Paul C. Farmer

Paul C. Farmer is a practitioner who has worked at the classroom, building, and central office levels. As principal of Joyce Kilmer Middle School, Paul was one of the first principals in Fairfax County, Virginia, to build a PLC.
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Career & Technical Education Teams

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Collaborative Career and Technical Education Teams

Categories: 21st Century Skills, PLC

Based on Collaboration for Career & Technical Education

“CTE” and “PLC” are six letters we don’t often see together.

Career and technical education teachers, authentically working interdependently within teams, has not become a common practice in most schools yet. This is not because CTE teachers do not want to work within collaborative teams—we do! We want to share curricula and reflect on data with colleagues. In most cases, we just don’t know how to establish teams that have a clear common purpose. Read more

Repair a dysfunctional PLC

Repairing the Process: How to Fix a Dysfunctional PLC

Categories: PLC, School Improvement

Many of us have been members of a dysfunctional PLC, and unfortunately, some think it is advisable to wait for someone to address the dysfunctionalities. There is an abundance of issues that can plague a PLC. The best strategy is to identify the issue with clarity, own the issue with sincerity, and develop a plan with tenacity. Even if you are not in a titled “leadership” position there is a lot you can do. Let’s first address a few common issues and then consider a self-help guide to determine the next steps. Read more

Retaining forward momentum

Sustaining and Maintaining: No One Answer

Categories: PLC

Dear School Administrators,

A question often asked during professional development workshops on professional learning communities is: “How do we sustain the PLC process from one year to the next?” I also hear comments such as, “Each year there are new people on our staff who don’t have an understanding of how to live in a PLC, so we start over again.” Others say, “Each year it seems we are starting from the beginning because of the gap in the routines over the summer and people want to go back to the way school life was before PLC.” And yet others state, “We can’t sustain the PLC process when administrators keep changing.” For these scenarios there is no one correct answer; you will need several strategies to sustain the lifestyle of a PLC. Read more