What’cha Working on Big?

Andy Stanley is a pastor in Atlanta, Ga., as well as a nationally renowned speaker about leadership. One of the stories he tells is of the impact on his life of his mentors. A specific mentor that he has spoken about is Charlie Renfro. During their meetings, Charlie would ask Andy, “Andy, what’cha working on big?”

This one question was significant to Andy as he developed as a leader.

The message is that in addition to all of the routine and daily chores that we accomplish, each of us needs to be working on something big. We need to be working toward that special something that can be our “passion project.”

At USD No. 113, we spend a considerable amount of time and effort working on the vision for our district. We continue to establish this vision in order to have a structure and direction for those “big” projects. USD No. 113 administration is continuing to work to identify our vision at the building and the district levels. The USD No. 113 Board of Education will soon be working on the Strategic Plan that provides a structure for the visioning of our district.

One part of the vision for USD No. 113 is that we will increase student interactions with successful adults. This interaction will provide relevance to the application of concepts that are studied. It is also important that we continue to improve educating our students about careers and post-secondary education. We need to increase opportunities for students to be out in our communities in order for them to learn about local careers and the work place. This will enhance their education, as well as give our employers an opportunity to recruit for the future.

What does this look like?

• Teachers working with kids working. The teacher’s role becomes more of a facilitator than a “sit and get” model of instruction.

• Effective student collaboration.

• Movement away from memorizing content toward learning as a process – using readily available information for analysis and problem solving.

• Emphasis on application of learned concepts as opposed to the concept itself.

• Educators and students will be using integrated technology to escalate learning and to promote creativity, as well as challenging students at their individual levels.

The Kansas State Department of Education “Kansans Can” vision aligns with our local vision. Educators are working to improve their craft and striving to strengthen their knowledge of learning. I hope that each of them are working on that “big” vision for the upcoming year that will impact our kids.

Summer is a time for educators to reflect and refine. It is a time to revisit our professional and personal vision and to make adjustments for the upcoming year. All of us need to be working on something big!

Todd Evans27 Posts

Todd Evans currently serves as Superintendent of Prairie Hills USD No. 113 in Kansas. USD No. 113 operates Pre-K through 12 schools in the communities of Sabetha, Wetmore and Axtell.

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