Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

The Pedagogy of a Rural Educator

Yo ho ho, a Pirate’s Life for Me!


               I think its really important to make your room interesting and inviting for students, even if they are 14-18 years old! Every year I do a different theme in my classroom. I can’t keep it the same for 2 reasons: 

1. About 75% of my students return each year, so I don’t want them to get bored of seeing the same things over and over!

2. I’ll get sick of it!! If I had the time and energy, I would probably change themes each semester, just because I like new things!

This year, I was inspired by Dave Burgess’s book Teach Like a Pirate. So, what would I do but a pirate theme! I hope you enjoy my classroom!


This sign greets my students as they walk in the door.


My front door! Not the greatest picture, but its a treasure map! I free-handed the drawing. I figured it didn’t have to be perfect, since its supposed to be old!


The front of my room. Check out the pirate flag and sail across the white board!


Front of the room from the other side. This is my “student area”. Where they turn in papers, pick up corrected items, and have resources like calendars, the school memo, and supplies.


The bulletin board when you first walk in the room uses Dave Burgess’s PIRATE acronym. The table will have a calendar with homework assignments for the students to use when they miss a day.


I use this hanging file to hold extra copies of worksheets, handouts, etc. for the students to easily access. It is right next to the table for make-up work, so students can find what papers they need.


This board is an information center – it will be full of calendars, menus, and the school memo for the week.


The back of the room. The flags are made from scrapbook paper and ribbon, and the tissue paper balls were really easy to make instead of buy!


Here’s a close-up of the center of the back wall.


The walls are lined with quotes. The quotes either come from Teach Like a Pirate, or were ones that I found online. All of them make me smile!


A few years ago I started making full-page passes. I put magnets on the back so they can go on my white board. The magnets also make it easy for students to stick the pass to the bathroom stall and keep it a little cleaner!!


I made labels for my cupboards using Publisher in order to make it easier to find laboratory supplies.


Each lab group gets their own cupboard to hold their supplies. I made this on Publisher as well.


Even high school students forget their name sometimes! This is a place for me to hang those papers up so they can find it!


I have three doors in my room, so I thought I should try to use them a little more efficiently! This was a Pinterest find! I bought a shoe rack and then filled it with materials the students might need. It is filled with markers, pens, pencils, tape, and even a stapler!


Each pocket of the shoe holder is labeled – hopefully this will keep it organized!


Finally, I wanted to connect this whole pirate thing with my content area. So, I found some information on “The Science of Pirates”. The four sheets talk about trade winds, sharks, scurvy, and parrots.

 I really hope you enjoyed taking a look around my classroom! I am really excited for the students to get here and check it out! If you are interested in any of the files for things like labels, quotes, bulletin boards, or passes, I would be happy to send them to you! Just find me on twitter @sdsu_emko, or send me an email at! Thanks for reading!


Author: sdsuemko

I'm a high school science teacher in a small Minnesota town who loves the world of rural education. I am constantly striving to learn more about my craft and share what I find with others!

3 thoughts on “Yo ho ho, a Pirate’s Life for Me!

  1. I LOVE it! You are extremely creative! My daughters and I have been working on my room, but it is a bit preppy although based on our Captain Burgess’ philosophy. I am betting you students just LOVE it and all it stands for! Have a great first day!

  2. Pingback: 30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 5 – My Classroom | Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie

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