Sarah Warren

Testing the Waters

Blog Post created by Sarah Warren on Apr 15, 2020

Welcome to the first day of the 2020 NAAE Virtual Book Club! 


I am a terrible swimmer. My inability to stay afloat makes me ridiculously cautious around all bodies of water, I do not jump into pools with vigor, and I am NOT leaving dry land without a lifejacket. Can anyone else relate?


Maybe you're a water enthusiast, one who never misses an opportunity to dive headfirst into the deep end with nothing to catch you except the strength of your own arms and legs. I certainly admire your courage! Was this a natural skill you have had your whole life? Or did you acquire it over many summers of trial and error, launching yourself off the deck and figuring it out as you hit the water?


Whether you're cautious or confident in trying new things (treading new waters, if you will), as we begin to read Marching Off the Map we will learn that we certainly can't stay here on the present shoreline forever, whether we like it or not. As wave after wave of new ideas, technology, and innovation floods our society, and specifically our students, we must learn to adapt or be overtaken by the force of it all - its time to sink or swim. We want to be effective teachers in a world that could quickly render us inefficient if we aren't honing our skills. Starting next Monday, we'll dive deeper into what we as educators are up against with this generation of students, but for now lets just test the waters we're working with. Let's get our toes wet as we start to position ourselves to take on the role of explorers. 



On pages 1-3 of Marching Off the Map, you'll find a quiz titled "Do You Tend to Be More Old School or New School?" Without peeking at the Scorecard on page 4, go ahead and take the quiz. If you haven't received your copy of the book yet, you can find the quiz attached to this post (Old vs. New Quiz).


Did you peek?! Okay, now you can look at the Scorecard on page 4, or you can find it attached to this post (Quiz Scorecard).


Post your answers to the following questions in the comment section below:

1) How did you score? Do you agree with this assessment of your teaching style? Why or why not?

2) What does "uncharted territory" in your classroom/career look like? 

3) What are you hoping to learn/gain from reading this book and participating in this book club? 


I appreciate the authenticity and depth of your answers! Being introspective and reflective is often the first step to amazing personal and professional growth. No matter where you sit on this spectrum, we all have something to learn from one another. I hope you take the time to read through some of your fellow explorers' answers to gauge all the perspectives on our expedition team. 


I'll leave you to ponder this clip from a movie that is all about uncharted territory and daring adventure. Captain Jack Sparrow could possibly be one of the most under-appreciated innovative minds of our time. He is relentless in pursuit of his goals, often taking unconventional approaches that others are reluctant to adopt at first. However, they soon learn that he just might be on to something, and the outcome could be worth the risk. As we shift to the mindset of an explorer and a pioneer, I hope you aren't afraid to reevaluate your current map, even if it means you have to rock the boat just a little...


Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End - Up Is Down Scene - YouTube