A wonderful story of leadership and advocating for teachers:
This paragraph is an amazing example of how the classroom can change in subtle ways and have a transformational impact upon students:
“When I walk into a classroom and the teacher has a ‘mystery bag” on the counter and is using it for engagement; She is a pirate. When I hear teachers asking the students about their interests and then developing lessons geared toward those interests; They have become pirates. When I see a teacher taking her students out to the playground to practice spelling words with chalk or do math problems on the blacktop; She is a pirate. When I see students laying on their backs and drawing upside down under their desks to get Michelangelo’s perspective; Their teacher might just be a pirate. When I walk into a classroom and each student is dressed in a costume and they are doing a newscast with math facts; Their teacher might be a pirate. When I hear kids on Friday afternoon, on the way to the bus say, “I wish we didn’t have to go home.” Their teachers are definitely pirates. When I get letters from students asking if we could make the school day longer; They probably have a pirate teacher.”
Whenever you are saying “is a pirate” or “might be a pirate”, I think you are advocating for powerful teaching practice and engaged and innovative teachers. You are a passionate leader who is looking beyond the gimmicks of a single text for influencing the classroom. You are reaching for the whole of what was meant by Burgess, and even if the teachers don’t understand that they are changing, you are supporting them in this transition. Please keep on looking out for them and looking out for these small shifts that will make a big difference.