Do you remember the very first video I shared in this book club? It can be found in the Testing the Waters post, and you might want to go watch it if you haven't already - it will give you some context for what follows below.
Of all the adventure and travel-related themes we could've gone with to metaphorically send you off on your next grand expedition, I drift back once again to pirates (maybe its because our next book club is coming soon...Calling all Pirates! Join the NAAE Summer Book Club). There's just something about this season of our lives that feels a lot like a bold, rebellious journey on the high seas - there's no tried and true map to follow (just some hopeful ideas to guide you), the winds aren't blowing favorably to your preferred path, and its in your best interest to be savvy, flexible and daring. I turn again to the example Jack Sparrow gives us in his new pursuit in the following clip:
In our last assignment EVER for Tim Elmore's Marching Off the Map, it's time to look ahead and decide two things: where am I, and where do I want to go?
We have spent our time together exploring Generation Z, learning techniques to engage them on their own terms, and reflecting on our teaching styles to have real conversations about our classrooms. Now, we look ahead to how we plan to use what we have learned to better ourselves, our students, and subsequently our world. Consider the following question and activity as one last exercise of reflection:
WHERE AM I?
1. What is the biggest takeaway you have gained from this book club - about yourself, your career, your students, the world, etc?
WHERE AM I GOING?
2. Before you put this book on a shelf, take some time to draw a new map for a goal you want to set. I have included a template for you to use (admittedly my design skills only go so far), or to inspire you to create your own visual representation of where you want to go and how you want to get there.
- Think of one thing you want to accomplish this next school year. Big or small....whatever your heart desires as "treasure!"
- Map out some smaller "adventures" or goals you will need to accomplish to get to your treasure
- In my map, I have included some obstacles. Do you foresee any treacherous ground you'll have to cross?
You can create a Word Doc like the one attached, draw it out on a piece of paper and take a picture, or use any other creative method, just as long as you actually draw out where you're going and how you plan to get there. I hope you will use this time to get creative and have fun! Once you're finished with your map, please upload it to the Chapter 12 & Epilogue folder (see Uploading and Categorizing Files.docx for help).
We may not know what is coming at us next, explorers. We may only have a vague understanding of the "how" we will get somewhere, and you may only be a one-man dinghy with a tiny fragment of a map to guide you, but I have confidence in each of you that you will get there because you know the "why" behind every twist and turn. What, or perhaps who, is your "why"?
I observed a 6th grade English teacher a few years back for a class in college. I'll never forget the assignment she gave the students that day. It helped fuel my "why" for pursuing a degree in Ag Ed. She played John Mayer's song "Waiting on the World to Change" and then asked the students to brainstorm what they would like to change about the world around them. At the end of the class, she had the students share their creative and inspiring ideas. It was certainly impressive what they had come up with! Before the bell rang, she told them that this song was written for their generation, and told them to never stop going after the things they were passionate about because one day, they were going to be old enough to do something about it. That's who you're leading as you march off the map - the future of our world.
Safe travels, explorers.