I was so excited to get home tonight and get this next series of Book Study Mondays kicked off! Surprisingly, this is not a book about teaching math--it's just a book about great teaching. And if you're along for the ride, I want you to commit to trying out in your classroom what you read in the book! Hold yourself accountable by pledging to comment each week about some change you've made or some "ah ha" moment you had from the reading.
So what is this pirate stuff anyway? You'll find out from the Introduction that it is a "system and philosophy." Part 1 of the book includes a chapter for each of the letters in the PIRATE acronym. Tonight, we'll look at passion and immersion.
PASSIONYou gotta love a book about teaching that starts out with a snippet from Betty Friedan's classic book The Feminine Mystique. Burgess sure gets your attention right off the bat! His point is that we can not be passionate about everything we teach every day. Period. So what do we do? Shake off the guilt and find ways to bring passion into those areas of our content that we don't particularly feel passion for. Burgess outlines three types of passion that we can infuse into our teaching:
- Content passion--what you're passionate about within your content area. I am truly and totally passionate about numeracy and number sense. My eyes absolutely light up when I talk about it or teach it. Geometry...not so much. I just don't get why the characteristics of a rhombus are important.
- Professional passion--what you're passionate about within your profession, but outside your content area. Burgess says it's typically what drove you to be a teacher, but I think I actually found my professional passion after I began teaching. I love helping the underdog. I want the kiddos that drive other teachers crazy.
- Personal passion--what you are passionate about outside your profession. Burgess suggests that you incorporate your outside passions into your teaching. His passion, for example, is magic. One of my personal passions is computers (can I get a big DUH here?). I love being on computers and finding ways to do new things on computers. Hence, my blogging and the math activities I create.
Here's a great quote on passion:
When you're passion-filled, you also become more personally fulfilled as an educator. It's fun and exciting to share what is uniquely "you." Doing so makes your presentations and personal charisma almost magnetic in nature.
IMMERSIONAgain with the sex talk!! Ha ha...if you haven't already bought the book, I'm betting you're heading to Amazon right now! This is a short chapter with a powerful message--your students know whether you are totally present or not. You will want to read the story about his son's swimming lesson, but I think this quote gives you the idea of what it means to be immersed in your students' learning:
I can walk by the open door of a classroom and tell you after a couple of minutes whether the teacher is a lifeguard or a swimmer. A lifeguard sits above the action and supervises the pool deck. Although he or she is focused, there is a distinct sense of separateness both physically and mentally. In contrast, a swimmer is out participating and an integral part of the action.Sooooooo, your turn to comment. Pledge to be a swimmer, and take the plunge by sharing your passions--content, professional, and personal. It felt good to say Hey, I'm not passionate about geometry. I'm looking forward to hearing what you all have to say!!
Next week....RAPPORT. :)