p - i - r - a - t - enthusiasm
Dave says if you do nothing else but improve on your enthusiasm you will be a much better teacher!
He writes, "An enthusiastic teacher can learn technique, method, and strategy, but it is almost impossible to light a fire inside the heart of a burned-out teacher (66)."
Be enthusiastic and rub off on everyone around you!
How do you become enthusiastic?
- Act like you are
- Might sound silly, but if you act like you are enthusiastic, you will become enthusiastic.
- Change your focus
- Don't let the negative things influence you. Let the positive things drive you!
Part II of Teach Like a Pirate: Crafting Engaging Lessons
Chapter 7 - The Third Circle
When people stand up to teach in front of others they prepare themselves with the content they are supposed to teach and with the techniques and methods they will use to teach the content. BUT, they often do not think much about the way they will present the information so that it sticks!
I love how Dave compares presentation to a BBQ at his house (77-78). (Who doesn't like to think about food?) He says not thinking about how you will present your lesson is like having a BBQ with only the main course served raw without any seasoning and marinade! The seasoning and the marinade will keep your students engaged. So, put that lesson on the grill and let it cook in the heat. He compares the heat to the energy you bring to your lesson. Oh, and don't forget to turn the steak a few times to add some twists and turns!
- Choices - You make tons of presentational choices during a lesson so make them count!
- music, lights, attention getting question, clothing, etc
- Transitions - make them short and sweet if necessary
- don't waste precious time or you will have to re-engage your students
- ex. have projector warming up - don't have to sit and wait on it
- pass out papers before the lesson begins
- have materials ready and on their tables
Chapter 8 was a quick introduction into Presentational Hooks. I highlighted the hook where Dave encourages us to use Pinterest! (Not really, but that's my interpretation!)
"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 (84)."
Chapter 9: "I Like to Move It, Move It"
Can you think of ways to get your students up and moving? Your classes' energy and engagement will increase if you do! See page 88 for a list of questions that will help you begin to think about ways to get your students moving.
With the push of standardized testing looming over classroom teachers, some may feel this is a waste of time. Personally, if your students are engaged more and you are instilling a love of learning, How Can It Be a Waste of Time?
Two other "hooks" Dave talks about in this short chapter are 1) using your students as props and 2) going on a "safari." (a walk, a different location, etc.