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Sarah Warren

Finding the Black Pearl

Posted by Sarah Warren Aug 19, 2020

Pirates, this is our final adventure for the summer! Thanks for sailing with us!



 Finding the Black Pearl


So far, you have created goals, learned what it means to be a pirate, and have your crew in place. After navigating the high seas last week, it’s time to find your final treasure: the elusive black pearl. The black pearl is rare, and highly sought after. It is something we can strive for as agricultural educators, to be those rare black pearls in a treasure chest full of gems.


Throughout this course we have talked about our goals, and what we want to accomplish with lessons or units during the school year, but what is one word or phrase that you want students/faculty/administrators to use to describe your classroom this year? Five years from now?


Furthermore, what is your lasting impact that you want to leave on your school and community when you retire? Do you want to be known as Black Bart, Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, Captain Morgan or Captain (Insert Your Name Here)?


Respond with your reflections in the comments below.


Remember to maintain the pirate’s life- don’t spend all your treasure in one place, or at one time. Also keep in mind that your treasure chest is not full. There are always more gems and rare coins to find; more tools to use for your classroom. 

Sarah Warren

Navigating the High Seas

Posted by Sarah Warren Aug 17, 2020

Adventure #9...I can see the treasure chest off on the horizon! We're so close!

For completing this assignment, you will earn a Garnet!




Navigating the High Seas

“...Because our culture lives by the philosophy that you either win it all or you are a failure, the team was trashed. Don’t buy into this B.S.! (It reminds me of when the Bills lost four Super Bowls in four years and were labeled by many as embarrassments and failures. Hello! To lose four consecutive Super Bowls, you have to go to four consecutive Super Bowls, which is an unbelievable accomplishment.)”

-Dave Burgess, page 155


You have the tools. We have talked about lessons, units, hooks and goals. You have decided who your crew is to man your ship. Now you have left the port. Now what? How do you keep the fears at bay to not turn around and head back to your previous teaching styles? What could potentially hold you back?  What is your Kraken? Who is your Moby Dick?


Dave mentions the five most common reasons people turn back, or don’t even start:

1. The fear of failure

2. Believing you have to figure it all out before you begin

3. Perfectionism

4. Lack of focus

5. Fear of criticism or ridicule


He also goes on to say, “[that] the best way to overcome fear is to take action. The more action you take and the quicker you take it, the better.” Part of a pirate’s plan to get to the treasure is to be prepared for the potential obstacles along the way.



Respond in a comment below:

1. What (or who) is your Kraken?

2. How will you defeat your Kraken?

Sarah Warren

Who is Your Crew?

Posted by Sarah Warren Aug 12, 2020

Welcome to Adventure week left!

For completing this assignment, you will earn an Emerald!


Who is Your Crew?

“Having a diverse crew is in your best interest. Don’t be limited by your subject, grade level, school, or even profession. Take counsel from a wide variety of people and seek out multiple perspectives.”

-Dave Burgess, page 169


Most, if not all of you already have a crew whether you subconsciously know it or not. Take some time to think about who your crew is currently. Then think about whom else you want to include in your crew. Who rounds it out to give you different perspectives? Consider Administrators, Community members, NAAE staff and members, Superintendent, other Teachers, etc.


Also take into account people on your crew, or people from other ships that may cause mutiny. Who are your naysayers; who causes “killaboration?” You may not necessarily want them on your crew, but as you start to navigate the high seas, it is good to know where they are located - to keep them on your radar. Knowing your naysayers helps you plan for and overcome the objections they have to your lesson, units, or your subject in general.


1. Who is your crew and/or who you want it to be, and why? What do they contribute to your crew?
Let your crew members know you appreciate them! Reach out to them and let them know that you consider them to be a crew member, or reach out to someone new and ask them to be a part of your crew.


2. Who are your naysayers? Why are they considered naysayers, and how do you think you can continue to adjust the conversation with them to potentially create collaborators instead of killaborators?

It's probably best to generalize your naysayers for the sake of this conversation, i.e. don't call anyone out by name. However, write them down somewhere you keep your notes so you don't forget!


PRESERVICE TEACHERS: If you are not in the classroom, or about to be, who is your crew that you use in school? University professors, past ag teachers, etc.

Sarah Warren

The Master of Hooks

Posted by Sarah Warren Aug 10, 2020

Adventure #7

For completing this assignment, you will earn a Diamond!



The Master of Hooks


The majority of Part II is dedicated to presentational hooks - how to think of them, and examples that Dave has used in his classroom. There are thirty-two different kinds of hooks in Teach Like a Pirate! If you can take a lesson plan and think of a hook for all 32 examples, you are an Extra Ultimate, Supreme Master of Hooks. However, just to think of two or three hooks per lesson plan gives you variety and is more than enough to be a Master of Hooks. It is the ability to go beyond the box. Step outside of it and walk away from the box. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to not choose the obvious answer as a hook.


Using the lesson that you worked on last week in How to be Captain Hook, please write a more detailed summary of your lesson using the guiding questions in the assignment attached below. Then try to come up with ONE hook for each of the seven areas of hooks:

1. “I Like to Move It, Move It” 

2. Long Live the Arts 

3. What’s in it for Me? 

4. All the World is a Stage 

5. Stand and Deliver 

6. Advanced Tactics 

7. Around the Edges


For example, from the Advanced Tactics area, my hook may be The Techno Whiz Hook, and so on and so forth. If you would like to do more than seven, excellent! Keep in mind to not go with the obvious hook if possible.


Please try to be as detailed as possible, as we would like to compile everyone’s responses in a booklet PDF for shared ideas. Please be sure to double check your spelling and grammar as well. If you would not like your lesson/hooks included in the book, there is a place to mark that. The PDF will be posted to Communities of Practice in the Virtual Book Club. It will not be advertised, nor posted elsewhere.

Please add all documents to the "2020 Teach Like a Pirate" folder. (Uploading and Categorizing Files.docx) Please title your document "The Master of Hooks_[First Name Last Name]"

Sarah Warren

How to be Captain Hook

Posted by Sarah Warren Aug 5, 2020

Adventure #6

For completing this assignment, you will earn a Peridot gem!




How to be Captain Hook

“‘Dang it! I wasn’t going to learn today. He tricked me. That man is sneaky!’ I live for that moment." -Dave Burgess, page 82


In the first chapter of Part II, Dave refers to a three circle teaching model. As agricultural educators, we are familiar with this in terms of the Instruction, SAE and FFA model.



However, the Instruction circle can be broken down further into another three circle model: Content, Technique/Method, and Presentation. Dave argues that largely, professional development seminars and training materials are missing the Presentation component of the model. There is a lot of emphasis on content and the technique/methods that are being used to be taught. Where is the fun? The creativity?


For this adventure...
1. Pick one of your lessons - a favorite, or one that you want to further develop.

2. Using the attached Venn Diagram worksheet, fill in where components of your lesson currently fit in. Use a black font for this. You can also create your own diagram!

3. Then, creating more text boxes, and using a blue or different color font, think of ideas of how to balance out all three areas. How do you create more Umph! to your presentation, while maintaining content? Your presentation doesn’t always have to be over the top, but it can still be entertaining enough to engage the audience. Feel free to adjust the size of your circles and edit as you see fit to show us your vision.


4. Post the Venn Diagram in the "2020 Teach Like a Pirate" folder. (See Uploading and Categorizing Files.docx).


5. Once you have posted your diagram, come back to this post and add a comment linking to your document. Post a brief description of the lesson in the comment as well. To add your document link to the comment, simply type the "@" symbol, and begin typing the name of your document. It should pop up. Click on the document from the pop up list to tag it in your comment.


PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS: There are several ways to go about this assignment, even if you are not in the classroom yet. If you are student teaching this year, think of a lesson that you will be teaching and work with that. Another option is to take a lesson plan that you have created in one of your college courses and refer to the feedback you received from your instructor. If you have not created a lesson plan yet, think of a lesson/topic that you want to teach to students, or refer to your favorite lesson that one of your teachers taught in high school.

Can you believe it is already time for adventure #5? Neither can we.

For completing this assignment, you will earn a Turquoise Stone!


The Commitment to Being “On”-Board

“I refuse to cheat a student by delivering a subpar performance just because he has me later in the day, or early in the day when I’m not quite awake. Although no mother stands in the back of the room with a checkbook, in a very real sense, I know forty mothers and a whole community are counting on me.” -Dave Burgess


Now that we have explored what it means to be a PIRATE, it is time to commit to being on-board the ship. Each pirate and crew member has different passions and motivations to why they lead the lifestyle they do, but the one thing they all have in common is that they chose to get on the same ship. This course is designed to be about an individual journey because each of you is at a different point in your careers, your communities and school districts require different things, and in general, no two people are the same. However, we are committing to getting on the same ship because we want to develop professionally towards the same goal - to be better teachers.


We are committing to being onboard the same ship to be PIRATEs. In Teach Like a Pirate, PIRATEs is a mnemonic.

  Passion      Immersion        Rapport       Ask and Analyze     Transformation      Enthusiasm


1. Our crew has explored all six words together, but individually, what do the six words mean to you?

2. Would you keep all the letters as the same words above, or would you change any? Why would you change or keep the letters of the mnemonic PIRATE? 


3. Create your own pirate-themed mnemonic for your classroom. What are some words that resonate with you and your teaching philosophy? If you can't think of any words for PIRATE, try some of these: SHIP, CREW, AHOY, TREASURE, JEWEL, OCEAN, SAIL, etc. Get creative!
(And if you need some word inspiration, here's a link to

You can always simply add a comment to record your response under this post. However, if you need more room to express yourself, don't hesitate to use any of the Communities of Practice features, including creating a new document. If you create any new blog, document, or discussion post, be sure to categorize it in the "2020 Teach Like a Pirate" folder. For help, see Uploading and Categorizing Files.docx