Blog

What Are the Necessary Leadership Responsibilities in a PLC?

thumb

There is nothing like the beginning of the school year. Everywhere you look, new opportunities are popping up, new ideas are being developed, and school leaders are planning to best meet the needs . . . Read more

Team Leaders in a Professional Learning Community

thumb

Collaborative teams are the engines that drive professional learning communities. It is simply impossible to ensure high levels of learning for all students if teachers are working in isolation. The quality of work performed by teams depends on team leaders who… Read more

Three Rules Help Manage Assessment Data

thumb

We live in the Information Age, when never before has so much data on student learning been so readily available. It is the best of times... And yet, to harried principals struggling to make sense of the mountains of assessment data, the Information Age may feel like the worst of times... Read more

Should Homework Be Graded?

thumb

I received an interesting question from a teacher regarding recommendations for whether or not homework should be graded. He described a scenario in which a student demonstrates proficiency on every quiz, test, and exam but refuses to do homework each day. If, on a daily basis, the student… Read more

Getting the Most Out of Common Assessments

thumb

Like most schools that begin implementing PLC practices, the faculty at Pioneer Middle School learned about the importance of common formative assessments and decided to utilize this powerful tool to help us focus on learning. Unfortunately, as time progressed… Read more

Is This Candidate a Good Fit for a PLC?

thumb

We received a question from an educator interested in the kinds of questions she might use to determine if a candidate is a good fit for a professional learning community. We suggest that you ask . . . Read more

Tech Tools for Teams: Using Voicethread

thumb

I've got an interesting admission to make: I'm a HORRIBLE guy to have on a learning team! Kind of strange, isn't it? I mean, how could a trained Solution Tree associate and author who has written about the beauty of professional learning communities for years possibly be… Read more

Wide Range of Abilities

thumb

This is the time of year when we move into interview mode in schools. Having just exited one of these, something the candidate said caused an aha! moment for me. The question to the candidate had to do with… Read more

A Rose by Any Other Name: Professional Learning Communities

thumb

When visiting a school in the early stages of developing Professional Learning Communities (PLC), I heard the principal explain, "Our PLC teams meet twice a month." He continued proudly, "When our… Read more

Teachers Key to Reversing High Failure Rate in Math

thumb

We received a query from a high school principal about the failure rate in algebra in his school. At the end of the first quarter, 44 percent of students were receiving grades of D or F. At the end of the first semester, the rate had increased to 55 percent. When the administration met with the teachers to offer support, teachers took the following positions... Read more

I’m the Only One Teaching This Course. How Do I Collaborate?

thumb

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is, "I am the only one teaching this course. How can I be part of a collaborative team?" This question has been addressed numerous times in previous blogs, yet the uncertainty remains pervasive… Read more

Stop Blaming and Take Action: One Teacher’s Manifesto

thumb

A teacher who attended a two-day conference on PLCs was moved to write the following manifesto urging her colleagues to join her in a concerted effort to bring the PLC concept to life in their school… Read more

Tech Tools for Teams: Collaborate Using Twitter

thumb

Let me start by making an observation based on the past six years that I've spent working as a member of a highly motivated professional learning team: Collaboration may be incredibly rewarding and professionally satisfying, but it ain't easy… Read more

Are There Universities That Teach PLC Principles?

thumb

We aren't familiar enough with the programs of the many colleges around the country to recommend particular schools. The best option for a school district is to examine the course requirements of the… Read more

Working in Vertical Teams

thumb

We received an inquiry regarding how vertical teams would work together in a professional learning community. Here are some ideas... Read more