Progress or Procrastination?


I received a question regarding the timetable a school had established to implement the PLC process. According to the proposed timetable, this high school would devote one school year to helping . . . Read more

Team Meetings: Converting the Middle School to the PLC Middle School


In conversations with many middle school teachers and administrators over the last few years, I’ve noticed a certain perception and tension that exists when some middle schools are presented . . . Read more

Using Moodle to Enhance Your PLC


Over the past two years, I have been facilitating the PLC and common assessment work with the Bismarck Public Schools in western North Dakota. They are a cutting edge district with strong leadership at the top and committed principals at the 25 individual campuses, accompanied by a world-class Career and Tech Academy. Read more

Stop Sliding Away...


You know the feeling. You have created the structures for collaboration in your school. You have provided teams with the time and tools to collaborate, defined the work, and checked for consensus . . . Read more

Do We Have Team Norms or “Nice to Knows”?


Some teams do a great job of developing norms. Members agree and commit to them, even posting them on chart paper to be prominently displayed at every meeting. Elementary school teams often add… Read more

Self-Directed Teams Contribute to Sustainability


We received a question from a school where teachers were upset that the administration seemed to be dictating what was to occur at their team meetings. Teachers resented being micromanaged, and administrators felt… Read more

Tech Tools for Teams: Using Voicethread


I've got an interesting admission to make: I'm a HORRIBLE guy to have on a learning team! Kind of strange, isn't it? I mean, how could a trained Solution Tree associate and author who has written about the beauty of professional learning communities for years possibly be… Read more

A Rose by Any Other Name: Professional Learning Communities


When visiting a school in the early stages of developing Professional Learning Communities (PLC), I heard the principal explain, "Our PLC teams meet twice a month." He continued proudly, "When our… Read more

Working in Vertical Teams


We received an inquiry regarding how vertical teams would work together in a professional learning community. Here are some ideas... Read more

Does This Seem Like a PLC Format?

We recently received the following question: At my school we have two mandatory PLC meetings scheduled per month in the mornings before our contract hours begin. We are in the process of preparing to establish schoolwide intervention… Read more

Questions New Teams Should Consider Early On


Twice this week we received emails from teachers who were just beginning to work in collaborative teams. One of the first issues they tackled was grading and homework policies, and they immediately . . . Read more

Does Preparing Students for Success on High-Stakes Assessments Interfere With Their Learning and Rob Teachers of the Opportunity to Be Creative and Innovative?


Current Reality: Teachers across the United States often express their concern that too much emphasis is being placed on state tests. In light of the sanctions being applied under NCLB on the basis . . . Read more

Who Should Decide the Agenda for Collaborative Team Meetings?


Our school district is using the book Whatever It Takes as our guide to establishing PLCs. Should administrators tell PLC groupings what to discuss at their weekly meetings, or should the needs of . . . Read more

What’s the Difference Between a PLC, a Collaborative Team, and a Task Force?

We recently received an email from a high school math teacher who attended a three hour PLC overview session we provided for all of the staff members of his K-12 school district. Prior to hearing . . . Read more

Common Formative Assessments and the Question of Pacing


We received a blog query from someone who expressed concern that the way common formative assessments were being implemented in his district required teachers to have identical pacing -- same page . . . Read more