Blog

Should Teams Be Required to Submit Meeting Agendas?

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We received a question from a principal who wanted to know if there was research to support requiring her teams to prepare and submit agendas for their team meetings. Here is our response:  . . . Read more

PLC Lessons Learned From the Corporate World

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I thought it would be interesting to see how the corporate world might describe what PLCs are and are not by looking at slogans. Slogans like Kellogg’s “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” . . . Read more

Data, Data Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink

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“There is too much testing . . . just let them teach!” How many times have you heard that from parents and state legislators? I hear this mantra as a consultant and a school board . . . Read more

The Forest or the Trees: Navigating Substantial Cultural Change at the School Site

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In my career, I have found that some people are “big picture” people and others are not. Helping a large staff navigate the big picture of a PLC can be a daunting task, but . . . Read more

Focusing on the Work

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Unlike the show Survivor, in education we do not have the option of voting tribe members off the island when they aren’t effective PLC members. Most PLCs function well, but for those with . . . Read more

Homework

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Is it possible that the word homework could be relabeled? As educators, we know that the purpose of homework is to make sure students can do the work independently. Unfortunately, many classroom . . . Read more

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