Chapter 3: Rapport

I just finished reading the third chapter of Teach Like a Pirate on my back porch and felt so connected to this chapter. It's all about Rapport that you have with your students. 

Would y'all believe at the beginning of last school year we were told by our administrator not to form personal relationships with our parents or students? "Just be professional and make sure your students and parents know your classroom expectations. They don't need to know anything about your personal life."
First, I agree that teachers should be professional. But when your students and parents really get to know you they feel connected. At open house one of my slides is about football. I tell my parents that my husband and I are Notre Dame fans....and that unfortunately because my husband is an Oakland Raiders fan, I too am forced to cheer on this sad sad team. I have pictures up of my family on my desk and when my niece does something hilarious I share the video with my students. I greet my students every morning and as a class we celebrate each others successes. If I've messed up a lesson I say, "Well, even teachers make mistakes." Because I take the time to show and tell my class about me they are willing to share about themselves. I developed an amazing rapport with my class this year and it was my best year teaching!

Dave Burgess says, "I actively encourage teachers to develop a classroom climate where students feel like doing the outrageous; where the out of the ordinary and sometimes silly are the norm." I loved this! I've been known to be a little wacky. The end of the year testing is torture for us all so my class and I came up with a plan and a goal. We wanted to be completely done in three days. They wanted to do some water color painting related to a book we had read and wanted a read-a-thon. When the last test was done I shouted "HOLLA! We did it! We're done!" Then I busted out some killer dance moves- lawnmower, shopping cart, cabbage patch. Then the rest of the class danced too because WE DID IT! Our plan worked! (I secretly wish an administrator would have seen that. It must have looked hilarious!)

Dave Burgess also mentions that he plays music as a transition. I do too. But not just any music. I'm certain there aren't a lot of teachers playing "Whip It" or the Lumineers. And I tell my students every song is my favorite song. "Shhh. Y'all this is my favorite song!" They roll their eyes and laugh. 

After reading what Dave Burgess does in his first three days of school I think I'm going to have to step up my game and come up with some really creative things to do that first week.

Jana at Thinking Out Loud is hosting this chapter! Head on over to see what she has to say about Rapport!

Thinking Out Loud


  1. OK, I wanna see your lawnmower and your moves to Whip It! Such a fun visual ... and beautiful way to connect to your kids. I totally agree; it's ALL about connections! Thanks for your super summary.


  2. I chuckled reading all the old school dance names :) I am anxiously awaiting my copy of this book... I ordered it online last week and it should be here any day now... sounds like you are really getting a lot from the book! I think rapport is probably the most important thing in the classroom!
    Funky Fresh Firsties

  3. Great post! I think teaching is ALL about relationships- how can you not get to know your students and their parents??
    You've inspired me to "funk" up my songs, and maybe even break it down a little bit with a dance party here and there! :)
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  4. I can't believe that your administration discourages strong relationships! Yikes! I am so glad you don't follow that! I loved this chapter too!