Blog

What Does Your School’s Success Rest On? The Four Pillars in Action at East Pointe Elementary

Editor’s note: This entry is a joint publication by Jonathan G. Vander Els and Dr. Josh Ray. Testimonials from Dr. Ray, the principal at East Pointe Elementary School, are noted with the . . . Read more

On a Mission: Building a Culture of Continuous Growth

Before Morrilton Intermediate School was selected to be a part of Cohort One of the PLC at Work® process in Arkansas, we had common planning times, but there was no expectation of . . . Read more

Seven Norms for Collaborative Teams

During our first year working in the district office, we had monthly district grade-level meetings led by teachers who set agendas, provided oversight to the meetings, and facilitated . . . Read more

'But They Don't Speak English!'

thumb

When our daughters were 7 and 9 years old, being a military family (my husband was a naval officer), we received orders to move to Bahrain in the Middle East. This would be our next “new . . . Read more

Staying the Course with a Smart Assessment Plan

thumb

It’s a cool Saturday morning in October. Everybody is gathered at the Tim Nixon Invitational Cross Country meet in Liberty, Missouri. Parents gather on the sideline straining in . . . Read more

The PLC Journey Starts With Community

“What is labeled as ‘fluff’ is more often the stuff of leadership and culture.” —Terrence Deal, Kent Peterson, Shaping School Culture While the word . . . Read more

Giving All Teachers the Coach They Deserve

thumb

Meeting the needs of every teacher can be a daunting task for even the most experienced instructional coach. So, how does a principal ensure that all teachers get the coach they deserve? Read more

Are you a tutor or teacher?

thumb

In one of the schools where I work, the principal once commented that it makes a difference if you believe yourself to be a tutor or a teacher. We discussed it further, and she shared her belief that living as a PLC helped pave the way for many of her teachers to make the shift. Read more

Coordinate, Manage, Lead

thumb

These three words all have something to do with making something happen. Yet in the PLC at Work® culture, there are very important distinctions among those words that can have a profound impact on the way your building operates to ensure high levels of learning for all students. Read more

Maybe It’s Time to Press the Reset Button

thumb

There are many schools throughout the country that are committed to doing the “right work” and are demonstrating evidence of tremendous growth in both adult and student learning. There are many more schools, also with dedicated and hard-working educators, that have not been enjoying increased gains in student achievement and yet claim to be “doing PLCs.” Read more

Changing the Oil Before the Journey - Routine Maintenance!

thumb

Three critical questions for principals continuing on the PLC journey in 2016-2017 Read more

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

thumb

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

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

thumb

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

Making the Shift From Teaching to Learning

thumb

High-functioning professional learning communities are challenging to accomplish and take dedication from all members of the school community. For staff to effectively collaborate, several things . . . Read more

The Role of the Building Office Team in a PLC

thumb

It takes a lot of people to effectively operate a school, and developing a school culture reflective of a PLC requires that everyone examine their role and how they do things day in and day out… Read more