William M. Ferriter

William M. Ferriter is an eighth-grade science teacher in a professional learning community near Raleigh, North Carolina. A National Board Certified Teacher for the past 28 years, Bill has designed professional development courses for educators nationwide on topics ranging from establishing professional learning communities and using technology to reimagine learning spaces, to integrating meaningful student-involved assessment and feedback opportunities into classroom instruction.

Another Digital Conversation With the DuFours Starts May 19

Having worked in a professional learning community for almost six years now, I can tell you that nothing is more challenging for traditional schools than crafting a schoolwide system of interventions.

Even my building—which embraced the concept of ensuring success for every child from day one—has struggled to fully implement an effective plan for providing much-needed remediation and enrichment.

And it’ ain’t like we haven’t tried!

Like many schools, we offer opportunities for extra learning at every grade level and we’ve got a student support team that brainstorms solutions for students who continue to struggle after classroom teachers have done their best. However, those strategies don’t always work together in a systematic way and they’re not always implemented consistently by every teacher, team and/or grade level.

Crazy, isn’t it? We’re committed, but commitment alone hasn’t been enough to get the job done.

Which is why I’m completely jazzed that Rick and Becky DuFour have decided to join me for another three-day asynchronous conversation, scheduled for May 19-21!

Remember, in addition to their work with schools across the United States and Canada, both Rick and Becky led successful change efforts in their own schools. As two of the foremost experts on restructuring schools as professional learning communities, they’ve got tons of experience with effective interventions.

In fact, the best part of Rick and Becky’s newest book, Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap, is that it is FULL of practical examples of specific intervention strategies being implemented in schools of all shapes and sizes.

If Rick and Becky are willing to share even a small piece of their knowledge during the course of our conversation—something they did times ten during our first conversation back in September—we’ll all walk away more confident in our ability to collectively respond to the needs of every student.

So mark your calendar!

Plan on stopping by our conversation—which you’ll be able to access from here on AllThingsPLC—for a few minutes each day. Ask questions about interventions. Share examples of what’s working in your building. Listen to others working through the same challenges as you.

This is a great chance to strengthen your school’s intervention practices, and I hope you’ll join us!



I feel fortunate to be part of a school that uses collaboration as part of professional development. This really works well in the realm of things. We all take our scope and sequence, thing about what we'd like our students to learn, with the objective in mind. Then we make hands on lessons together. We make the model of what we expect our students to create. I feel this is the third approach, where I have a school that fosters learning, it provides for continuous development and improvement that results in ongoing learning. Then, we can all reflect on the lesson together. This is really the best part. Since we've all taught the same ideas, we can discuss the special things we did that went well, and not so well. I love being part of a school that feels all educators can learn from PD and from each other. I grow more and more every year that I am there. It is a great feeling as an educator.

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My school started to embrace the DuFour's model of PLC's about 2 years ago. We did start slowly to learn what a Professional Learning Community looks and feels like. It was quite overwhelming for everyone. Last year, we implemented on-line testing, Learnia and SRI, were given data and 46 min a week to analyze data and determine the right course of action.

I see the advantage working in collaborative teams can have on the success of students. I try to look at any situation as,"if it is in the best interest of children - I want to give it my all." My school spent numerous professional development hours on modeling what a PLC looks like and in small volunteer groups develop building goals that is to help us drive data analysis, assessment, and instruction. Much of this was put in place the last couple months of school. It was very hectic, the students and parents did not understand. I do not think we communicated (as a district) our goals and intents very well.

Going forward, my grade level is positively committed to working collaboratively and driving instruction in a backward design for the improvement and success of all students. Reflecting on where we have been, were we are, and were we need to be is a huge part of the process. I am lucky to share with colleagues (new & seasoned) that hopefully will feel the same way.

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