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
I will never forget the day that one of my staff members came up to me after car duty and made this statement. “Mr. Wink, I am so tired of seeing people bash our school on Facebook. Those people have no idea about all that we do for kids, and it really frustrates me.” Now, this wasn’t the first time that I had a teacher say this to me. After all, I have had more than a handful of people gripe to me about how schools, teachers, and administrators rarely get a fair shake in the media or the political world. For me that’s the way it had always been, so I figured that there was very little that I could do to change the world’s negative perception about public schools and the educators that work in them.
But the next statement she made changed everything.
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
A PBL Story
At an urban school with above-average STEM scores, faculty fought against the principal’s effort to raise expectations and do “even more.” When she had first urged her deeper learning vision with a call for project-based learning, many teachers balked. “Last year we worked hard to get our scores up. Don’t ask us to change what works. You can say that PBL will help even more, but who knows?” Read more