Blog

Teachers Key to Reversing High Failure Rate in Math

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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

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

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

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

Are Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs) Synonymous with Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)?

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Education thrives on acronyms: IEP, UBD, RTI, ESL, SES, LD, NCLB, AYP, API. Sometimes this abbreviated attempt to communicate can create confusion. Recently, we received a query from a high school . . . 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

Moving From a Tradition of Isolation to a Culture of Collaboration

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Some faculty and staff may undoubtedly have a difficult time moving from a culture of isolation into learning communities. How may other faculty and staff help these professionals make that . . . Read more

Time and Support for Adults in a Professional Learning Community

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We were recently asked if the concept of providing students additional time and support when they experience difficulty also applies to the adults in a school district. Virtually everyone agrees . . . 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

How Do Leaders Communicate Priorities? Attention Is All There Is!

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Superintendents often ask how they can promote PLC concepts in their schools. An article from the April 2003 Harvard Business Review entitled "Tipping Point Leadership" by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne offers some… 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