PLCs - Steve Barkley

Teachers Observing Teaching

How do we get teachers to be more open to observing in each other’s classrooms and discussing their thoughts and ideas with each other to create increased teacher learning leading to greater student achievement? Many school leadership teams need to explore strategies that decrease teachers’ reluctance to making teaching more public and teachers’ discussions more […]

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Administrators’ and Instructional Coaches’ Involvement in PLCs

From time to time, I am asked about how administrators should be involved in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). I’ve written an earlier blog, and recorded a podcast, on administrators supporting or hijacking PLCs. I have continually proposed that PLCs should be empowering teachers, but in too many schools are often a compliance activity.  (See blog: Empowering […]

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Driving Action from Mission and Vision

A recent post from Seth Godin led me to reflect on leading others and guiding my own actions with reflection on mission and vision. Godin’s post titled, Hiding from the Mission, describes two ways that one hides: “Refusing to be clear and precise about what the mission is. Avoiding specifics about what we hope to […]

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Facilitating Conversations: Empowering Teams

Conversations among teachers are critical to real change occurring in classrooms. Instructional coaches and teacher leaders are often tasked with facilitating team or PLC conversations that lead to actions to  increase student success. Margaret Wheatley states on her website: “One of the things we need to learn is that very great change starts from very […]

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Grade Level Meeting or PLC

Teacher: “I used to go to a grade-level meeting and now I go to a PLC.  What’s the difference?” Professional Learning Communities are more focused on learning than on teaching. At grade-level meetings the conversation is mostly about teaching: looking at pacing guides, assessment dates, available resources, ordering materials and scheduling activities. But when we’re […]

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Empowering PLCs

I just finished reading Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani. I recommend it for teachers and instructional leaders. As I read, my thoughts kept shifting from the book’s focus on empowering student learners to a focus on empowering teachers; especially through their participation in professional learning communities […]

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