Blog

Stop Blaming and Take Action: One Teacher’s Manifesto

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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

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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?

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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

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

Clarifying Collective Inquiry

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We received a question about collective inquiry as it relates to professional learning communities. The writer indicated he was confused and wondered if it simply meant the comparison of test scores of the students of a collaborative team. He asked for clarification and… Read more

Motivating Teachers to Collaborate

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I recently responded to the following question regarding how to motivate those teachers who do not fully engage in the collaborative process: Our district has adopted a PLC vision, which is fantastic. Two years ago… Read more

The Role of Support Staff in a Professional Learning Community

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Recently, an assistant superintendent for operations inquired about the role the support staff plays in a district that is committed to functioning as a professional learning community (PLC). While the answer to… Read more

Does This Seem Like a PLC Format?

We recently received the following question: At my school we have two mandatory PLC meetings scheduled per month in the mornings before our contract hours begin. We are in the process of preparing to establish schoolwide intervention… Read more

Should We Adhere to Our District’s Prescribed Curriculum or Engage in the Team Learning Process?

We recently received the following message from a principal: I’m trying to understand the relationship between essential outcomes and a math program. My interpretation is that the math program would support the students’ learning… Read more

A Delicate Dialogue On Data

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Teachers and principals in a number of schools and districts have asked, "How do you have the tough conversation about data without offending teachers?" and "What do you do in response to discouraging… Read more

Questions New Teams Should Consider Early On

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Twice this week we received emails from teachers who were just beginning to work in collaborative teams. One of the first issues they tackled was grading and homework policies, and they immediately . . . 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

Student Grouping in a PLC

We received a message from a school that had concluded assigning students to academic classes based on their ability was the best way to promote differentiated instruction for students. While we . . . Read more

What Is the Role of the Library Media Specialist in a Professional Learning Community?

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Recently we received a letter from library media specialists who objected to one of the proposals we offered to give teachers time to collaborate in our book, Learning by Doing. We suggested that… Read more

Does Preparing Students for Success on High-Stakes Assessments Interfere With Their Learning and Rob Teachers of the Opportunity to Be Creative and Innovative?

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Current Reality: Teachers across the United States often express their concern that too much emphasis is being placed on state tests. In light of the sanctions being applied under NCLB on the basis . . . Read more