Blog

Assistants as Members of the PLC

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Schools across the country are generally staffed with highly trained professional administrators, teachers and content specialists. In my work assisting schools with building PLCs, the staff members closest to the instruction are usually the ones that first come to mind when discussing who the “professionals” are that make up a PLC. However, in my experience as a building principal, I very quickly realized that the work of instructional assistants can be crucial in helping a school meet goals and sustain success. Read more

The Evolution of a Virtual Coach

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I was given a Framework for PLC Principals which included seven main topics which I approached as my curriculum therefore I had to be “tight” in that they must be the foundation of my sessions. How I planned each session gave me the autonomy or “looseness” to make it my own. Read more

The Most Important Interview Question I Bet You’ve Never Asked

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Let me start with a simple truth: There is no single decision made by the principal of a professional learning community more important than who to hire to fill vacancies on individual learning teams. After all, the teachers that you hire today are likely to be a part of your faculty—working with students, influencing colleagues, shaping decisions, impacting public relations—for years to come. Read more

The Power of Going Vertical

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A great deal of our work to improve student learning is accomplished through powerful conversations at the team level. Collaborative teams answer the guiding question, “What do we want students to know and do?” by identifying essential standards and examples of proficiency in those standards. Read more

The Answer is in the Room—But Who is in the Room?

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In a professional learning community, working collaboratively is a way of life. This component of the work is fairly well-known and understood by many. And you may have even heard one of these phrases, “The answer is in the room,” or “None of us is as smart as all of us.” But who is included on your collaborative team? Who are we referring to when we say “us”? Read more

Drilling Deeper in a Professional Learning Community

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The term professional learning communityhas become enormously popular, but the actual practices that form the framework of the professional learning community concept are much less evident in most . . . Read more

Team Structure in PLC

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We have heard the concern expressed that the PLC concept only allows for course-specific teams at the middle and high school level or grade level teams at the elementary level. This is not the case… Read more

Small School PLC Implementation

Posted by Robert Eaker and Rick and Becky DuFour QUESTION: I am principal of a small school, with 1 or 2 teachers at each grade level. The collegiality/cooperation in the school is . . . Read more

Gap-Thinking in a Professional Learning Community

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In recent years a number of writers and researchers have utilized the phrase "habits of mind" The idea that we develop "habits" in the way we think raises an interesting question… Read more