pirate #tlap Twitter chat archives can be found here: http://psolarz.weebly.com/tlap.html
As I look at the notes and highlights of the book, they are too numerous to mention them all. I do want to mention a few quotes that struck me most powerfully about failure:
If you haven’t failed in the classroom lately, you aren’t pushing the envelope far enough. “Safe” lessons are a recipe for mediocrity at best.
The key to failing without quitting is to shift your paradigm to believe there is no such thing as true failure— only feedback.
Much of your success as an educator has to do with your attitude towards teaching and towards kids. The rest of your success is based on your willingness to relentlessly search for what engages students in the classroom and then having the guts to do it.
These are so true! People want to learn about what they are passionate about, as educators we need to show our students that failure is part of the process, success comes from putting your all into your efforts, and the process is the only thing. Once learners are passionate and engaged in the process, we can share any piece of information with them or any multiple choice test question and they will have the skills to think through the process and come to the “correct” answer.