Assistants as Members of the PLC
Schools across the country are generally staffed with highly trained professional administrators, teachers and content specialists. In my work assisting schools with building PLCs, the staff members closest to the instruction are usually the ones that first come to mind when discussing who the “professionals” are that make up a PLC. However, in my experience as a building principal, I very quickly realized that the work of instructional assistants can be crucial in helping a school meet goals and sustain success. Read more
The Power of Going Vertical
A great deal of our work to improve student learning is accomplished through powerful conversations at the team level. Collaborative teams answer the guiding question, “What do we want students to know and do?” by identifying essential standards and examples of proficiency in those standards. Read more
The Answer is in the Room—But Who is in the Room?
In a professional learning community, working collaboratively is a way of life. This component of the work is fairly well-known and understood by many. And you may have even heard one of these phrases, “The answer is in the room,” or “None of us is as smart as all of us.” But who is included on your collaborative team? Who are we referring to when we say “us”? Read more
Singletons and Small Schools
If you are thinking “How does all of this PLC stuff work when I’m the only one who does what I do?” you are most likely a singleton teacher! Examples often include teachers of . . . Read more
Is Departmentalization an Approved Practice in the PLC at Work™ Process?
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
A Physics PLC: Collaboration at a Distance
This year my school district, like many others, implemented PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) as the driving force behind how we collaborate to help students learn. The directive was that all teachers should… Read more
Let’s Not Stop With Pockets of Excellence!
Schools throughout the country engaged in the PLC at Work™ process have been creating effective teams focused on student learning. However, all too often we have seen these schools struggle... Read more
Q&A on Incorporating Specialists Into PLCs
We received this question from a reader of AllThingsPLC and wanted to share the response with all of our readers. Please share your responses in the comments below or by mentioning @SolutionTree or #atplc on Twitter. Read more
How Can Elective Teachers Participate in the PLC Process?
I received the following letter from the chairman of a fine arts department. The question she raises is one facing all elective teachers: “I have a question that I was hoping you could help me with... Read more
Electronic Teaming for Singletons in a PLC
One of the questions that I’m asked all the time as an advocate for both professional learning communities and teaching with technology is, “How can digital tools be used to support the learning of singletons in our schools?”... Read more
Twitter for Singletons in a PLC
Bill Ferriter has been working to introduce learning teams and singletons to a range of free products and services that can make collaboration more efficient. This is an excerpt from his blog . . . Read more
Adapting the PLC Framework for Small Schools
The professional learning communities approach (a collaborative focus on learning with the yardstick for success being the results obtained) resonates with so many educators right off the bat… Read more
I’m the Only One Teaching This Course. How Do I Collaborate?
One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is, "I am the only one teaching this course. How can I be part of a collaborative team?" This question has been addressed numerous times in previous blogs, yet the uncertainty remains pervasive… Read more
What Is the Role of the Library Media Specialist in a Professional Learning Community?
Recently we received a letter from library media specialists who objected to one of the proposals we offered to give teachers time to collaborate in our book, Learning by Doing. We suggested that… Read more
The Role of an Elective Teacher in a PLC
A frequent question that surfaces when schools attempt to implement the PLC concept is, "What about the electives. Where do they fit?" If an elective teacher is the only person in the school who… Read more