Breaking New Ground: Teach Like a PIRATE Day

I am absolutely humbled, grateful, and overwhelmed at the response that Teach Like a PIRATE has been getting from educators all over the world.

Some schools, and even whole districts, have adopted a pirate theme for the coming year.

Multiple blog studies, twitter book chats, and staff book studies have been created.

I have participated in Edmodo groups and wikispaces studies.

There is an unbelievably amazing tribe of passionate educators who join Chris Kesler (@iamkesler) and me each Monday at 8:00 CST on Twitter for #tlap chat.

Just yesterday, I signed a contract for the Simplified Chinese translation. That’s right; Teach Like a PIRATE is headed to China!!!

By far the most rewarding part of this journey has been to see and hear how the ideas and philosophy of the book have impacted teachers and how they have made their way into classrooms. I am stunned at how many creative and engaging lessons readers of the book have designed for their students. That’s what it’s all about! Inspiration without implementation is a waste.

As a perfect of example of this, today is a groundbreaking day because an innovative educator and his courageous staff are embarking on a swash-buckling adventure like no other. May 22nd, 2013 marks the very first Teach Like a PIRATE Day at Utica Junior High School in Utica, Ohio.

Utica Junior H.S. principal, Ryan McLane (@McLane_Ryan), has decided to take one of the key paradigm shift questions from the book and bring it to life.

 “If your students didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching to an empty room?”

In other words, is there something about you and the experiences you create in your classroom that would draw students in even if they were not required to attend your class?

Ryan has designed an entire day around this question. Every student in the school will have the freedom to choose which classes they attend each period…there is no set schedule. Ryan’s amazing staff has embraced the challenge and created an unbelievably wide array of amazing experiences from which students can choose. All students have been provided with a guidebook, a menu of sorts, describing their options. Never has there been this much excitement on campus about a school day in mid-May…or maybe any other day for that matter.

Taking an abstract idea off of the page and being willing to risk failure to turn it into a reality is truly the PIRATE spirit. I send congratulations and best wishes to Ryan, his staff, and his students as they set forth into these uncharted waters today. May you find much treasure along the way. It’s my hope other schools will be inspired to follow their own compass of creativity and be courageous enough to embrace the peril that necessarily comes with the pursuit of progress.

To learn more about Teach Like a PIRATE Day and follow the story, please go to Ryan’s blog. He has written several posts about it and will be posting updates, pictures, and videos. You MUST see the movie trailer he created for the day.

In addition, if you are on Twitter, you can follow along at the #tlapexperiment hashtag.  What do you think? Would your school be willing to try a Teach Like a PIRATE Day?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “Breaking New Ground: Teach Like a PIRATE Day

  1. Congrats, Dave, on the ever-growing success of Teach Like a Pirate! Love the news of the new market you’ll soon be connected with and the epic Utica Junior High School TLAP Day experiment.

    Keep fighting the good (pirate) fight!

    • Thanks, Mike!! I appreciate the support, as always. Early reviews from the day are fantastic.

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