How to Encourage Teachers to Implement #TLAP Strategies
Guest Post: Today’s blog post is from Marcia Carrillo, a passionate educator and teacher mentor. Marcia shares some of the ways she and her colleagues modeled #TLAP strategies for their teachers to implement. You can find her on Twitter @marciamentor. I hope you enjoy this guest post with many useful ideas!
Professional Development can be the most inspiring method to help teachers experience “Teaching Like A Pirate!” Dave Burgess came to our district and presented his repertoire of strategies and, being an Induction Mentor for new teachers, I immediately thought, “How can I get teachers to do this for kids?” The passion, the energy, the fun, and the learning all wrapped up into an advertised event with real life props and activities. Does this sound like school? Absolutely not!
The mentor team and I brainstormed, planned, and organized our first event called “Ranger Camp.”
I was so excited I barely slept. I wondered how teachers would respond and if they would be receptive to “learning outside the box.” Guess what? We rocked it!!!
We advertised the event, we brought props, decorated, dressed up as campers, and invited participants to do the same. Camping terms, songs, food, pictures, and camping references helped us to keep our theme alive throughout the day. Lunch included barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers, followed by teachers playing guitars around the blow up “campfire.” Of course we used green screens with iPads and the Apple App “Green Screen by Do Ink” (@doinktweets) to create memories of this awesome event for our website, social media, and board presentations.
Teach Like A Pirate-themed professional learning opportunities have been successful for our teachers and mentors. We all learn from the experience and continue to refine each event and create more. This year we hosted four #TLAP events. In the fall, it was “Let the Games Begin,” with a focus on sports, with most everyone wearing their favorite football team’s jersey. I changed jerseys every hour to keep things interesting.
Halloween was extra special this year as we asked participants, “Would you rather spend the night in a graveyard or in a spooky abandoned house?” Then using Alice Keeler’s collaborative slides activity they all added a slide with an engagement activity.
At Thanksgiving it made sense to create a PD session titled “Harvest the Knowledge” and dress up like farmers.
The Winter Olympics inspired us to create “Olympics:Dream Big!” Participants played games throughout the day such as name that sports song tune, putting a golf ball, shooting hoops, and cornhole as we modeled the “hook” of the lesson.
Last month, I was invited to Ms. Jones’s classroom and was pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of creativity and hard work she used to create a theme-based lesson called “Writer’s Island.” Students surfed, fished for topics, and dug for clues, all while Beach Boys music was being played. Students were engaged, smiling, learning, and writing like never before. She spoke at the next school board meeting about being encouraged to “take risks” and “Teach Like A Pirate.” Great job, Ms. Jones.