Thursday, June 13, 2013

Are you in the pool or on the side? - Teach Like a Pirate Chapter 2

I have to start this post with a disclaimer.  I had to read off the preview as I am still waiting for my book.  With this said I am not sure I got to read all of chapter 2.

Are you on the side of the pool?
     I really enjoy Burgess' connection to a swim coach standing by the pool.  This probably has something to do with the fact I was a competitive swimmer in the past.  I guess the question I really need to ask, is am I the teacher who just tells the kids what to do and sit back and just wait for them to do it.  Sometime this can seem like what needs to be done.  I don't know about you, but sometimes I wish it was that simple so I could get all my paper work and grading done.  However, is this really benefiting the students?  Isn't this the time when you feel like they get what you are teaching the least.  This also seems to be what causes the kids to say "she goes to fast," or "she doesn't help me."  Sometimes I feel like I have to be the coach on the outside because I'm looking for that kid that is trying to pull another kid under, those behavior friends we have?

Are you in the pool?
    Are you the teacher who is in the pool?  Are you doing one on one conferences? Are you doing small groups? Are you going to those students and showing them the small things that make them just a little bit more successful?  I believe we all start off wanting to be this teacher.  The one who is in the middle of it all.  The one who has a class of complete engagement with the students totally focused on what is going on.  How many students need us to be totally immersed in what we are doing because it may be the only time during the day that someone shows them they are cared about?  

Is it fair for us to grade a child based on the sidelines (papers only) or should we grade them based on their growth, thinking, and effort (discussion, responses). I know last year I was bad about grading from the sidelines.  I felt like I had to have that paper.  How was that fair to my ELL Learners and my students with learning disabilities?  Just because they read the question and interpreted it differently or could truly explain there thoughts in written words, doesn't mean they don't have all the material.  Maybe if I would immerse myself in my teaching, I would find a few thing to be true:
     1.  I would have more engagement
     2.  I would know who was truly struggling and who wasn't and needed to be challenged
     3.  I would have more fun, and so would my students
    4. My students would feel like their teacher cared.

Till Sunday with Chapter 3.  May your week be blessed with fun and immersion in what ever you may be doing.

Want to see what others are saying?  Link up with Marie from "The Hands-On Teacher" and see her summary of Chapter 2 that she has. Just Click on the button below.


  1. I've read about half the book and I love this visual of how we should teach! Awesome book! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Hey- glad you are participating! I love the book! make sure you are linking up your posts to our link up so others will find you!
    Third Grade Tidbits

  3. I agree with you about the grading! The whole first grade team asked our parents to look at their child's growth instead of their grades this year. We didn't want them focusing on A's and B's only. We want them to focus on the skills. I'm hoping we move to a standards based report card so that areas of growth and areas of weakness are made more clear to parents. Great post!