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Foundational PLC at Work® Model Agenda

Mike Mattos

Proven, Practical, and Doable: Making the Case for PLCs at Work®

As a profession, we are facing unprecedented times. Never in our history has success in K–12 education been more vital to every child’s success, and never have educators faced such daunting challenges amplified by a global pandemic and social strife. How we, as educators, respond to these realities will have a profound impact for generations. In this keynote, Mike Mattos makes the case that our best hope to overcome these obstacles and ensure all our students succeed is to become a true professional learning community. Participants learn the guiding principles and essential actions of the PLC at Work process, assess their progress, and consider next steps in their PLC journey.

Julie Schmidt

Yes We Can! We Can’t Afford Not To

Warning: This keynote is not for the faint of heart! In an all-means-all school culture, we must continually examine personal and systemic beliefs about students, educators, and learning. Only then can we exclaim with confidence that we take collective responsibility for the learning of all. Julie A. Schmidt challenges participants to reflect on and examine mindsets and collaborative processes to drive action planning that ensures higher levels of learning. This session is designed for all educators, regardless of their role.

Luis F. Cruz

Taping Before Painting: Taking the Critical Steps to Respond Collectively When Students Don’t Learn

The third critical question of effective collaboration, What do we do when students don’t learn?, often stumps teachers and administrators. Luis F. Cruz showcases methods that schools use to guarantee collaboration (taping the room) and to ensure a collective response when students do not learn (painting the room). Participants learn how the PLC and RTI processes complement each other in increasing academic achievement for all students.

Mike Mattos

Are We a Group or a Team?

Collaborative teacher teams are the engine that drives a professional learning community. When these teams are highly engaged in the right work, student learning accelerates … and when they are not, learning sputters and stalls. Because teachers have traditionally been required to attend grade-level or departmental team meetings, schools often mistakenly assume that merely renaming these gatherings “PLC time” represents teacher collaboration. The act of meeting together does not make a team, but instead, merely a group.

Maria Nielsen

Common Assessments: The Key to Uncommon Results for Student and Teacher Learning

The secret is out: Common formative assessments are the key to improving student learning! Formative assessments are powerful when teams of teachers create assessments in common, then share and discuss the results. This collaborative process leads to a dramatic increase in student learning and improved teaching practices. Maria Nielsen provides proven tools to use common assessments across grade levels and departments and illustrates practical strategies for implementing and using assessments to substantially improve student and adult learning

Anthony Muhammad

Building Culture, Creating Purpose, and Overcoming Frustration on Your PLC Journey

Anthony Muhammad addresses two vital stages in creating a PLC culture: 1) establishing philosophical agreement and building shared purpose, and 2) addressing staff frustration and reluctance to change. He leads an exploration of theories linking school culture and student learning, and participants leave with practical strategies to transform the culture at their schools and districts.

Anthony Muhammad

The Way Forward: PLC at Work and the Bright Future of Education

The impact of COVID-19 will have long-lasting effects on every facet of our society. Very few institutions were more disrupted than schools. The pandemic affected staffing, funding, morale, and the continuity of student learning. Anthony Muhammad explores the history of the field of education and examines why the tenets of the PLC at Work process were important before the global pandemic and why they will be even more important after the pandemic. This is not the time to back away from PLCs; this is the time to reinforce the foundation of the PLC at Work process.

Maria Nielsen

Help Your Team: Overcoming Common Collaborative Challenges in a PLC at Work

What should happen when a team starts to struggle? As teachers move toward becoming interdependent teams, challenges inevitably arise. Ensuring high levels of learning for every student requires a change in thinking and practice. Participants review the work of highly effective teams, consider scenarios showing common team challenges, and work collaboratively to identify strategies for moving a team forward. This session is based on a book of the same title (Solution Tree Press, 2019), coauthored by Maria Nielsen and other educators who possess a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in all education levels.

Regina Stephens Owens

The Why Effect: Intentional Systems Drive Inspirational Cultures

Organizational purpose, collective beliefs, and commitments affect building systems at all levels. How can we ensure that all practices and procedures are intentional and personify organizational beliefs? It all begins with the why. Regina Stephens Owens shares strategies to move cultures from an attitude of compliance, coercion, and fear to one that is respectful, responsive, and reflective.