Researcher John Hattie has shown time and again that nothing has a greater impact on student learning than organizing teachers into collaborative teams and convincing them that if they work together, they can have a positive impact on learning for every student in their classrooms—including those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and those who have traditionally struggled in schools (Hattie, 2017). Read more
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
Effective RTI in the classroom can seem overwhelming at times. As a current school leader, practitioner, and associate for Solution Tree, I am afforded the wonderful opportunity to work with educators, schools, and districts around the country. I am continually inspired by the commitment of the educators I work with and their sincere desire to improve. As I’ve visited schools and districts, I’ve noticed a common comment that occasionally arises while intervening in the classroom, which I’d like to refer to as the “if only” dilemma. Read more
Schools and districts throughout the world claim to embrace the professional learning community process. Unfortunately, a term that is often used to describe some schools and districts is “PLC lite.” How can a school or district buy in to the process but not get the results? If you follow the steps, creating collaborative teams, answering the four critical questions, and accepting the three big ideas of PLCs, are you not guaranteed results? Why do PLCs sometimes not work? Read more
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