Monday, June 10, 2013

Teach Like a PIRATE Day...The Aftermath

I will be honest with you.  I never imagined the response Teach Like a PIRATE Day would get from our community, let alone from educators around the world via Twitter.  I appreciate all of the comments, questions and Tweets I have received.

The one common question that people have asked is, "What happened in the days after?"  In other words, did things go back to normal, or did the PIRATE experience live on?  The answer is:  a little of the former, and a lot of the latter.

Students were re-enacting Civil War battles on the football field, a group of students re-enacted the Lincoln assassination, and Language Arts teachers had their students out of their seats learning.  We had about two weeks of school left and I am proud to say my teachers did not "shut it down."  Kids continued to be engaged.

Several teachers are already thinking about Teach Like a PIRATE Day The Sequel.  It is my hope, they come up with so many ideas, they will have to use some of those experiences on "regular" school days.

I recently had an article published in Education Week on the topic of making grades meaningful (I know, shameless plug) Why Grades Should Reflect Mastery, Not Speed . I am not all the way on the Standards-Based Grading side of the spectrum, but I certainly lean heavily that way.  However, and if you take away one thing I write, let it be this:  If kids are not engaged, it does not matter what grading system a school uses. In Daniel Pink's book Drive, he writes about how important it is to be instrinsicly motivated. If we as educators, can create an environment in which students actually want to be there, think of the possibilities. 


  1. I love reading about your experience implementing this at your school. I am brainstorming how to include Burgess' ideas into my classroom this year and was wondering if any of your teachers had shared their lessons online. Thanks!

  2. I don't think any of them have shared online. I would recommend following the content specific #tlap chats on twitter. See my most recent blog post for more details.