Book Resources

Lead Like a Pirate: Make Your School Amazing for Your Students and Staff

We are excited to announce that our book, Lead Like a Pirate is now available on Amazon.  Below is the current table of contents which will house additional links, resources, and discussion questions for each chapter.  We wanted to provide this for you as a space that helps bring the book to life and encourages you to go even deeper into the content. If you are planning a book study or just have questions for us, please reach out to us… we would love to connect anytime.

“If you’re ready to take your school or district to the next level of excellence, you need to read Lead Like a PIRATE. Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf share personal stories and expert advice on how to build and lead a crew—and how to create a culture where each crew member is valued. They offer the perfect mix of inspiration, encouragement, and real-world experience to help you become the kind of leader you have always wanted to be.”

—Todd Whitaker, professor of Educational Leadership, University of Missouri
Please check out the chapter guides with questions and links below.

(If you are interested in bulk orders, please do not hesitate to connect for a quote.)

Section One: Lead Like a PIRATE

Picture Resources

Chapter 1: Passion

Beth’s Introductory Slide Show

Lead Like a PIRATE: Passion and Patience

Book Recommendations:

The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools  by Liz Wiseman

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Chapter 2: Immersion

Student created “Tech Toolbox” for teachers

Sample “Leading the Learning” documents which Shelley sent weekly to principals and other members of the educational leadership team.

Chapter 3: Rapport

Some great resources on building trust:

How the Best Leaders Build Trust – Stephen Covey

Building Trust – Ken Blanchard

Half the Team Doesn’t Trust the Boss – Dan Rockwell

Six Ways Leaders Can Build Trust – Michael Hyatt

Trust in Schools: A Core Resource for School Reform –  Anthony S. Bryk and Barbara Schneider

Trust is the On Ramp for Building Collaboration and Collegiality – Pat Roy

Book Recommendations:

The Speed of Trust: The One Thing at Changes Everything by Stephen M. R. Covey  

Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman.

Sample Smores to Build Rapport:

No Worksheet Holiday

Family Newsletter

Staff Newsletter

Professional Development Tool

State Testing Info

Meet Mrs. Houf

New Year Kickoff

Staff Retreat Activities

Lunch-Prep Assignments  

Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Year of Learning Blog

Chapter 4:  Ask and Analyze

Back to School Camp

Book Recommendation:

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership  – John Maxwell

Chapter 5: Transformation

Back to School Like a PIRATE – Blog post

Transforming Back to School Collaborative Doc

Resources for Student-Led Conferences

Staff Directions for Fall Student-Led Conferences

Student Organizer for Fall Evaluations and Grades

Video Newsletter Explaining Fall Student- Led Conferences:

Spring Conference Info

Chapter 6:  Enthusiasm

Ring in the New Year

Invitations for Families

Invitations for Staff

Carpool Karaoke

(More Great Book Resources are on there way!)

Section Two: X Marks the Spot: Leadership Treasure

Chapter 7: Set Your Compass

Leading the Learning “One Page” doc example

Book Recommendations:

FOCUS: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning by Mike Schmoker

Chapter 8:  Avoid the Blame Game

Chapter 9:  Harness the Power of Teams 

Chapter 10: Find the Magic in the People, Not Programs 

Book Recommendations:

The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros


Chapter 11: Get the Right People on the Ship


Chapter 12: If It’s Important Make Time for It


Chapter 13:  Make Changes Without Capsizing Your Ship

Book Recommendations:

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip heath

Chapter 14: Use Stories to Personalize Data


Chapter 15: Unleash Social Media to Tell Your School’s Story

Sharing Stories with Social Media


Technology Night

Read-Aloud Archives

Principal Introduction

Twitter How-Too Module


Chapter 16: Doing What’s “Best” for Kids

Chapter 17: Professional Development Like a PIRATE

Speed Dating PD

Personalized Learning Plan

Reflection Form

PD Twitter Chat


Section 3: Coach Like a PIRATE


Chapter 18: ANCHOR Conversations


ANCHOR Conversation Resources


Book Recommendations:

The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation by Elena Aguilar

Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning by Elizabeth A. City and Richard F. Elmore

The Three Minute Classroom Walk-Through: Changing School Supervisory Practice One Teacher at a Time  by Carolyn Downey

Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction by Jim Knight