I Didn’t Read Teach Like A Pirate…

…because that’s one I want to read alongside my teachers when I get my own crew. But I know all about the buzz and positive changes that have resulted from Dave Burgess‘ groundbreaking work, Teach Like A Pirate.

When I started seeing teases about Lead Like A Pirate by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf, I saw an opportunity to affirm my beliefs and grow in preparation for the Principalship in a building and crew to call my own.

The book arrived last Thursday and I dug right in. My Facebook feed was filled with #BookSnaps posts by Tara M. Martin. So, I started creating my own. Look at this lame one from last week:


But I kept at it because I wanted others to see what the book had to offer and what I was learning. So I kept snapping:


And I became convinced that this book would be crucial in helping me take the next step in my admin journey. Fast forward to last Saturday at #EdcampELM, where I decided to take a big risk. Even though I really didn’t know enough (in my view) about SnapChat and #BookSnaps, I still wanted to share it with others.

Thanks to a great resource from Tara, I figured I could hook them with her video, get SnapChat on their phones, walk through some instructions and straddle a discussion for teachers about close reading for students and educators about their own learning. Only two people left (before the session even started) and I think enough folks walked away willing to give it a try.
I apologized for my lack of creativity and asked folks not to compare my feeble snaps to the works of art created by Tara (go check her Twitter and Facebook feeds). But I felt passionate enough about Lead Like A Pirate to keep reading the book and learn more about SnapChat.

During the last session on Saturday, I combined sessions with Andrea Kornowski. She wanted to talk about culture and I wanted to talk about Lead Like A Pirate. I must confess that I had only read 1/3 of the book, but I still wanted to talk about how I believed it could change culture and help leaders and crew alike. My brother even made fun of me with this meme:


The room at Brookfield Central High School was packed, and I didn’t get to talk a lot about specifics of the book (the conversation didn’t really lean that way), but it was still great. One woman asked if the I thought the book was only for principals, and I said, “No. This is for lead teachers, department chairs, instructional coaches, and yes, building and district leaders.” She nodded and wrote down the title. I hope she buys the book.

I have since gotten better with SnapChat (There will be a future post about that learning curve). And my posts from today do not embarrass me:


I even went crazy about ANCHOR Conversations and stepped out of my box to make a Periscope video:


I hope to finish the book tonight. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll see more #BookSnaps and Periscope videos as I share out some of the strategies in action.

And remember, I tore open the Amazon packaging last Thursday. Trust me…you want to read this book. It won’t take you long, and you, too, may soon find yourself sharing and reflecting. I hope you do.

Update 3/28: I finished the book today and immediately put some of the ANCHOR Conversation pieces into play. Initial feedback from teachers was positive.

Try number 1:


Then I decided I needed better game – more room to write – so…


I will work on an Amazon review for the book in the next few days.

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About jeffreyasee

Middle school associate principal, district technology director, hope dealer, writer of blogs, husband to Jenny, and father to Kaitlyn and Meghan

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