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

Effectively Leveraging Community Partnerships by Getting Clear on Purpose


One of the strategies cited by school leaders as being an effective way to meet the needs of students is developing and utilizing partnerships with community agencies, higher education, and other organizations. While such relationships can be very beneficial and enjoyable, without clarity of mission, an opportunity is lost. Read more

The Misunderstood Pillar


Much in the same way that building a solid foundation is so critically important to any building, so is creating a solid foundation for a PLC at Work® school to stand upon. The authors of the PLC at Work process refer to this foundation as the Four Pillars. Read more

What is Your Why?


Many efforts at school improvement have been stymied despite the best intentions of those involved. Once schools are in the thick of things, and the change efforts schools are engaged in begin to inevitably face challenges and the initial excitement begins to wane, schools will be faced with a decision. Do we continue to push forward, despite the difficulties we are facing, or do we go back to what we have always done and what is, in many ways, easier? Read more

How Hundred Day Plans Sustain a Culture of Continuous Improvement


You’re feeling good – you have created demand for modeling your school as a PLC and have structures in place to answer the key questions. You are making progress along the PLC journey… Well, you think you are. Or perhaps your PLC is stagnant; you are not seeing progress or you are not sure about how to measure it. Or maybe your school is just beginning the PLC journey and you are questioning how to monitor the first stages, especially since small wins are essential in the beginning to sustain the momentum. Or perhaps you’re wrestling with when and how to lay out the next steps of your school’s improvement work and are trying to determine how it fits into the larger school improvement plan. Read more

Legendary Lessons I Wish I’d Known My First Year of Teaching


I recently spent time with my parents for our weekly lunch date. Amid our customary conversations about the state of our nation’s political system and where the best senior citizen lunch discounts can be found, we began to muse about life lessons that I had learned during my formative years. After much time had passed, these lessons (and the resulting consequences) are now looked back upon with some measure of fondness. But during the time they occurred, these lessons and consequences evoked the same emotional reaction as losing my favorite George Brett baseball card. Read more

The Moment Everything Changes


The first of the four critical questions of a Professional Learning Community process is, what is it we want our students to learn? This question underscores the need for teacher teams to identify . . . Read more

Put Your Money Where Your Maxim Is: “Investing” in PLCs at the District Level

thumb defines maxim as “a general truth or principle” or “a rule of conduct.” A few years ago when I was a high school principal leading the implementation of a PLC . . . Read more

One Teacher Leader's PLC Journey


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

What Does It Mean to Be a Viking?


Dave Wedlock's "What Does It Mean to Be a Viking? Collaboration and the Commitment to Continous Improvement as Core Values" is reposted here with permission from the author. In a . . . Read more

Advocating for the PLC Concept


Occasionally, I have found myself in the position of being asked to defend the PLC concept. My initial impulse has often been to reference relevant research findings or point to schools and school . . . Read more

Collaborative Teams, the Common Core, and the Aflac Duck


“My teacher collaborative teams don’t need to spend time taking apart standards. Our district does that work, and breaks it down so every teacher in every content area knows exactly . . . Read more



Have you ever heard the reason for lackluster performance at a school is because the clientele has changed? This is a phrase, a reason, an excuse that is increasingly used by educators or the educational system to explain… Read more

Who Is Steering Your School’s Bus?


In Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work™, the authors comment on common mistakes made in attempting to build consensus around a new vision of learning: “It is a . . . Read more

Modeling Reflective Leadership in Your PLC


As a leader of learners, do you ever wonder if you are providing the leadership your staff wants? You have dedicated time to address the culture in your PLC and established clarity on expectations of staff and students... Read more