Book Review: Teach Like A Pirate

The book by Dave Burgess titled “Teach Like a Pirate” is an easy read. “Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator”.


This book is part inspirational manifesto and part practical roadmap.  In order to become more like a pirate you will need

  • Passion:  be intentionally passionate even when you don’t feel it
  • Immersion: be present with your students
  • Rapport: spend quality time with kids
  • Ask and Analyze: think outside the box
  • Transformation: provide students with unique experiences
  • Enthusiasm: find your fire

Commit to what you need to do.  Start working towards making it happen. Be open. That was essentially the motto of the book. You have at your disposal the world’s greatest GPS – your brain.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” Robert F Kennedy.  

What I found most meaningful in the book were when the following two questions were asked.

  1. If your students don’t have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?
  2. Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?

In those two questions so much self reflection can occur. Burgess makes an analogy of teaching to prepping for a party. Differentiation has to occur to meet the dietary preferences of all the guest attending.

The majority of the book contained hooks , and examples of hooks that could be used in the classroom.

  • Kinesthetic hook
  • People Prop
  • Picasso hook
  • Mozart hook
  • Craft store
  • Real world
  • Life changing
  • Storytelling
  • Summarizing
  • Taboo
  • Mime
  • Backwards
  • Student directed
  • Opportunistic hook
  • Interior design
  • Board message
  • Costume hook
  • Props
  • Mystery bag
  • Mission impossible hook
  • Reality hook
  • Contest
  • Chef
  • Extra-credit

“Mediocrity doesn’t motivate. Have a purpose”

Overall this was a very quick read and had some great information that could be picked out to use from the book.

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