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Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator
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Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  5,193 ratings  ·  622 reviews
Based on Dave Burgess's popular "Outrageous Teaching" and "Teach Like a PIRATE" seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. You'll learn how to: -Tap into and dramatically increase your passion as a teacher -Develop outrag ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Dave Burgess Consulting (first published September 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  5,193 ratings  ·  622 reviews

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Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was a letdown for me. I had seen so much buzz about it on Twitter, so I bought a copy to see what all the fuss was about. The main point of the book is to be passionate. Get it? I think that's all well and good, but as a teacher, you need to have content knowledge too.

I thought the title seemed promising. Teach like a pirate? But guess what? PIRATE is an acronym standing for Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation, and Enthusiasm.

Dave uses the book to inspire educa
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Inspirational in many regards . . . But, sigh . . . I leave this book feeling sad. It feels a bit out-dated and certainly naive. So much of what it talks about: creative hooks, out-of-the-box teaching, critical-thinking building are why I got into teaching. And, it's exactly what I feel is missing from my classroom today. So, simple fix, right? Just take a page out of this book and bring it back to my room. But, in the world that I teach in, the world of standardized testing, data tracking, teac ...more
Corinne Campbell
So much hype surrounds this book, and its been rated highly by many educators whom I respect, so I thought it would be worth a look.

Author Dave Burgess shares a great deal about his teaching practice, and to that end, its a great read. I always love hearing about how other teachers go about their work. He has a great emphasis on creativity and engagement, and provides many great tips that I'm sure many teachers will find useful.

He repeatedly reminds his readers that education needs to be more th
Diana • Book of Secrets
3.5 Stars
Stacy S.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I agree with a few of the main points that are the foundation of what Dave does. I agree that great teachers make it look easy, because they work hard, not because it IS easy. I also agree that building rapport, getting to know your students, creating a safe environment and being passionate are all very important to successes in the classroom. However, I don't agree that teachers are entertainers. We do want our lessons to be engaging, because they are thought-provoking and relevant, not because ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Author's tone is condescending and he does not seem to take in to consideration the amount of time we as teachers are forced to be conducting some type of standardized teaching. Furthermore, every day life is not presented in dog-and-pony show fashion so to think every lesson should be structured as such is pure nonsense. Lastly, the fact that I'm being forced to read this book, document my reading by answering various discussions, and then spend my very limited planning time discussing it with ...more
Tim Scholze
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This awesome book can help any teacher put the spunk back into their career. I was totally reinvigorated by the ideas that Dave Burgess shared in his book. My only wish is that I could gather even more ideas and detailed tools to use for my own teaching.

Dave shares his classroom successes and tips from his presentations on how to be a more active teacher and how to "hook" kids into the narrative that makes up life long learning. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart or the teacher
Aaron Maurer
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This is not going to be so much of an review of a book, but more of how I have applied the principles to my life. This is a MUST READ. If you have not read this book then you are missing out. This book is taking off like a pirate ship at sea going 50 knots. The buzz online via the #tlap hashtag on Twitter and the countless book clubs based on this book is insane. I am planning a book club in August and I feel like I won't have much of an audience because every teacher will have read the book alr ...more
Ahmad Hossam
Oct 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teaching
Describing this book as beneficial is a wild overstatement. Describing it as condescending is a gross understatement.
Claudia Badiu
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, this book deals with so many interesting and creative teaching ideas! I have already tried some of them, while others I can't wait to adapt for my students. :)
Ivonne Rovira
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those daring to be different
Shelves: teaching
I’m not really certain how to rate this slim how-to guide for teachers by Dave Burgess, social studies teacher and hyperactive wizard. The book’s messages are very important: life lessons are more important than standardized tests, enthusiasm is infectious, and dare to be different — and even crazy!

Still, I didn’t get why some of my colleagues are agog at the Teach Like a Pirate™ method. Perhaps something gets lost from the in-person teaching conferences to the page. Still, the book is definitel
Amy Balaich
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“You can’t grow, advance, and move forward without repeatedly stumbling and falling on your face. If, as toddlers, we went into the process of learning to walk with our adult mindset, we would still be crawling.” Love this quote and loved this book! Great practical ideas for engaging students more.
Mark Barnes
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I keep looking for a better education book. I haven't found it yet.
Nurlan Imangaliyev
A must-read for all teachers out there, especially those who are just starting to teach or those who feel their lessons lack passion, fun and excitement.
Michelle Cristiani
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literacy-work
A few things really stand out in this short book. One is that people say, I could never do what you do because you're creative. By saying that, Burgess says, people let themselves off the hook. They're not willing to put in the hard work that it takes to be creative. Some people have natural inclinations, but no one becomes great at any task simply by getting out of bed in the morning: they work at it. An excellent point.

I also love how he frames enthusiasm in the classroom. He reasons that he
Joy Kirr
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, professional
The PIRATE pages were worth the cost of the book right there. Then the questions in the last section to ponder about your own lessons. I have already been asking some of them, but there are others I can start asking easily. (Others I won’t be employing, however, because I’ve gotten away from “extra” activities in my class, and I believe students have gotten a lot out of our close-reading activities... some seem engaging enough!) There are myriad ideas here that I will be keeping in mind - I took ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching-books
While I liked a lot of what he said, I felt like it was all pretty obvious. I didn't walk away with any blinding insights, but it was very validating to read about someone else sharing some of my teaching philosophies and putting them into practice. It also made a great conversation starter at Parent/Teacher conferences: every conference I went to holding it, the teacher immediately told me that they'd read it or were planning to.
Teresa Matanich
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book did not provide any new learning for me. It seemed that the author's goal was to have everyone know what a great teacher he is. His style is not for everyone, as there are many outstanding teachers who do not embrace his style. I felt that his idea of "hooks" was pretty self-explanatory and something I learned very early in my career. There was not much substance to this book.
Monica Hills
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some great ideas for hooks. Nothing in this book was earth shattering or something I hadn’t heard before but great reminders for all teachers. It also reinforced how important creativity in the classroom is and how it can’t all be about the tests.
Betty C.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education
I was really disappointed in this book. I have no doubt that Burgess is as devoted, engaging and original of a teacher as he claims, but I couldn't help but feel I was listening to one big ego trip. His goal is to always be the best, most memorable teacher his students have ever had...I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if other teachers in his building caught up with him, or surpassed him in that regard.

I also was surprised to not get that many new ideas from the book. I have read a l
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I really, really don't like teaching books that think they are the first book ever to tell me to be passionate about my job and be the ONE to make a difference in a kid's life. There were a few parts that rang very true to my views on education and the profession in general, but I felt like this was really directed at first or second year teachers. I also thought there would be cliche pirate-themed ideas in the book, and there really wasn't! I was actually looking forward to that, so bummer.

May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you are wanting ideas about making your classroom more engaging, this is a decent resource; if you are wanting a laudable philosophy of the role of the teaching profession, run away.

I found some helpful advice in this book about raising student engagement, but his suggestions often seemed to come at the expense of learning. If I have to choose between having students fully engaged and loving class because they are trying to fit inside a cardboard box, and having students reading/engaged in cr
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a short, quick read filled with great ideas by a very passionate teacher. The essence of his approach is to treat every class session as a piece of interactive theater, with his students as both audience and participants. He uses costumes, skits, music, sets ... the whole theatrical shtick. While most of it may be well beyond what most teachers are ever willing to risk, there are also tons of good insights and ideas that can be put to good use by just about anyone in a classroom, at many ...more
Oliver Schinkten
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Education is in desperate need of reform. Students are not engaged in classrooms, they do not take ownership in their learning, they are not learning how to learn in the 21st century, the content is mostly irrelevant and outdated.

This book does a wonderful job of engaging students and helping find ways to get students to buy in and take ownership in their education. This book is well written, easy-to-follow, and leaves you with a plethora of ideas and actions to begin using.

Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-app
I am in the middle of this book and very inspired. I had the privilege of seeing Pirate Dave Burgess at a conference once in action teaching teachers. He can really bring it. I recommend this book for rookies and yodas alike. After 10 years of teaching, this was just the sort of pick me up to spice up my SSR Fridays. He is a High school history teacher but no worries, this book has something useful for every teacher.
Melody Riggs
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the emphasis on passion and being a purple cow out-of-the-box teacher. However, I kind of felt like a lot of it was rehashing things emphasized in my teacher education classes. And I wished he would've talked more about the days when it is really hard to "bring it" in the classroom- those days when you are just burnt out and no amount of internal motivation or self-satisfaction is going to get you through.
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has reignited my passion and enthusiasm for teaching. As I read, I tried several of the hooks and strategies mentioned and saw an improvement in student engagement. I look forward to tapping into more of my creativity as I plan. I highly recommend to any educator that feels weighed down by all the requirements of today's teachers!
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
A good review of the basics and a call for enthusiasm in teaching. However, I had a very negative reaction to the author and how he presented the information. This isn't a human being I would feel comfortable asking for help in person.
Larina Warnock
Science matters and there isn't any in this book. There is a difference between entertaining and engaging students and teaching for retention and higher order thinking. Any teacher following this book's advice would lack time to prepare for such higher order thinking.
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring. It wasn't just motivating... I will keep this book and as I'm planning lessons I'll refer back to the great lists of questions to help bring in more hands-on, creative learning.
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Book Discussion #1 p. 3-71 1 3 May 30, 2019 02:04PM  
Book Discussion #2 p. 73-94 1 2 May 30, 2019 01:59PM  
Indian Awardee Educator Dheeraj Mehrotra Shines at TEDx 1 4 Jan 20, 2018 02:01AM  

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78 likes · 28 comments
“Why have so many schools reduced the time and emphasis they place on art, music, and physical education? The answer is beyond simple: those areas aren’t measured on the all-important tests. You know where those areas are measured… in life! Art, music, and a healthy lifestyle help us develop a richer, deeper, and more balanced perspective. Never before have we needed more of an emphasis on the development of creativity, but schools have gone the exact opposite direction in an effort to make the best test-taking automatons possible. Our economy no longer rewards people for blindly following rules and becoming a cog in the machine. We need risk-takers, outside-the-box thinkers, and entrepreneurs; our school systems do the next generation a great disservice by discouraging these very skills and attitudes. Instead of helping and encouraging them to find and develop their unique strengths, they're told to shut up, put the cell phones away, memorize these facts and fill in the bubbles.” 9 likes
“I'll always choose a teacher with enthusiasm and weak technique over one with brilliant strategies but who is just punching the clock. Why? An enthusiastic teacher can learn technique, but it is almost impossible to light a fire inside the charred heart of a burned-out teacher.” 5 likes
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