Blog

Do We Have Team Norms or “Nice to Knows”?

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Some teams do a great job of developing norms. Members agree and commit to them, even posting them on chart paper to be prominently displayed at every meeting. Elementary school teams often add… Read more

Self-Directed Teams Contribute to Sustainability

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We received a question from a school where teachers were upset that the administration seemed to be dictating what was to occur at their team meetings. Teachers resented being micromanaged, and administrators felt… Read more

Tech Tools for Teams: Using Voicethread

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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

A Rose by Any Other Name: Professional Learning Communities

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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

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

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

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

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

Who Should Decide the Agenda for Collaborative Team Meetings?

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Our school district is using the book Whatever It Takes as our guide to establishing PLCs. Should administrators tell PLC groupings what to discuss at their weekly meetings, or should the needs of . . . Read more

What’s the Difference Between a PLC, a Collaborative Team, and a Task Force?

We recently received an email from a high school math teacher who attended a three hour PLC overview session we provided for all of the staff members of his K-12 school district. Prior to hearing . . . Read more

Common Formative Assessments and the Question of Pacing

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We received a blog query from someone who expressed concern that the way common formative assessments were being implemented in his district required teachers to have identical pacing -- same page . . . 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

What Might Be: Open the Door to a Better Future

Those called upon to forecast future trends in professional development are well advised to remember the biblical observation, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In fact, a case . . . Read more

The Professional Teacher

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I received an interesting response from a teacher to a blog entry I made in support of giving teachers time to collaborate. In that entry (posted January 29, 2007) I attempted to make the point . . . Read more

Why Educators Should Be Given Time to Collaborate

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A Board of Education had asked the educators in its district to justify why they should be provided with time during their contractual day to collaborate rather than simply expecting them to do so . . . Read more