Blog

Pandemic Proved Importance of PLCs

At the start of the pandemic, our teachers struggled to know what to teach, how to teach, and most importantly, how to ensure high levels of learning for their students in a remote format, despite . . . Read more

Why a Strategic Implementation Guide is a Must for a PLC

thumb

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

Better Together

thumb

“A small team, committed to a cause bigger than themselves, can achieve absolutely anything” (Sinek, 2020). Over the last year, with all of the turmoil and change in the world, one thing has remained constant: our unwavering dedication to student growth and achievement. Within that statement, the most important word is “our.” Read more

From Theory to Practice: A Jigsaw Approach to an Elementary Master Schedule

Creating a highly collaborative school culture and high performing teams is multifaceted and can take many years to establish. Creating and maintaining a system of excellence is a hard job! Schools do not become great overnight and they certainly do not remain great without constant evaluation of systems and practices. The fundamental purpose of a school is learning, not teaching. Read more

Mrs. Gorman Changed My Life

thumb

Not in an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, hoping-Disney-buys-the-movie-rights type of way. But she was a life-changing teacher nonetheless. She was my English teacher in 1985, during my 7th-grade year at Richardson North Jr. High School in Texas. Read more

From Independence to Interdependence

The story of Quitman Public Schools (QPS) does not begin or end with us. For more than 150 years, QPS has been the heart of the Quitman community, and the staff has demonstrated high levels of . . . Read more

Pit Bulls and Fallen Trees: A Message to Principals

thumb

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving break. As a busy elementary school principal, I spent the previous four days resting, relaxing, and gearing up for the mad dash to winter break. I renewed . . . Read more

Does 'All' Mean 'All?' Labels, Be Gone!

thumb

[Photo courtesy of Kenneth Williams’ Defenders and Disruptors of the Status Quo: Who Will Educators Choose To Be? (2017)] Great teachers who truly want what is best for their students . . . Read more

There is an 'I' in TEAM

thumb

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

Helping Data Analysis Take Root

thumb

Data analysis. It is a concept that spurs rich reflection from many, but eyerolls or quizzical looks from too many. Some teachers feel that the data analysis they do is just to satisfy someone else’s administrative need or to show that, yet again, the same set of kids in their class struggled. 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

Your Circle of Influence in a PLC

thumb

You might be wondering, “What is my Circle of Influence when it comes to the PLC process?” The innermost Circle of Influence for the teacher is the classroom and the students within it. It is in that circle that a teacher can and should be accountable to answer the four critical questions of learning. Read more

Why This, Why Now, Why Bother

thumb

One question I am often asked by classroom teachers is, “Why should we care about PLCs, Bill?” We are almost always skeptical when our bosses bring something new back to our building and try to convince us that it is worth investing in. But when they are done right, PLCs answer my three why questions better than anything I’ve seen in over 25 years of full-time teaching. Read more

The Most Important Interview Question I Bet You’ve Never Asked

thumb

Let me start with a simple truth: There is no single decision made by the principal of a professional learning community more important than who to hire to fill vacancies on individual learning teams. After all, the teachers that you hire today are likely to be a part of your faculty—working with students, influencing colleagues, shaping decisions, impacting public relations—for years to come. Read more