Blog

Clarity Precedes Competence—Applies to Kids Too!

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When I do quick observations in classrooms, I’ve found that one simple question tells me more about the level of learning taking place than just about anything: “What are you supposed . . . Read more

Summer Projects for Advanced Classes: I Am the Gatekeeper!

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There is little argument that for our students to compete in a global economy and workforce, we must continue to grow, improve, and adjust our practices as educators to meet the demands of our . . . Read more

Using PLC Organization to Align CCSS, Instructional Frameworks, and Teacher Evaluation

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Recently, a frustrated teacher sat with me and shared her overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Her school district had recently adopted an instructional framework for teaching and modified the . . . Read more

“We Used to Do PLCs. Now We’re Doing Common Core!”

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Recently while attending a gathering of educators, I overheard a conversation between two teachers with one declaring, “Last year, we were doing professional learning communities, but this . . . Read more

Creating the Foundation: “Why Do We Have to Do This?”

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The need to explore school culture is evident as schools work to become professional learning communities. Culture in any organization is the typically unexamined assumptions, beliefs, . . . Read more

Sustaining a Sense of Urgency

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“When people have a true sense of urgency, they think that action on critical issues is needed now, not eventually, not when it fits easily into a schedule. Now means real progress every . . . Read more

Should We Be Worried About Rigor?

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As schools across the country are digging more deeply into the work of the Common Core, teachers are beginning to understand why people are calling the standards more rigorous. Many teachers have . . . Read more

Listening: The Forgotten Skill Necessary for Effective Collaboration

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Margaret Wheatley (2002) states, “I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation, negotiation, problem . . . Read more

A Man, a Can, and a Plan

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In a conversation with professor and author Robert Eaker around the topic of creating a learning organization, he stated, “Organizations must first address four critical questions. These . . . Read more

Clarifying the Shifts in 21st Century Learning

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It seems like everyone is talking about 21st century learning, but clarity on the distinctions between education in the past and education in the present is often muddled. Many people are also annoyed by the description of 21st century learning since… Read more

Building Team Efficacy

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For 10 years, I have had the pleasure of working with collaborative teams of teachers who are in the beginning stages of their PLC journey. Over that period of time, I have had the opportunity to . . . Read more

Helping a Board of Education Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

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There is a time-honored management axiom that stipulates, "What gets monitored gets done." It’s another way of saying that we express our priorities by what we pay attention to . . . Read more

Moving at the Speed of Life!! Avoiding the "Because I Can" Syndrome in 2013-2014!

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The 2013-2104 school year is about to begin! For some of you, it has already started. Don’t you just love the energy, the passion, and the hope of the new school year? Yet soon enough, you . . . Read more

The Next Generation Assessments: How Will They Change Assessment Practices?

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Collaborative teams of teachers across the country are engaged in a process to deeply understand the new standards. They are unwrapping, prioritizing, and determining the depth of knowledge . . . Read more

Is Departmentalization an Approved Practice in the PLC at Work™ Process?

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Educators who embrace the PLC at Work™ process as the best hope for sustained and substantive improvement, know the first “big idea” is to ensure learning for all—students . . . Read more