Blog

Leading With WHY

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When working with districts and schools, I’m often asked a question from site leaders something similar to this: “How do you get people to buy in to Professional Learning Communities? . . . Read more

Doing the Right Things Right: Building Capacity, Quality Control, Fidelity, and Accountability

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“What drives your school improvement efforts—evidence of best practice or the pursuit of universal buy-in?” This question is posed by Dr. Richard DuFour in his article, . . . Read more

An Open Letter to My First-Grade Teacher

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I am a failure. Many define failure as lack of success and omission of required action. I would say that in my past, I qualified as a failure on both counts. Today, as a principal in a school, . . . 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 Meaning in Texts

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While reading over fall break, I kept finding ideas about collaboration and success when I wasn’t really looking for them. I dog-eared a few pages in a few books to save the places because . . . Read more

Peers Helping Peers: An Update

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In my previous post, I described a new program that I and others are working on to improve the performance of students who struggled last year as freshmen, and I said I would report back when we . . . Read more

Peers Helping Peers

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Five summers ago, my professional life was permanently changed when I attended my first PLC conference. I frankly went with an attitude of “here we go again . . . ,” having been . . . Read more

Solving the Puzzle of Success

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When I was growing up, Rubik’s Cubes were popular. The toy had colored sides, and you were to mix up the colors by turning the sides over and over again. Once the colors had been mixed up, . . . Read more

Pouring Rather Than Splashing

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As a new mathematics teacher at Centennial High School, I quickly learned it was important to ask students who their teacher had been the previous year. Teachers in algebra “made it . . . Read more

Lessons Learned From an Unlikely "PLC"

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My favorite time of year is when the National Hockey League play-offs are in full swing. I absolutely love the intensity, grit, and laser-like focus on winning that hockey teams demonstrate during . . . Read more

Famous Foursomes

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Throughout history, there have been many examples of well-known groups of four, such as: The Four Seasons, a mid-1960s pop band led by Frankie Valli The Fantastic Four, the fictional . . . Read more

Focusing on What Matters

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I currently serve as director of secondary curriculum for Papillion-La Vista Public Schools. About eight years ago, the district began to learn about and ultimately implement professional learning . . . Read more

PLC Speakers Video Playlist

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Here’s a great new resource for PLC admins and teachers: a playlist of speakers discussing the various aspects of PLCs. You can scroll through the videos below, or visit the playlist page on . . . Read more

New Study Highlights Importance of Collaborative Inquiry

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A study from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), published last November, offers school perspectives on the benefits of New York City’s data-informed collaborative inquiry process. Since 2006, policymakers have been refining a citywide collaborative inquiry model in which… Read more

Congratulations Marc Johnson! 2011 AASA Superintendent of the Year

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Earlier today we featured the great success of the Sanger Unified School District. Sanger was chosen by the DuFours because in 2003, Superintendent Marc Johnson had a vision—to improve . . . Read more