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Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff
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Lead Like a Pirate: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  349 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Are You a Treasure Seeker?

Pirates are on a constant quest for riches, but PIRATE Leaders seek even greater rewards: amazing schools, engaged students, and empowered educators who know they are making a difference.

In Lead Like a PIRATE, education leaders Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf map out the character traits necessary to captain a school or district. You'll learn where
Paperback, 250 pages
Published March 16th 2017 by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.
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#7 of 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge: a book by two female authors.

This was given a 4 because of the gimmick/marketing nature of the "PIRATE" series. Also- I was digesting this book for almost a year. I read the second half in almost a single day thanks to State Testing. I know I will need to go back and revisit some concepts in order to implement those concepts into my leadership toolbox.

However, I am a fan of Dave Burgess and this book was written by his wife, Shelly, and Beth Houf, about bei
Pop Sugar Challenge 2019: book by two authors

Just like Teach Like a Pirate, this book is full of ideas and reminders for how to be your best self as a leader in education. A lot of good reminders and resources to help new and established leaders alike can be found in this book.
Jessica Cabeen
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible read for all educators. I loved the wisdom around building relationships, establishing high expectations and leading through all aspects of education the Shelley and Beth shared. Will be a top recommended book I share with educators looking to improve practice in practical ways.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book when you feel overwhelmed as a teacher at any capacity. Had to read for an initiative I’m involved with but I found some of the strategies meaningful and pertinent to everyday life as a teacher in a Title I school.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is geared toward school principals, but a few of the ideas are applicable to those in other leadership roles. The advice seemed pretty basic and not innovative or ground-breaking. I didn’t find their personal stories to be particularly helpful or interesting. The pirate connection is tenuous at best. The authors could have picked any random word and made an acronym to fit (which they should have done, since pirates aren’t exactly stand-up characters to be emulated, being ruthless crimi ...more
Brian McCann
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How many books do you want to yell YES at upon the end of each chapter? LEAD LIKE A PIRATE doesn't just motivate: it inspires you in multiple arenas to be a better school leader. In particular, the lengthy section on ANCHOR conversations resonated strongly with me. I can't wait to put the authors' suggestions into motion when school begins in a few weeks. As I start my 14th year as a building principal, LEAD LIKE A PIRATE reminds me how much better I can be with the help of a professional learni ...more
Ashley Couture
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy reading professional development books that come from the PIRATE family.

This book is directed to those in leadership positions; primarily administrators. However, there is a lot of good information for teachers who are not administrators, but instead they want to be an admin one day or instructional coaches or PLC leads, etc.

I picked this book up to read for a class project that I am completing for my masters degree and I found it insightful to some of the struggles administrator
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
For some people, the themed/branded version of books connects them with a topic, and I'm glad that works for them. For me, this book was like attending a Tony Robbins sessions which, again, may work for some, but it is a turnoff to me. There are great nuggets tucked away within the book, but I couldn't get passed the Pirate-y theme of every chapter. For those that enjoy the "life coach" approach to professional development, this would be a great read. I know this is a brand that has been success ...more
Rich Petroske
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership, education
Great book that will have you rethinking your role as a school leader. This book opened my eyes and provided me the opportunity to refine my views as to the role of a school leader. It took me so long to read because I kept going back and rereading chapters. This book will be placed on my "reread every year list." ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This professional development book on school leadership was recommended by a colleague. It was a quick and easy read with many good ideas. However, being an experienced administrator (13 years), this book was more affirmation that I am doing the things I should be doing. I did highlight a few ideas I would like to try in the future.
Adam Massey
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book for educational leaders. It is a great complement to Teach Like a Pirate that challenges readers to change the way they interact with teachers. True focus on investing in people and building better teams.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous read for not only administrators, but for teacher leaders too! If you want your faculty or colleagues to teach like pirates, you've got to walk the walk. Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf are excellent role models in how to do this. A must read! ...more
Garret Rose
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was expecting to find the treasure by the end and all I got was that crummy pirate, hollowed out, chocolate coins.
The book offered some great insights, but it was totally anecdotal and not researched based.
Shelli Allen
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I did a quick read through and I now I plan to go back and make notes as I go. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to applying principles shared in the book in my own life and learning community.
Jennifer Kloczko
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So many great and practical ideas in this book! Highly recommend.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
One of my all time favorite educational reads!! I loved every page! Highly recommend for all educational leaders!!
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lead Like a Pirate is a must read for administrators and teacher leaders.
Brooke Davis
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Very inspiring! Time to think outside of the box and build better relationships with staff.
Bridget Belcastro
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Makes me want to be the best I can be. Ready to jump in. Great tips and ideas to reflect upon. A must read for school leaders.
Ricardo Garcia
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Still my number one Principal book.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book inspiring!
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent advice for all leaders.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Using the book in a training for my coaching role in my job. Good read so far, haven't completed but hope to soon. ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Easy read for new leaders in schools.
Sexy Geisha
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
The fact that it took me this long to finish this book says it all.
Mariana Ducros
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Want to be the headmaster of a school? This is a must read.
Tyler Davison
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Solid examples of how to help lead your school in an invigorating way. The practical examples from both authors were helpful. I would recommend this to any school leader.
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2021
The ideas presented aren't new but are still refreshing/inspiring and definitely possible.

The closing words: rest like a pirate resonate with me: our family shouldn't get what's left of us but should get the best of us. Yes!
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for all school leaders! Burgess and Houf share the honest truth about school leadership and practical tips and ideas that you can start implementing today in your building. They share a treasure chest worth of online resources as well. When you read this book you will feel inspired and ready to focus or re-focus your time and efforts on the right work to propel your school (or ship!) forward.
Lynnluis Colon
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! I liked how both authors share different perspectives from a school and central office perspectives. I appreciate their vulnerability on the mistakes they made early on and suggestions in how to avoid them. Practical read with tons on tips to help any leader lead like they are on FIRE!
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