Teaching & Learning

Teach Like A Pirate? Give Me A Break…

I’m really trying not to be cynical here, however, it’s going to come across like I am.

I just don’t get the hype surrounding Teach Like a Pirate. I just don’t.

Let me preface this by saying that I have not read it, however, I have read many excerpts and reviews on it. I have also watched the following two videos:

And… I just don’t get it. I don’t know about you, but, I already have passion for my job. Believe me, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be a teacher. If I ran into the room and starting flopping around on the floor, not only would the students mock me unceasingly, my Principal would also probably have stern words with me.

OK, I will admit: fun is important in a classroom, but when you’ve got a lot of different stakeholders breathing down your neck for results, you need to have a long, hard think. Yes, I can be one of those teachers that says ‘you can’t silence me and I will NOT bow down to the man,’ but, I’ve also got a mortgage to pay and a family to support. I’ve come to like having a job that pays me money to then be used for things like shelter and food. I once asked my boss if I could flip my classroom and was told ‘no,’ because it may affect the ability of students to ‘tick off the syllabus dot-points.’ Thankfully, my current boss is more forward thinking, however, I think they’ll draw the line at flopping around on the floor.

Flipping = yes.

Flopping = no.

I mean, just look at the guy at the front of the video on his phone while his teacher came running in. I don’t know about you, but:

  1. that doesn’t look like it’s as engaging as they claim it is, and
  2. surely there are so many different ways you can hook your students without the theatrics.

This would definitely work in, say Drama class, but what can I do in Geography? Explode like a volcano and spit food everywhere out of my mouth? Shoot coffee everywhere to show the water cycle in action?

I just don’t get it. Dave Burgess has made (I’m assuming, a lot of money) off of the idea that teachers need to show passion for their craft and build a rapport with their students.

Do you want to know rule number 1 of successful teaching? Know your students.

I didn’t even charge you for that! You’re welcome.


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