Dave Burgess is a U.S. History teacher at West Hills High School in San Diego and a semi-professional
magician specializing in stand-up comedy magic. He was a 2001 and 2012 Golden Apple recipient in the
Grossmont Union High School District and the 2007/2008 Teacher of the Year at West Hills. He has been
voted a faculty standout for seventeen consecutive years in categories such as: Most Entertaining, Most
Energetic, and Most Dramatic. He specializes in teaching hard-to-reach, hard-to-motivate students with
techniques that incorporate showmanship and creativity.
Dave is also a highly sought after professional development speaker well known for his creative,
entertaining, and outrageously energetic style. His seminars and keynotes not only motivate and inspire
teachers, but also help them to develop practical ways to become more creative and engaging in the
classroom. He is the author of Teach Like a PIRATE, currently available on Amazon.
You can contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter he is @burgessdave
Please go to http://daveburgess.com to sign-up for my 100% FREE Outrageous Teaching e-mail updates
filled with tips, techniques and motivational messages for teachers. You will also receive free access to
one of my latest hooks in PDF and video form.
A sk & Analyze
“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.” –Denis Diderot
The deep, dark, secret problem that all teachers share (and the solution!):
1. Within my subject content areas, I am passionate about:
2. Within my profession, but not specific to my subject matter, I am passionate about:
3. Completely outside of my profession, I am passionate about:
Passion makes you relentless and uncompromising in your pursuit of excellence.
Passion allows you to conquer the day-to-day frustrations and obstacles of our profession.
Connecting, or reconnecting, to your passions brings fulfillment as an educator.
The one secret that is guaranteed to make you a dramatically better lover is ….
Immersion vs. Focus (swimming pool example)
“One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Subduing the other’s
military without battle is the most skillful.” –Sun Tzu
Rapport provides you with the information you need to create powerful hooks.
Rapport allows you to create buy-in.
Rapport allows you to develop relationships of influence.
My First 3 Days: Investing time on the front end to more effectively and efficiently use time
for the rest of the year.
The No-Meanness Zone
NOTHING is more important to me than creating the right classroom environment.
ASK & ANALYZE
“Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question” –E.E. Cummings
“The important thing is to not stop questioning” –Albert Einstein
“Questions are the laser of human consciousness” –Anthony Robbins
The myth of the blinding flash of light
How can we develop creativity? Are you tuned to the right station/frequency?
Creative genius is more about hard work and directed attention than it is about brilliance
The 6 Words:
Failure vs. Feedback: A Paradigm Shift
You MUST create a system for capturing your thoughts and ideas
“Provide an uncommon experience for your students, and they will reward you with an
uncommon effort and attitude.” –Dave Burgess
Your doorway can be the entrance into another world!
The Power of the Purple Cow
Positioning (avoiding the medicine approach)
Two Tough Questions!
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is nothing more contagious on this planet than enthusiasm. The songs become
incidental, what people receive is your joy.” - Carlos Santana
“If the body leads, the brain will follow.” – Dave Burgess
The commitment to be ON for every class:
The Power of Physiology:
My First 3 Days
The Play Dough Lesson
Hook: Good Morning Training and Play Dough out on desks
1) Distribute and Discuss Course Handout
2) Students open play dough and must create something that is in some way representative
of them. (Teacher circulates and interacts with students)
3) Teacher moves throughout the whole room asking students their names and having
them show and explain their creations to the class.
4) Contest Flourish: Any student who can correctly identify every student in the class by
name wins a prize.
5) Extra-time: Do-as-I-do ropes
The “Stranded” Lesson
Hook: “The Plane Crash” reenactment
1) After the plane crash performance, students get into groups and use the stranded
handout to choose who will stay on the island and who will get rescued. The key
emphasis is placed on proper group dynamics and positive interactions. (Teacher
circulates to observe and interact with students)
2) Each group has a representative report their choices to the class as a whole. Teacher
records each group’s choices on white board chart. Groups must verbally justify their
3) Teacher debriefs assignment
4) Extra time: Continue name contest or Do-as-I-do ropes
The Method to the Madness Lesson
Hook: Brain striptease and teacher vs. researcher fight
A high-energy lecture and discussion about
§ Brain research
§ Learning styles
§ Multiple intelligences
§ Learning environment
Main theme: This class will be different and you can absolutely be successful here no matter what your past
experiences have been in school.
HOOKS: A Crash Course
Swimming with the Sharks
The Mystery Bag
The Cook Hook
Teasers (Promoting/Marketing in Advance)
The Student on Stage
The Plot Overlay
Call and Response
The Guest Speaker