So in case you haven’t figured out the letters of PIRATE in Teach Like a Pirate each stand for something. In my book study the I and R were kind of skipped over so I thought I’d address them on my own using the post-its from those sections.
I is for Immersion, the idea of this section is to be there, be fully a part of the class. Dave gives the example of his son learning more from swim lessons when the lifeguard was in the pool showing him what to do rather than when it was a lifeguard that stood on the side of the pool telling him what to do. This immediately had me remembering the Be There tenant of the FISH Philosophy. In some cases I do well with immersion, I like to do the lessons I ask my students to do, the independent work that is. While I was teaching middle school com arts I would often complete the grammar worksheets myself and use those to grade only checking the teacher’s guide when I was stuck. Now I try to stay a few steps ahead of my students in their code program, not so easy when the awesome code.org has four levels and I have kids on all of them. I’ve had kids surpass me and get stuck, I’ll sit with them at the computer or go to my own and pull up that level and work through. I think it benefits the kids to see me do what I ask them to do, especially when I struggle. When I can tell them I had trouble with a certain level too, or “hey you did better with that one than I did” it’s a great confidence builder.
R is for rapport, in the past I felt I did a great job of developing rapport with my students. It’s been more of a challenge in my current position where I only see the kids twice a week for 30 minutes each time. However I do my best to get to know my kids. It helps now that I’m moving into my third year in the same building. I know the large majority of 1st and 2nd grade kiddos, as well as my 4th and 5th graders. I only need to get to know the kindy kids and any other new students we have. It has helped me memorize names much more quickly and I think using a student’s name or nickname goes a long way to helping build rapport. For me rapport is also getting to know what the kiddos do outside of school and attending those events when possible. Making sure I acknowledge them when I see them in public, as soon as they get past that “wait you’re not at school” stare, lol. It’s developing a classroom community that students’ know they are safe in. I had a teacher in high school I will never forget had a No Hunting sign hanging in the front of the room because his room was a safe zone. I shared more of my writing during those classes than I ever had before and actually more than I think I did in any class after because of the community he developed, hence why he is one of my teaching role models.