Blog

The PLC Journey Starts With Community

“What is labeled as ‘fluff’ is more often the stuff of leadership and culture.” —Terrence Deal, Kent Peterson, Shaping School Culture While the word . . . Read more

Redesigning Our Schools: How Can We Do That?

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I recently had the opportunity to attend the RTI at Work Institute™ in Edmonton, Canada. One of the great things about attending a Solution Tree Institute is the opportunity to learn alongside educators from all over North America. The opportunity to hear different perspectives and ways of thinking around the school improvement process is an invaluable learning experience. Read more

Why This, Why Now, Why Bother

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One question I am often asked by classroom teachers is, “Why should we care about PLCs, Bill?” We are almost always skeptical when our bosses bring something new back to our building and try to convince us that it is worth investing in. But when they are done right, PLCs answer my three why questions better than anything I’ve seen in over 25 years of full-time teaching. Read more

Maybe It’s Time to Press the Reset Button

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There are many schools throughout the country that are committed to doing the “right work” and are demonstrating evidence of tremendous growth in both adult and student learning. There are many more schools, also with dedicated and hard-working educators, that have not been enjoying increased gains in student achievement and yet claim to be “doing PLCs.” Read more

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