Sarah Warren

Cartographer's Notebook #3: Landmarks

Blog Post created by Sarah Warren on May 4, 2020

"We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet." - Margaret Mead (as quoted on p. 69)


Chapter 4 is absolutely packed with facts and figures that nicely tie up the first 3 chapters we have been studying. I have had to really slow down and focus when I read this book, and particularly I've read this chapter multiple times to grasp all that it offers. It leaves me with so many quotes I want to store away forever, and a lot information I want to fully digest. Did you feel the same? I started to think about why the author may have chosen to call this chapter "What Are The Landmarks on The New Map?" A simple search for the definition of "landmark" returned this: 




I was shocked by what I found! In keeping with the symbolism of this book club, a landmark helps you orient yourself in a physical location. Being able to recognize a landmark, even in an unfamiliar place, gives you an idea of where you are. We certainly need to figure out where we are right now on this new map we're making. We need some starting points so we can decide where to go from here. But the term "landmark" could also be used to signify a turning point in history. It can orient us to where we are in the unfolding of events. How fitting in this current world we are experiencing...History is being written today, and we as educators get to play a huge role in how the rest of this story is going to unfold for our young people.


I'd like for this to be a real week of reflection for our team of explorers. As we trek on into May, most of us have been in total uncharted territory for at least a month, if not longer. This book has hopefully shed some light on what you've seen thus far in your students, and I believe it will be invaluable in understanding them as the world around us continues to change in real time. This isn't a world we are looking back on in hindsight or one we are theorizing "could be" one day. What our students are going through today could possibly be the defining challenge of their generation. There will be more challenges to come, if history tells us anything, its that no generation gets one bad trial and then coasts easy the rest of their lives. How relevant is it that we are learning ourselves how to teach them to cope and thrive with whatever the future holds? 


If you're on pace with the reading, you have finished chapter 4 and are in the process of reading chapter 5. After these chapters we'll be moving into Part 2 of Marching Off the Map, where we will roll up our sleeves and focus on creating new ideas within this new world we will have just spent a month learning about. Today I'm going to provide a space to write what's on your mind. There's a lot to digest and identify on this map before we move forward, so take this time to work through whatever strikes you as most interesting. I challenge you to first watch the below Ted Talk (which I believe ties well into this chapter) and then choose at least ONE of the below discussion prompts to reflect on and write about. I have seen and heard many of you talking about choice boards - here is your Cartographer's Notebook choice board!  



Dear Grown Ups....Sincerely, Gen Z


Discussion Questions (Pick at least ONE):

- Have you experienced a moment with a student that has reminded you why your job is so important and critical to developing this next generation?

- How does your life story and the generation you belong to help you connect with Gen Z? Or, how does it hinder your connection with this generation?


- When communicating with your students, how can you relay that you understand what they are going through, but also relay the ideals you believe they are capable of growing into as adults? 


- How can you communicate that you welcome the uniqueness of each student, while calling them to work together in harmony and collaboration?


- What social or emotional muscles seem to be weak in your students, and how can you help them exercise these muscles?


- Or pick a quote, fact, etc. from chapter 4 that really strikes you and discuss what you're thinking about it!



Happy Reflecting, Explorers!