Teach Like a Pirate Book Study ~ Immersion

This summer some of my blogging buddies and I are reading and discussing the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  Today we are focusing on Part I of the book.  If you want to find out more about chapter 1, click {here} to take you back to Okinawan Girl.  Then come back here to find out more about chapter 2 ~ Immersion.

Today I am focusing on the second chapter of the book Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator, titled "Immersion".
This chapter was probably one of my most favorite chapters in the book because I spend my entire day immersed in teaching reading to students, but I am not sure I am always immersed in the subject matter.  I do know that I am focused though.

What is immersion?

In the book, Dave Burgess talks about the difference between being immersed {participation and part of the action} and being focused {seeing it all but having a sense of separation}.  He uses the analogy of a lifeguard vs. a swimmer.  The lifeguard sits on the side and sees it all.  He or she is ready for whatever may come.  The swimmer is in the water and being a part of the pool or beach.  The lifeguard is focused, but the swimmer is immersed.

  And that is sometimes really hard to do.

While reading this chapter, I thought of my friend who taught in Turkey and Morocco for six years.  She immersed herself in the culture and learned so much from it, not from books, but from being there.  She also took advantage of her time in Europe and Africa and traveled the world.  Again, she immersed herself in the culture to enjoy it and learn from it.  Now she teaches World History back in the States, and she is immersed in what she teaches because she lived it and loves it.  I overheard a conversation at a restaurant about her.  The mother said her class was the only class her child enjoyed because she makes it so intriguing!  Now that is immersion!

 As a reading specialist, I like to think that I am immersed in what I teach ~ reading, but sometimes the books I read are not my favorite.  Or the group I am working with are a struggle for me.  I am definitely more immersed with comprehension strategies than with learning letters.  It just appeals to me more.  When I am not immersed, the behaviors in my group are not as desirable, and I am worn out!

If I would just follow this train of thought, I would not have any problems at all!

One other area I need to work on is using teachable moments.  I usually have 30 minutes with my students, and I use every single minute of it, not losing pace.  When a teachable moment comes up, I usually brush it off and go on.  Wait a minute!  I should have stopped and used it.  The kids could have learned so much from that one teachable moment that I skipped.  I really need to focus more on teaching kids and not teaching the material!  The bottom line is...

When we are immersed, we do just that.  And that is what really matters!

Now head on over to Krista's blog, Teaching Momster to find out more about ...

Thank you to Mel of Graphics from the Pond and Nikki from Melonheadz for the pirate graphics!


  1. My district brought Dave Burgess in 2 weeks ago for a training on Creativity. Seeing him in person is an amazing experience. It is motivating me to find ways to spruce up my teaching.

    1. Wow! I bet that was amazing! He seems to be a really great guy.

  2. Thank you for sharing your personal connection, I bet your friend was amazing at sharing her passion for History with suck great connections herself. I would love to travel the world! It's on my bucket list.

  3. I just finished reading the book! Loved it!
    The Meek Moose

  4. Hi, Andrea! Thanks for reading and blogging about #tlap. I really appreciated your comments about the teachable moment…sometimes we have to take these detours!

  5. This looks like a fabulous book! I'm no longer teaching (I stay at home with my toddler boys now), but I still love being connected to what's happening in the classrooms. I might have to check this book out.

    1. It is a great book and very easy read! Enjoy your time with your boys. They grow up so fast!



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