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Posts: 61
Reply with quote  #16 

The hardest part is getting started – taking that first step.  I know this from past experience, but tend to forget over the years.  I’ve been wanting to set up an “office manager” and other positions, as I explained in Question #4.  It never got beyond my wish list.  I now have a list of the positions I came up with on the white board at the front of my room and have been developing the duties of each.  I plan to involve my students in deciding who gets each position and defining specific expectations.  I’ll let them write the name of the position next to their names on our goal poster. My students will have a few days off over the 4th of July, so when they return this will be a good restart.

My favorite quote is Mark Twain’s “Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions . . . “.  It especially applies to my students.  Many of them come from environments where they were not expected to do anything with their lives, and many were actually told that they’d never finish high school or have any type of future.  I put new quotes on my board every few weeks, and this one will go up when they return on July 5.

Not only did this book offer motivation to start using these hooks, it actually gave concrete examples to help guide us.  Thank you so much for choosing “Teach Like a Pirate”!


Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #17 
"Don't let critics steal your soul." (p 161-166)
I've grown weary of those who walk into my room randomly and assess what is going on without any background information. Artistic endeavors can begin, enhance midstream or end my lessons. Sometimes I don't tell the students why they are doing what they are doing. If random person walks in and questions, the students may not know what the purpose of the assignment/activity is because it is leading somewhere, and I want the students to discover the purpose or connection instead of the standard tell them what they're going to be doing and why. Burgess encourages me to continue to do what I know is right and successful in developing independent thinkers.

Bonus quotation: ". . .there is no effort without error and shortcoming. . ." (Teddy Roosevelt)

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #18 
My "aha-moment" came while reading the details on using the various hooks and realizing that even as a non-flamboyant math teacher I could see ways to use them in my classroom to improve the students' experience. It started a stream of creativity and excitement to get stuck in and try them.

I will try to make my lessons more interesting and interactive for both myself and my students by incorporating a variety of hooks during the course of the year.

My favorite quote from Part III is:

"We all have to find our own "drum" and then play it the best we can"

Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #19 
I think that I was brought back to make lessons creative.  Don't just do a lesson the way someone else does it or the way someone else thinks it should be done. Make it work for the teacher and the students. Each teacher is different and each group of students is different.  The hook that is good for students in one class may not work with another class.  Also, don't be afraid to fail. I liked the section on how most of the time success comes after some failures. 

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #20 

Each week during the school year I  plan and write lesson plans very intentionally, following many guidelines. I use many things as a focus to give the class some background knowledge and get their attention. I've realized that now I'll need to go further and be very intentional about applying what I've learned here. I'll start by starting. When one way becomes natural to me then I'll take another step by planning and trying something else new. Happy excited engaged students will be a great reward!

"Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were." Richard Paul Evans

Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #21 
My "aha" moment was in the Immersion section. As a teacher, I feel I have so many things that steal my attention from making my classroom be what I would really like. Distractions like quick announcements over the loud speaker, making sure attendance is taken within the 1st 10 minutes of class, etc. rob teachers of the precious time we could use to "Immerse" ourselves with our class. I enjoyed the realization that even Dave Burgess, who leads these seminars & wrote this book about teaching, struggles with the same everyday thing I do. I'm going to try to make that my focus from Day 1 this year- try with all my might to Immerse myself in as many lessons & activities with each class as much as I possibly can despite the interruptions that I have no control over.

My favorite quote from Part III was "I can't give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time." by Herbert Bayard Swope.


Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #22 
My biggest "aha" moment in this book is the section about passions.  I agree that to be your best, you have to address your three levels of passion:  content, professional, and personal.  I think so often in mid-life amid all the chaos of home, family and work, our personal passions get lost.  I agree, that people who are doing what they are passionate about are compelling, even if the subject is not something you would normally find interesting. We must bring our passion to teaching.  We must help our students to follow their passions also. 

The quote that I loved is by Martin L. King.  He said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." 

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #23 
I seem to have ah-ha moments all the time. What I can take from the book, however, is using what the TEKS give you as a blueprint. Take the blueprint as if you are building a house and choose you colors, your carpet, your fixtures and place them as you may in your classroom. Teach tell your heart is content, engage the students with hooks, let them explore learning with games and play. All in al, find ways to make learning the TEKS and enjoyable experience for the students first and the for yourself. 

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #24 
My favorite quote is "Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were."  Richard Paul Evans

How I wish there were a better way we could gauge the progress of our students this way!  My goal for all of my students is academic progress.  Unfortunately, some of them come to me with their math skills so low.  So far behind  [frown]  

My aha moment in the book was reading "the fear of failure" section.  It made me wonder how often am I afraid to try new things because I have tried new things so many times?  I do not ever want to allow myself to give up or become stagnate in my teaching.

Jennifer Goedken

Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #25 
My biggest "a-ha" moment was imagining how bored the class would be if you didn't use some of the author's tips and only stuck to the dry curriculum. My goal would be to incorporate as many of his hooks as possible.  

My favorite quote from Part III is: "Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were." Richard Paul Evans 

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #26 
My aha moment are all the different types of hooks. I was never taught any of those in school! Now I believe I have a better grasp on ways to engage my students! I see all the possibilities and am excited for this next year, something sadly I hadn't been the past few years! My bonus quote says it all " Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase by Martin Luther King Junior". It's by faith I became a teacher and it's by faith I drive to live my life!
Lacey Griffith :) 

Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #27 
My aha moment was reading Burgess's admission that not even he can behavior management issues in his class.  I love reading all the hooks and coming up with ideas, but then I have a bit of doubt in me that I won't be able to do a spectacular job with the hook and get all my students excited, so then I think, why should I even try?  But it's good to know that even Burgess isn't perfect!  Realizing that not all the students will be 100% engaged 100% of the time makes using the hooks seem a bit more realistic.

My favorite quote was: "I not only use all the brains that I have, but all the brains that I can borrow," - Woodrow Wilson.  It's a reminder that each teacher should not individually reinvent the wheel with every lesson.  With all the resources available now to teachers (websites, etc.), I try to not waste time by coming up with my own lesson plans for every lesson.  I love starting with resources I find online, such as a unit for a novel, and then adding my own ideas and changing things to fit my students' needs.  Although it is great to create your own unit, I've found that it's just as satisfying to start with someone else's ideas and add my own ideas.  Teachers are great at sharing lesson plans and teaching strategies, and sometimes it's easy to forget that you can and should ask for help and ideas!  It can be isolating in a classroom sometimes, but reaching out to work with other teachers is fun and benefits everyone involved.  

This was a great book, and I enjoyed reading it.  I liked all the practical hooks and suggestions.  At first I thought it would be too general to actually be useful, but I feel like I've really added to my teaching repertoire and can't wait to use these ideas next year.

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #28 
My biggest a-ha moment was realizing it is okay to bring my passion of entertainment into the classroom. Some teachers are offended when someone says school can be entertaining. I have always disagreed with them. People love entertainment! Why not use that in our classrooms? As long as it is relevant and applicable, I don't see the harm. I loved reading about all of the different hooks I can incorportate into my lessons in order to engage more of my students and for longer. I plan on using some of these new ideas into my lessons next year!

I don't know about my favorite quote, but this really spoke to me: "The reason many people get held up by problems and obstacles is that they haven’t built up enough momentum. Take your foot off of the brake and step on the gas!"

Lauren Milam


Posts: 83
Reply with quote  #29 
My favorite a-ha moment was in the Collaboration vs. Killaboration section, where Burgess says that individuals will function at a higher levels through participating in collaboration, not that individuals will necessarily start to think alike. Collaboration is a weak spot in my team, so I hope to make strides towards improving it this year. 

My favorite quote from section III: "Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." --Mark Twain

Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #30 
I had several a ha moments when I read through the sections on hooks. He had a lot of great ideas and it got my creative juices flowing. I think that's the most important part of teaching... being creative, inspiring students and engaging them even further. I am not an outgoing person but Burgess has inspired me to do more, which is why the quote from Jimmy Johnson speaks to me. It reads, "Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?"
Laura Niehues
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