Learn like a Pirate {What is a Student-Led Classroom?}

I am so excited to be participating in the book study this summer with The Primary Gal over Learn like a Pirate.  This is a must read book.  I am having to pace myself because once I start reading, I don't want to stop.

The first chapter is short and sweet, but had me hooked.  It went through and talked about what a student-led classroom looks like. 
Here are some key points I picked up on:
  • The classroom looks/appears as though everyone has equal power, for the teacher's word is final. (That is just understood.)
  • The teachers says or teaches what is needed and then gets out of the way.
  • Provide opportunities to practice skills so that they become habit.
  • Always give feedback.  Supportive feedback for negative choices and encouraging feedback for positive choices.
  • It will only be effective if students feel safe, appreciated, & connected to their teacher.
  •  Informal conversations help to build rapport with students and can begin before having them in your classroom.
While I was reading this chapter, I think I gave a whole hearted "Amen" several times a page.  There have been years where my classroom has resembled a student-led classroom and those were the BEST years in my teaching career. 
Things I can do next year to help build a student-led classroom:
  • Give up a bit of control to make it a reality in my room next year, which seems to be a hard thing for me with my type A personality, but will be beneficial for my students. 
  • Remind myself to give feedback no matter what.  It seems to be easier for me to give supportive feedback than encouraging feedback.  Don't let the "good" kids slip through the cracks.
  • Continue to be my outgoing self in the hallways and talk to ALL kids, no matter whether I have them in class or not.
I can't wait to continue to read Learn like a Pirate and share my thoughts with you.  While you wait for next week, head over and check out what others said about the first chapter.


  1. Great post, Sandy! I love your reminders to yourself on how to help build a student-led classroom. :)

  2. Thank you so much for all the kind words about "Learn Like a PIRATE," Sandy! I really look forward to reading next week's post! :)

  3. I love that you pointed out to be your outgoing self in the halls, and talking to kids who are and aren't in your class! This is something I try to do as well, making sure the connection is there with past students even though they won't be in my class again!! Can't wait to hear your insight next week too!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 


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