Hanging Out With Pirates

Pirates pose with the Burgesses.

All hands on deck! As I boarded Ship 202, a gang of sprogs were gathered at the bow. Their excitement was palpable as Captain Bartley made final preps to get underway with her mateys from the left coast. Alas, the computer was at the ready and the projector beacon shone brightly. With a heave of the mouse Mr. and Mrs. Burgess appeared on the horizon to a greetin’ of epic proportions, “Ahoy!”

With an enthusiastic Mrs. Bartley at the helm, grade 4 students in Room 202 have embarked on pirating adventure. Following the philosophy from Dave Burgess’s book Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator, Mrs. Bartley has immersed herself in her students’ learning, bringing passion into her planning and teaching to truly transform the learning experience. After sharing her Teach Like a Pirate (TLAP) philosophy with her students, she then challenged them to discover what it means to learn like a pirate. The result is PIRATE pledge in which students resolve to Participate, Imagine, Revolutionize their thinking, Ask questions, Take risks, Engage and encourage.

On February 13, these Hopkins pirates claimed the booty of a lifetime when they interviewed Dave and Shelley Burgess through a Google Hangout. After a boatload of thoughtful questions, students paid homage to the pioneers of the pirate movement as they performed their shanty for the Burgesses. Yo-Ho-Ho, what a moment! One that is aptly summed up by Mrs. Bartley’s take on the TLAP experience, “It has been the best two months of teaching in my whole life!”


By Stephanie Doty

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