Inside PLCs

All Hands In

Hard Work with Happiness: How School Culture Changes in a Deeply Sustained PLC

Categories: PLC, School Improvement

Based on the book Inside PLCs, this is part four in a series on real-world implementations of professional learning communities. To view all posts, see the Inside PLCs blog series.

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

The Gift of Conflict

The Gift of Conflict in a PLC

Categories: PLC

Based on the book Inside PLCs, this is part three in a series on real-world implementations of professional learning communities. To view all posts, see the Inside PLCs blog series.

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.”

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Renaming the iPhone: The Hidden Power of “We” in PLCs

Categories: PLC

Based on the book Inside PLCs, this is part two in a series on real-world implementations of professional learning communities. To view all posts, see the Inside PLCs blog series.

“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

Practice PLC fundamentals like musicians practice scales.

Do You Want an Excellent PLC? Play the Cello

Categories: PLC

Based on the book Inside PLCs, this is the first in a series on real-world implementations of professional learning communities. To view all posts, see the Inside PLCs blog series.

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