Coming to a conclusion of the meaning behind Build like a Pirate is a very important word. Dedication. Dedication comes in two forms, what we commit ourselves too and how we honor another’s work. Robert John Meehan once said: “If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you without hesitation: I was born to be a teacher.” When someone asked me when I was sixteen, I told them I was put here to be an actor. Then ten years later I told people I was put here to make a difference in the world and then a few years later after that I met my wife I told her I was right both times but that I was born to be a teacher. She then told me, to go be it then and I finally did. She taught me in that moment what I let too many people tell me I wasn’t and that I shouldn’t be but I finally understood. Throughout this month I have brought up constantly those who inspired me and many who discouraged me but something I have learned from both experiences, you don’t have to be them. Being a great teacher is not trying to be like the one you always loved or adored and its not about not being the one that made you feel unappreciated and dishearten. Its about being who you want to be to your students. Do you want to become in teaching with hand puppets? Then do it. Do you want to create a full paperless classroom through your mobile and digital devices? Go right ahead. Do you want to say that as long as your students learn and understand you and you know that you are doing your job right? Then by all means, please do.
I never started Build like a Pirate to change the face of education or come in telling you my way was better than someone else’s. I came up with Build Like a Pirate to give you ideas, show you what has and hasn’t worked for me and most of all, help you find that Unconditional Passion and to take it to the next level and dice UP your classroom. The four people who inspired me the most in my life are my wife, Melissa, our son, Tyler. My mother, Mary Lou and my grandfather, Frank Delmont Sr. These four people showed me how to find my UP and continue to inspire me every day and also remind me why I do this. But you know what inspires me the most? When I look at a student and know they are creating, learning and finding their UP. This can be a young PK-3 student showing me how he found can build the coolest forts out of Legos or the teacher who tells me: “Look at what I did!” That’s what I put in my Smile File every day and why I keep doing this even on days where you wondering if I’m teaching the way I should. What I have learned that works is the best is rolling out learning to everyone and knowing if it doesn’t work the first time, you can always put your dice back in a cup and roll again. Chances are, you will find your way. If there is something I’ve learned all these last over the years both in and out of the classroom is that your unconditional passion will come from inspiration and the inspiration comes from within. Don’t just look around for inspiration, find the inspiration in yourself and when its right, you will also inspire others. I never wake up saying “I’m going to change everything.” I wake up wanting to inspire others the way others have inspired me. Be different and Dice UP the Classroom and always have dedication.