Several years ago, a group of visiting teachers from Cody, Wyoming, came to spend the day with a neighbor, hoping to gain some insights and advice. That neighbor was Sheridan County School District #2 (SCSD2). They were there for a very good reason. SCSD2 has a national reputation for having struggled mightily academically over a period of years, followed by dramatic turnarounds in student performance. Read more
Casey Reason, PhD, is a leadership and PLC thought leader and expert in emergent, digital instructional design. He’s won national recognition from Forbes.com, Blackboard International, and PDK, where he was awarded book of the year.
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Several years ago, I was on a call with a group of very nervous South Dakota-based school administrators as I prepared for a two-day training session on the implementation of the PLC model in their school district.
“The staff isn’t getting along at all. They are arguing, finding fault, and picking on one another. Two teachers cried last week and want to stop leaning about the PLC process altogether.”
“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge” —Thomas Berger
The Four Questions
In the current book I am writing about the professional learning community exemplars from Sheridan County School District #2, I learned about some of the hidden benefits of consistent, faithful implementation of professional learning communities. One of those benefits revolves around the relentless pursuit of the four essential questions of a professional learning community and the hidden power of “we.” Read more
A PLC Lesson on Fundamentals from a Russian Cellist
Natalia Gutman is a Russian cellist and considered one of the best musicians in the world. In her late 70s, many younger musicians go to her hoping for sacred words of wisdom or access to her secret sauce. Interestingly, she is known to consistently express one fundamental truth about her own development as a musician: “I wish I would have spent even more time simply practicing scales.” Read more
That day in late spring, the Arizona sun was a searing cauldron. Lush, prickly teddy-bear cactus lined the winding, rising mountain trail as our shoes slipped and gripped in the gravel. Although the desert is my home and the trail familiar to me, guests Rick and Becky DuFour took the lead charging up the steep pathway. That day, years before, and years after, I took pleasure in learning from and following Richard DuFour. In following him, I learned a lot. Given his recent passing, I’d like to celebrate him and share just a few things I learned on the trail. Read more