(Re)Discovering My Pirate Passion(s) – Part I


pas·sion: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

I am a few chapters into Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess (@burgessdave), and I have discovered something rather disturbing: I am not entirely sure what my passions are.

Right away the book challenges us to put them out there…to say them aloud. What are your passions? When confronted with this question, I couldn’t answer right away. I couldn’t answer after a few minutes. Yikes, that’s a problem.

I think I’ve been so busy doing the work of education, that I have neglected to take time to take stock of my own beliefs, my own passions – both professionally and personally. I know they are inside me somewhere, but I think they are buried down in there.

I decided this is something I need to explore, so I’m going to begin here.

Professional Passion

“What is it about being an educator that drives you? What ignites a fire inside you?” ~Dave Burgess, Teach Like a Pirate Fire_in_the_dark

It is a little intimidating to put this into writing – I mean, what if my passion doesn’t seem to really be all that passion-filled or fire-like?

My professional passion is learning – in all forms by all people. I am passionate about student learning, teacher learning, and my own learning!

Student Learning

I believe, passionately to my core, that all students can learn. This drives what I do every single day. No matter where they come from, no matter the color of their skin, no matter the brand of clothes they wear, all students can learn.

I also believe that all students have the right to vigorous (thanks, @MsBuell, for the new word choice!) learning experiences – the kind of experiences that require students to stretch themselves, the kind that cause them to immerse themselves and get lost in hard work – without even realizing it. At the end of it all, they can look back on those learning experiences, and like after a good workout can still feel the burn, feeling very satisfied with what they have accomplished.

Teacher Learning

As educators (as Pirates?) we are never done learning. There is always something new to try, to do, to think about and to explore with our students (and with each other)!

This is such an exciting time to be an educator. We live in an era of constant educational research – and that research is made available to educators routinely – making it easy for us to learn about new practices and how well they work in a plethora of situations.

These are also unprecedented times. Never before could educators across the state, across the country, or across the globe connect so quickly to share ideas and practices. Social media is connecting us and making it easier to learn from each other and to share our learning with colleagues. That is how I came to be involved in reading Teach Like a Pirate. Members of the #BFC530 crew asked us to board the #bfctlap ship to learn with and to inspire each other.

I love digging in to learn with other educators, whether they are the teachers in my own district as we stretch ourselves to learn more about instructional practices that are good for kids, or educators across the globe sharing our love for students and for education.

Personal Learning

I am a learner. My Strengthsfinder results say so. It’s in my top three strengths, which makes it a pretty strong strength.

This is also evidenced by the piles of books I have in my house and in my office – they are on my night stand, my dresser, my coffee table, my kitchen table….and more arrive at a rate that is likely somewhat alarming to my husband (I just love Amazon prime!).

I want to know more – all the time. I want to understand and to know how. I want to know what others know, and I want to learn it, too. My #MOedchat community has been an amazing resource for this! On a weekly basis they teach me about things I do not know, and they encourage me to try something new. Status quo? No thanks.

130344669_1f35dd3c52_zSo in reality, it didn’t take me all that long to figure out what my professional passions are (although it sure took me a long time to articulate them in this blog post!). These things drive me professionally – student learning, teacher learning, and my personal learning are what get me out of bed each morning and they are what carry me through each day.

It is in each one of my professional passions that I can truly see what Yeats meant when he said:

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”



About kskeeters

Grateful wife, adoring mother, dedicated educator, life-long learner. @keriskeeters
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