Geri Parscale

Geri Parscale spent 28 years in education and has worked as a classroom teacher, principal, professional development director, and finally deputy superintendent of Fort Leavenworth Schools, USD 207. Her mode of operation was always the same: learning for all kids.

What Are the Necessary Leadership Responsibilities in a PLC?

There is nothing like the beginning of the school year. Everywhere you look, new opportunities are popping up, new ideas are being developed, and school leaders are planning to best meet the needs of students. As one of those leaders, I, too, am planning for what works best.

In School Leadership That Works (Marzano, Walters, & McNulty), the authors identify 21 leadership responsibilities that have an effect on student learning. Albeit all are important, certain ones are essential for a leader who is fostering that razor-sharp focus on learning that is present in a high-functioning professional learning community.

The responsibilities that we at Fort Leavenworth believe to be vital for administrators working in a PLC include: change agent; communication; input; involvement in curriculum, instruction, and assessment; knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Focusing administratively on these responsibilities throughout the year will help learning leaders create a culture where all students learn at high levels.

Based on the words of Sir Josiah Stamp, "It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." As learning leaders, we drive the culture of our school. We have a professional obligation to choose our responsibilities carefully so that we create a culture focused on learning and not on teaching. The five responsibilities mentioned above are vital if we want to move forward as a PLC.

I believe these responsibilities play an important role in developing and sustaining the culture in Fort Leavenworth schools. Our leaders lead with specific behaviors and characteristics identified through these responsibilities, and because of those behaviors, the culture is stronger and more well-defined. Identification of responsibilities (and the behaviors that correspond to them) help our administration keep the sharp focus needed as they start the school year.

As a school leader, what are your ideas about the necessary leadership responsibilities?

Are yours different than ours?

Please share your thoughts by commenting on this blog.



Am I the only one who doesn't want a White Dress?

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Help me choose my dress!!

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I am not an administrator however, I do agree with the 5 responsibilities. The school I currently teach at is on its 2nd year of PLCs. We are lacking direction from administration and therefore have lost direction in our meetings. It is almost like the adiministrators like the idea of PLCs but do not know how to make them effective. I will bring this post to my next meeting and see if it helps. On the plus side, we are sticking with it. It can ony get better from here.

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AllThingsPLC » Blog Archive » Resource Roundup: Managing PLC Change

[...] What Are the Necessary Leadership Responsibilities in a PLC? PLC at Work™ associate Geri Parscale answers common questions that new PLC leaders may have, [...]

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I agree with the article and the last comment. I appreciate the comment about letting teams struggle a little ("muddle" as the last poster said). We've experienced this and it is sometimes necessary for teams to experience a little discomfort in order to learn and grow.

I want to add "persistence" and "resilience". The ability to stay the course and bounce back from trials and tribulations is crucial! I read a book called "Resonant Leadership" which was a great reminder to nurture yourself as a leader in order to grow professionally and personally.

Our school year started today with a professional development day. I am really looking forward to the school year. Our teachers are smart and skilled. They are ready for the challenge of a new year!

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I agree with all the is mentioned in the article. I think that another key responsibility is to know when to let go and let the PLC muddle through some issues and when to exercise more authority. It is what I have heard Rick called the "tight and loose" leadership. It is a difficult transition for some administrators.

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