Sharon V. Kramer

Sharon V. Kramer, PhD, an author and a consultant, is a former assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. She has taught in elementary and middle schools and was a principal, director of elementary education, and professor.
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What is a PLC meeting?

What’s a PLC Meeting, Anyway?

Categories: PLC, School Improvement

PLC is not a meeting. It’s a way of being!

As I work with schools across the nation and beyond, I often hear statements like these: “Our PLCs are meeting on Tuesday.” “We will be ‘PLCing’ on Wednesday afternoon.” “PLCs happen here every other week.”

When I hear this, I know that there is not a clear understanding of what a PLC actually is. Read more

Learning Community

What Does It Truly Mean to Be a Learning Community?

Categories: PLC

What If Our Actions Spoke Louder Than Our Words?

I have been a student of professional learning communities for well over two decades. I remember reading the first book that Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker wrote (Professional Learning Communities at Work) and being intrigued by the reasons that they chose the phrase professional learning community. It turns out that their choice of words was a purposeful decision, as they described in the breakthrough book that served as a call to action back in 1998. Read more

Some kinds of changes are more effective than others

What Kind of Change Leads to Learning for ALL?


I have the good fortune of working with teachers and administrators across the nation and beyond. I am in awe at the work ethic and dedication to students seen on a daily basis. I believe in my heart that everyone comes to school with the best of intentions each and every day. And yet, despite this hard work, students still struggle. I’m left to wonder, why? It certainly is not for lack of trying. It is not about insufficient skills or knowledge. Does teaching take superhuman power? What can be done to propel all students to higher levels of learning?

The task of increasing student learning can be daunting, in part because it often requires change beyond first-order change. Second-order change is needed. Read more

A Call to Action

A Call to Action: Improving Our Schools From the Inside Out

Categories: PLC

Over the past 20 years I have read every article and book that Dr. Richard DuFour has written. He is a gifted writer and speaker. In each of his publications Rick has added to the body of knowledge in our profession and clarified the principles and practices that impact student learning. Not only has he served as a knowledge leader but he is also a lead practitioner. He has demonstrated that he knows what to do and can actually implement the practices that result in high levels of learning for all students. He has achieved remarkable results as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. His work has spanned the globe and given more hope to more students and educators than anything before or after him. I am proud and honored to call him a mentor, friend, and fellow educator. Recently I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of his latest book, In Praise of American Educators: And How They Can Become Even Better. It struck me as the most direct and moving book I have ever read. As I read each page, I kept thinking this is “spot on”!

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finding time for interventions

Finding Time for Interventions

Categories: PLC

How do I find the time to do interventions? When will I do this and also keep up with the pacing of the curriculum?

One thing all teachers can agree on is that time is a limited commodity, especially given the depth and breadth of the standards they teach. In fact, many educators say there is too much to teach, making it nearly impossible to find the time needed to intervene and extend the learning for students. This problem is compounded when teachers are expected to follow rigid pacing guides with prescribed activities and detailed lesson plans. Unfortunately, these documents rarely allow for the possibility that students may need preteaching of prerequisite skills before they can move on to the learning target in the pacing guide for that day. Teachers need to teach the students that they have in their class, not the ones that the pacing guide was written to address.

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