Monday, June 22, 2015


As a grad student ( grad student, but that's getting a little too detail oriented) completing course work towards my school library media specialist certification, several of my courses included observation components which were, perhaps, THE most useful observations I completed.  As a school teacher, we perhaps assume we know what the other teachers do.  We drop off our class at art, so we know what the art teacher does.  Much as many people who have been to school assume they know what a teacher "does", I made the same naive mistake thinking I know what a school librarian does.  But, there is more.  So much more.  Or rather, there can be.  In fact, as a teacher librarian there are nearly limitless possibilities for awesome.  And I try to embrace those opportunities.  But back to the point.  I had the opportunity to observe AWESOME teacher librarians who had crafted engaging lessons.  I happened to visit a school librarian on the very same day that the school was celebrating "Talk Like a Pirate Day."  I watched as the librarian seamlessly integrated the theme into her lessons, complete with double sided hooks for students to respond if a book was fiction or nonfiction.  A simple "hook" but it definitely hooked the kids.  And that is what is most important.

As a frequenter of the twitters, one day, I stumbled upon the hashtag #tlap.  I had no idea what that meant but was intrigued by my pln (professional learning network) who were clearly ALL IN.  So I researched.  eg I googled.  And discovered that #tlap stood for Teach Like A Pirate.  Sounds good to me.  

As a pirate teacher, I consistently steal booty from other awesome teachers.  And I encourage others to steal from me too.  Hopefully, it is understood that the "booty" here is really ideas.  I continue to observe other great teacher librarians, both by getting off my island and onto theirs, collaborating at conferences or virtually and poking around Pinterest and Twitter digging for treasure.  And I am always on the lookout for ways to connect teachers in my own building with great ideas from the experts.  The experts here are generally our fellow colleagues.  So, to answer the challenge.  How have I led like a pirate.  Hopefully, by example.  I don't think of pirates as a smiley bunch, but a smile can go a long way.  A smile for a student, a colleague, a leader.  It sends the message that it is going to be ok.  That we can weather any storm that comes our way.  Extra bonus challenge points for including as many pirate cliches as possible.  Think about how to teach like a pirate, learn like a pirate, and lead like a pirate.

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