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Working with PLCs
Seattle Pacific University
July 20-23, 2009
Dana Anderson
ESD 113 (Olympia)
Proverbs 27:17 (New
International Version)
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens
another.
Resources
Norms for the Day
• To provide open and honest
communication…
1. Fold a piece of paper in half like a
hotdog bun
2. On one side of the paper write down
one thing you need from yourself to
be fully present today
3. On the other side write one thing you
need from the other people in your
group.
4
Essential Questions:
• What do you mean by PLC?
• Why are PLCs such a big deal?
• How do PLCs fit within your current
structures?
• What is your plan to implement PLCs?
Today’s Learning Targets
Outcomes and Targets
• Connect to prior learning
• Develop Common
Language
• ‘Why’ of PLCs
• ‘What’ of PLCs
• Explore Necessary
Conditions
Strategies and Resources
•“T” Chart Activity
• “123” Shoot Protocol
• Foldables
•PLCWashington.org
You got all dressed up for
somethin’
Leading a Successful Life
What factors do you
feel contribute to a
successful life?
•Passionate about what you do
•Engage in meaningful work
•Establish enduring relationships
•Become proficient at difficult tasks
Richard St. John, 2008
What should we do to raise our
students’ achievement?
The Power of
Professional Learning Communities
The most promising strategy for sustained,
substantive school improvement is building
the capacity of school personnel to function
as a professional learning community. The
path to change in the classroom lies within and
through professional learning communities.
-Milbrey McLauglin, Stanford University
The Power of
Professional Learning Communities
“If there is anything that the research community
agrees on, it is this: the right kind of continuous,
structured teacher collaboration improves the
quality of teaching and pays big, often immediate,
dividends in student learning and professional
morale in virtually any setting. Our experience with
schools across the nations bears this out
unequivocally.”
Mike Schmoker, 2004
Group IQ
There is such a thing as group IQ. While a
group can be no smarter than the sum
total of the knowledge and skill of its
members, it can be much “dumber” if its
internal workings don’t allow people to
share their talents.
-Robert Sternberg, PHD (Stanford and Yale)
Foundational Pieces of PLCs
Shared Purpose
What are we seeking to change?
Supportive Environment
What structures and practices support
the attainment of our goals?
Values/Norms/Collective Commitments
How must we behave to achieve our
vision?
Educators in 100 different districts identified
three broad areas of change that need to
occur to improve student learning
1. Rethink and transform the current professional
development paradigm.
2. Restructure the outcomes of teachers' professional
development.
3. Re-culturing schools and communities for on-going, jobembedded teacher growth and professional development.
Source: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory - SEDL
What do you know about PLC’s?
The BIG IDEAS of a PLC
We accept learning as the fundamental purpose of
our school (Students, Staff, Community)
We are committed to working together to achieve our
collective purpose.
We cultivate a collaborative culture through
development of high performing teams.
We assess our effectiveness on the basis of results
rather that intentions.
We are Driven by the four foundational questions . . .
Teams in PLCs Collaborate
About the Right Things:
4 Critical Questions of Learning
What do we expect students to learn?
How will we know when students have learned it?
How will we respond when students don’t learn?
How will we respond when students already know
it?
PLC’s are Learned Behaviors . . .
With Great Benefits
Why Protocols?
(Characteristics)
•
•
•
•
•
Structure that supports community
Clearly define roles
Create safety through structures
Are used purposefully
Define time, expectations, procedures
and products
• Builds trust through safe interactions
18
Myths and Legends Activity
•
•
•
•
What have you heard from others about PLC’s?
What do you want to know about PLC’s?
What do you think a PLC is?
What do you think a PLC is not?
Is
Staff Benefits
Is Not
Student Benefits
Think, Pair, Share and Decide Protocol (20
minutes)
Roles- Choose a Facilitator and a scribe
Think to your self (3 minutes)
– What are characteristics of PLCs? What are
benefits of PLCs?
Pair with your elbow partner and share your
thoughts. Come to consensus on 3 themes
(5 minutes)
Share Each pair will share within their team
their 3 themes (5 minutes or one minute per
pair)
As a team decide on the top 5 themes for your
team. (7 minutes)
20
Focused listening
• As you compare your list of “is”, “is not”
and benefits of PLCs.
• Let’s hear from….
• Stephanie Hirsch, Executive Director of
The National Staff Development Council.
21
A Professional Learning Community . . .
Is . . . Educators Learning from each other
Is . . . A collaborative process
Is . . . Focused on student work and student learning
Is . . . Focused on Instructional Practice
Is . . . An empowering infrastructure of support
Is . . . Effective professional development
Is . . . Connected to the context of teachers’ classrooms
Is . . . Action and results oriented
Is . . . Continuous school improvement
A Professional Learning Community . . .
Is Not . . . A prescription
Is Not . . . A new “program”
Is Not . . . Just a book study
Is Not . . . Forced on educators
Is Not . . . Another fad
What is a PLC?
• Time
School
Team
Four Questions
Results
Team
Necessary Conditions
Team
• Team Norms
• Resources
• Trust
• Removing Barriers
• Shared Knowledge
• Job Embedded PD
• Shared Purpose
• Establishing Focus
What is a PLC?
Educators committed to working
collaboratively in ongoing processes in
order to improve student learning
School
Team
Team
Four Questions
Results
Team
Each PLC is organized into a series of
high-performing collaborative teams
which meet on a regular basis to
focus on student learning.
Each Team uses the four foundational
questions to drive reflection, action
research, essential learnings, lessons,
formative assessments, support, and
enrichment . . . Resulting in . . .
Improved Student Learning
What is a Team?
School
Team
Four Questions
Results
Team
A team is a group of people working
interdependently to achieve a common
goal, for which members are held
mutually accountable
Organized by a shared course, shared
subject, shared grade level, or
interdisciplinary program. There has
to be a logical reason for putting
teams together
Teams answer the four questions
What are the Four Questions?
Four Questions
School
Team
Team
Team
1. What do we want our students to learn?
(Most essential curriculum 8-12 key
learnings per semester)
2. How will we know they are learning?
(frequent, team-developed, common,
formative assessments)
Four Questions
3. How will we respond when they don’t
learn? (timely, directive, systematic
interventions)
Results
4. How will we respond when they do
learn? (timely enrichment/extension)
Norms
Purpose
Teamwork
Coaching
Awareness
Norms
Trust
Time
Coach
Data
Time
Professional
Learning
communities
Trust
Coach
Trust
Time
Time
Norms
Data
RTI
Protocols
Collaboration
School
Improvement
Plan
Looking at
student
work
Protocol Jigsaw
• Read protocol
• Identify:
– Purpose
– Time
– Roles
– Major Activities
• Comment on appropriateness for your
setting
Time to Explore:
WWW.PLCWashington.org
Are you Ready for a PLC?
1,2,3, Shoot
1, 2, 3, Shoot
Reflective Dialogue
• Faculty/staff members talk with each other about their
situations and the specific challenges they face.
Not at all
Somewhat
50%
To a large
degree
To a great
extent
1
2
3
4
5
Discussion:
1, 2, 3, Shoot
De-Privatization of Practice
• Teachers share, observe, and discuss each others’
teaching methods and philosophies.
Not at all
Somewhat
50%
To a large
degree
To a great
extent
1
2
3
4
5
Discussion:
Finish “Shooting”
15 - 20 Minutes
PLC Survey
What barriers exist in your
school?
• Based upon your
discussion or your
experience…
– What barriers exist for
PLCs in your school?
– What are your highest
priority concerns?
– How will you engage
others in this
conversation?
Initial Thoughts
Time for Learning &
Collaboration
Removing Barriers
Establishing Group Procedures
Working as a team/Teacher
Isolation
Resources
Facilitation
Physical Proximity
Preparing for Next Steps (Exit
Task)
Please create at least one sticky note to
respond to the questions below:
• What more would you like to know about
PLCs?
• What concerns do you have regarding the
topics discussed today?
Place your note on the labeled chart paper as you leave.
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