Sarah Warren

Cartographer's Notebook #1: Beginning With the End in Mind

Blog Post created by Sarah Warren on Apr 20, 2020

The expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark is arguably one of America's most exciting stories. Also known as the "Corps of Discovery Expedition," you are probably familiar with Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea and the rest of this crew of explorers who blazed a trail across the freshly acquired western portion of the US. Thomas Jefferson commissioned them with a task like the one we have been given in this book club: explore the unknown territory. Find out what is out there, and just as importantly, who is out there, so we can proceed into this new land prepared and confident.


Perhaps the most fascinating components of this story, for me, are the intricate and extensive journals the explorers kept as they traversed the new territory. One historian has called Lewis and Clark "the writingest explorers of their time. They wrote constantly and abundantly, afloat and ashore, legibly and illegibly, and always with an urgent sense of purpose" (Donald Jackson). They knew what their goal was when they departed on their journey, and they planned to return home (or to their classrooms...) with a record of collective information they could use and share. 


For the duration of the book club, every Monday you'll have a new opportunity to record your reflections on the week's reading, in a post to be known here as the Cartographer's Notebook. In their journals, the explorers would muse on their experiences in addition to sketching the new map. We will really get our creativity going on Wednesday as we take action in the weekly MapMaker, but the Monday post is a time to give yourself permission to think and reflect. Tim Elmore has set the scene up for us in the first two chapters of Marching Off the Map. He has briefed us, essentially, on the challenges we face as we look to march into this new territory. At the end of chapter 2, Elmore encourages us to begin with the end goal in mind. You have already established what your end goal is for this book club last week in the Testing the Waters post. You are here now because you have made up your mind to be a pioneer, not a settler. I hope you will embrace the opportunity to log your experiences and knowledge here for the benefit of the rest of us who are here alongside you as we create this map. The discussion questions below are simply a guided starting point, but I hope you will not hesitate to share any insights, epiphanies, or "ah-ha!"moments as well.



1) Consider the three cultural changes Elmore explains in chapter 1: How Technology is Evolving (p.8), How Childhood is Evolving (p. 10) and How Adulthood is Evolving (p.12). In your experience, how have these evolutions affected the teacher-student relationship/how do you predict it will affect this relationship?


2) On page 10, Elmore describes the "extinction of childlikeness" vs. "the extension of childishness." How have you seen this concept to be true in the students you work with? Do you have any insights on addressing this in the classroom?


3) See what Elmore has to say about skills on page 24. What are some morals, principles or practices you consider to be timeless that you'd like to instill in your students? What are some skills you consider to be timely to prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow? 



And if you'd like to learn more about Lewis and Clark's expedition, check this out: 10 Cool Facts About The Lewis & Clark Expedition - YouTube