NorthLake Elementary School

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Leadership Matters - Climate and Culture, Teach Like a Pirate

This year was no different. Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate, entertained and dazzled the audience with his formula for increasing student engagement, boosting creativity and transforming the lives of educators in the Tooele County School District.  

Throughout the school year, educators have been and will continue to hone their PIRATE skills to improve instructional practices, student learning, and the overall culture and climate of our schools. Each letter of the word PIRATE stands for a word that can change the way teachers and students work together to learn and grow.

Passion—Passion is broken down into three categories: Content Passion, Professional Passion, and Personal Passion.  It is important for educators to consciously focus on identifying and developing their passions in all areas in order to draw students in and inspire greatness.  

Immersion—Teachers should be fully immersed in the moment with their students. Burgess said, "Don’t be a lifeguard, sitting above the action and observing from the deck." It is far more powerful for teachers and staff to “swim” with their students.

Rapport—It is incredibly important for teachers to build rapport and make connections with each and every student they teach. Teachers and staff should take time to get to know their students and establish a safe, supportive, and positive environment for all students to succeed.    

Ask and Analyze—Become a creative genius by consistently asking the right questions. Asking questions leads to multiple solutions expanding learning opportunities for teachers and students.

Transformation—Teachers and staff can transform their environment and lessons can become so unique and enjoyable that students are excited to be in a teacher's class every day. 

Enthusiasm—Teaching with enthusiasm has a powerful and lasting effect on students and can rub off on everyone around.

Burgess shared many presentational strategies or hooks, designed to energize lessons and engage students. It’s all about presenting well-rounded lessons that are dynamic, memorable, and impactful.   

Ever since the District opening day, teachers and staff throughout the District have been working to sharpen their PIRATE skills. Each school is striving to have the best PIRATE crew around.

We are daring, adventurous, and motivated to sail our educational ships through waters that are constantly changing. Sometimes the waters are rough but we stay the course in order to establish an environment for greatness to flourish.    

Principal Camille Hanson

Settlement Canyon Elementary