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:
- that doesn’t look like it’s as engaging as they claim it is, and
- 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.