Sunday, May 25, 2014

Teach Like A PIRATE Day 2...The Aftermath

On May 22, 2013 I was fortunate enough to be part of a brave staff that pulled off the very first Teach Like A PIRATE Day at Utica Junior High.  Exactly one year later, I was part of the Big Walnut Intermediate staff that pulled off the second.

I'll be very honest, I was more nervous about the second one than I was the first.  Part of the reason was I saw how awesome the first one was and I was uncertain if the second one would live up to the hype.  I mean face it, very rarely is a sequel better than the original.  No one will argue that The Karate Kid 2 was better than The Karate Kid.

There was no letdown.  Last year, kids ran through the halls to get to the next experience.  This year kids were on a dead sprint.  If there is any one thing that we need to find a solution to before we hold TLAP Day 3 (and we WILL be holding TLAP Day 3) it is to figure out how to slow this down.  It is difficult to be upset with 5th and 6th graders who are so excited to get to their next class that they are sprinting.  However, it is a safety issue, and one we will work to find a solution.

This year was also different in that we had guests from other districts who came to witness the event.  It was nice to show what we were doing and continue our conversations, because they may have some ideas on how to improve the day.  It is also nice to see these educators thinking about bringing a similar experience back to their schools.

The funniest part of the day was when a few parents came to pick their children up early for various reasons.  The children came down to the office and politely told their parents that there was NO WAY they were leaving school because they were having too much fun and were learning.  As a parent, how do you argue with that?

The kids were excited.  The parents were excited.  Our teachers were teaching like they do all the time but we decided to make an event of it.  It was good for our teachers to see the answer to Dave Burgess' key question:

If the kids didn't have to be there, would you be teaching to an empty room?

May 22, 2014 came and went and there is one thing for certain, the sequel was no let down, and there were no empty rooms.

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