Entries by Virginia Mahlke

Coordinate, Manage, Lead


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

Lessons for Life as Well as for Education


Those of us who have been reading Rick Dufour’s Caring Bridge blogs about his journey through the highs and lows of cancer and its treatment options have been struck by his eloquence and his honesty about life and living it to the fullest. In the entry dated November 30, 2016 Rick talks about the need to develop a “willingness to change one’s perspective” when responding to the new normalcies that cancer creates. Read more

School Is a Home for the Mind


Ask most teachers and they will tell you they wish they had more strategies/training/resources to challenge their students to think for themselves; to acquire and use a repertoire of strategies that will help them attack a problem or situation for which there is no immediate or obvious answer. The importance of this aspect of student learning has become glaringly obvious with the increased rigor of Common Core standards and the assessments used to measure proficiency in those standards. Read more

The Time and the Commitment to Collaborate at the Elementary Level


At the elementary level, the structure of collaboration—that is, the designated time during the school day and the creation of meaningful teams—can be a struggle to achieve. Some . . . Read more

Don’t Forget the Most Important People in a PLC


The teacher sitting in front of me at a recent workshop looked crestfallen! I empathized with her right away because I had felt her pain when I was teaching elementary students. I knew exactly what . . . Read more

Do Our Behaviors Reflect Our Intentions?


This posting addresses schools that have been working as a PLC for a couple of years. Rick DuFour says that the road to a PLC is full of parking lots where a school can get stuck and fail to continue on the journey. At that point it’s time for a check of current reality... Read more