Albany- It just may be one of the best navigational tools around.
In Glen Brown's class at Monroe High School, learning the world is centered around what these students see when they close their eyes.
"I've seen test scores come way up with the mental maps," he said. "It's a little technique that makes a big difference."
Brown's got a lot of those little techniques. They're big hits in the classroom and part of the reason he's Dougherty County's Teacher of the Year.
But he's part of another elite group. Brown is among the 21 percent of American teachers who are men. In fact, the number of men who teach in public schools has declined for the past 20 years. There are 220 male teachers in Dougherty County schools. There are 1,020 women.
"I would probably say because they have other alternatives out there where they can make more money."
He's right. Almost half of men who want to teach don't because of the pay. So, they may not get rich here, but few would argue about the importance of their presence.
"Everybody's important in a school. Males have no place higher than what females have. But a lot of kids don't see males at home as much."
That's part of the reason they need to be here. Actually, that's why Brown is here.
"Being with the kids everyday, watching them grow through the course of a week, a month, a semester, a year, and seeing them year after year, it's tremendous. It really gives you such a feeling of satisfaction knowing you have made a difference in these young peoples lives."
So when world geography is over, one thing these students will have learned is an appreciation for Brown, a compass helping point their lives in the right direction.