Blog

Clarity precedes competence: Remembering the essence of a true PLC

Have you ever been in a meeting where people were using words, buzzwords, and you quickly understood that your colleagues did not have the same definition or understanding of the words used during . . . Read more

Learn from My Mistakes

When our school district took our first step on the PLC journey, I remember thinking, “ I wonder if anyone who has done this before could tell us what pitfalls to avoid?” I quickly . . . Read more

From Disaster to Success: Our Strategy Implementation Guide Design Story

When campus and district leadership started the journey on the strategy implementation guide (SIG) process, we saw the big picture. We knew it would help us guide our teams and provide specific . . . Read more

Leading and Monitoring the Work of Teams While Incorporating Virtual, Face-to-Face, and Blended Instruction

When I began my new journey as a secondary school principal in the summer of 2019, everything was relatively normal—meeting new staff, identifying great things happening at the school and . . . Read more

The Life-Changing, Life-Saving Work of PLCs

For fifteen of my twenty-eight years in education, I have been an elementary school principal. I have worked with affluent, middle-class, and poverty clientele. The last ten years have been . . . Read more

The Three Big Ideas That Drive the Work for Lead Learners

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“The most powerful and effective role the principal assumes is that of lead learner, not expert or ‘all knowing one.’” (Kramer & Schuhl, 2017, p.9) Phew...now . . . Read more

Pandemic Provides New Lens for Clear Mission

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Over the past 17 years, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with a wide variety of schools. Some of them were public, others private or charter schools. Some were comprised of students from . . . Read more

PLCs: Super Bowls and Super Systems

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Now that football season is officially over and Tom Brady has permanently secured his place as the greatest quarterback of all time, I cannot help but think of the plethora of parallels that exist . . . Read more

Why a Strategic Implementation Guide is a Must for a PLC

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When I first was introduced to the concept of professional learning communities, it just clicked. This is how we should lead our campuses. Read more

Growing and Utilizing Your Guiding Coalition

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Change is hard, but inevitable. Schools are complex…I would argue they are extremely complex. Name another industry where you have as many variables (students, parents, teachers, bus . . . Read more

Finding Your Team's Foundation With Fundamentals

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Fundamentals are never fun. Fundamentals are never exciting. But fundamentals are necessary. NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan summed up the importance of fundamentals when he said, “The . . . Read more

Develop a Collective Commitment Calendar to Ensure PLC Success

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Rick DuFour details the litany of expectations thrust on today’s teachers and administrators in his book, In Praise of American Educators. Unfortunately, many educators grapple with punitive . . . Read more

Walking the Walk (Even When You Stumble)

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“I swear we just said goodbye to our students in June just last week!” “It’s probably because the polar vortex added extra days to the end of last year, but this summer . . . Read more

There is an 'I' in TEAM

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Like many educational terms, we throw them around and often use them loosely. I find we often use the term “team” in this manner. “We are a great team.” “I . . . Read more

PLC Collaboration: District and School Leaders

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Our district went through an organizational reorg during the 2018-2019 school year. As we morphed into the school year, we wanted to work on improving PLCs. Each level in Jefferson County Schools has a team of district resource teachers to provide support for schools. We have been working with the schools on becoming highly effective PLCs. Our ELA resource teacher created a learning walk tool, PLC Check In, we could use when visiting collaborative teams. My administrative assistant and I looked at the weekly reports to monitor what was taking place during the week. Read more