Blog

PLC Master Schedules Provide Time for Collaboration and Interventions During the Day

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The importance of teachers having time to collaborate during the contract day in order to build their professional practice and foster shared responsibility for student learning is critical for . . . Read more

Leadership Lessons Learned From a Corporate Barista

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Walk into the Evernote headquarters in Redwood City, California, and you are bound to be impressed by the full-scale espresso bar in the lobby. Whether you are in the mood for a vegan raspberry . . . Read more

Realistic SMART Goals

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We recently received a question about SMART goals. The author wanted to know where he could find information about the required specificity and realistic nature of SMART goals. He asked, “Is . . . Read more

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