Blog

The 3 Misconceptions of Collaboration

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A guiding coalition is formed, teachers are placed in collaborative teams, and the work begins. What could go wrong? Unfortunately, what often plays out is that the renewed enthusiasm is quickly eroded because educators charged with implementing the PLC process succumb to the misconceptions of collaboration. Read more

Lessons for Life as Well as for Education

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Those of us who have been reading Rick Dufour’s Caring Bridge blogs about his journey through the highs and lows of cancer and its treatment options have been struck by his eloquence and his honesty about life and living it to the fullest. In the entry dated November 30, 2016 Rick talks about the need to develop a “willingness to change one’s perspective” when responding to the new normalcies that cancer creates. Read more

Collective Inquiry and Building Shared Knowledge

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One of the factors that makes the PLC at Work model unique is the emphasis on building shared knowledge and building the professional capacity of practitioners. The traditional school model featured individual development, and the PLC model supports collective development. In fact, one of the key principles of the model is that learning for educators is the key to improving student learning (DuFour, DuFour et al. 2016). One of the most important responsibilities of a school leader is to invest in the capacity of those who influence student learning. In the PLC process, we call this activity Collective Inquiry. Read more

How Kids WIN Systematically

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My experience as a teacher was amazing! I loved teaching, my colleagues, my families, and my students; but I wish I could have a complete redo on my time in the classroom. Regrettably, as a teacher I never had the opportunity to function within a Professional Learning Community. Sure, I had amazing colleagues who became life-long friends. Yes, they were willing to share their “things” that worked for their kids in their classrooms. I definitely was able to get to know “their kids," just as they were able to get to know “my kids” because we shared them for periods of time throughout the week. We even shared data! If you’re reading this and thinking, “Why is Will suggesting he didn’t function within a PLC?”, let me explain. Read more

Building Trust

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One of the more frequent questions that we receive from teacher and administrative teams as they begin the PLC journey is this: “How can we possibly plan, implement, assess, and reflect . . . Read more

Clearing Things Up With the Cloud

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The team leader taps away furiously at her computer. “I know we decided this last spring in our release day. Don’t you remember?” Her teammates watch with a variety of expressions . . . Read more

The Toughest Audience of All: Your Colleagues

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I have led professional development for school faculties and at educational conferences in the United States and now in Singapore. It’s a slightly heady feeling—walking into a ballroom . . . Read more

One Teacher Leader's PLC Journey

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Note: This blog post has been adapted from an email that Joshua Curnett sent to the staff at his PLC. It's February, the time of year when I cannot remember my name. It's (picture me . . . Read more

Finding Time for Interventions

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How do I find the time to do interventions? When will I do this and also keep up with the pacing of the curriculum? One thing all teachers can agree on is that time is a limited commodity, . . . Read more

The Time and the Commitment to Collaborate at the Elementary Level

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At the elementary level, the structure of collaboration—that is, the designated time during the school day and the creation of meaningful teams—can be a struggle to achieve. Some . . . Read more

PLC Master Schedules Provide Time for Collaboration and Interventions During the Day

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The importance of teachers having time to collaborate during the contract day in order to build their professional practice and foster shared responsibility for student learning is critical for . . . Read more

Leadership Lessons Learned From a Corporate Barista

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Walk into the Evernote headquarters in Redwood City, California, and you are bound to be impressed by the full-scale espresso bar in the lobby. Whether you are in the mood for a vegan raspberry . . . Read more

Using PLC Organization to Align CCSS, Instructional Frameworks, and Teacher Evaluation

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Recently, a frustrated teacher sat with me and shared her overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Her school district had recently adopted an instructional framework for teaching and modified the . . . Read more

Q&A: Scheduling Collaboration Time for Multiple Teams

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The following question was sent into AllThingsPLC.info: If a high school teacher has two or three preps, how does he or she serve on more than one collaboration team? I presume teams usually meet at the same time... Read more

Team Meetings: Converting the Middle School to the PLC Middle School

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In conversations with many middle school teachers and administrators over the last few years, I’ve noticed a certain perception and tension that exists when some middle schools are presented . . . Read more