Professional Learning Communities - Steve Barkley

Instructional Coaches Working with PLCs and Teaching Teams

This is the second of three blogs illustrating how coaches can apply the backwards process of connecting the desired student learning production behaviors to the teacher behaviors/practices/strategies that can generate those behaviors. This blog focusses on the coach working with PLCs or teaching teams and departments. The previous blog considers coaches working with individual teachers. […]

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Year-End Goal Setting

Much of my work with PLCs includes setting learning goals for students and then collaborating to plan the paths to achieve those learning outcomes. This is where differentiation is built into teachers’ planning. First, the identification of different goals depending on a student’s starting point. Different learning outcome goals will require different student learning production […]

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Identifying and Respecting Teachers’ Goals and Values

As coaches and instructional leaders work with teachers individually and in PLC’s, it’s important to recognize what teachers want to accomplish as they work with students. In my coaching workshop I label this as knowing a teacher’s agenda. During a pre-conference with a teacher I have a goal of understanding the teacher’s thinking that went […]

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PLC Conversations That Build Shared Responsibility for Student Success

For PLCs to move from functioning as franchises to teams requires conversations built around student work. Teacher collaboration to strategize for student success builds a shared responsibility that is the root of teams. Sharing student goals and student work makes students known to colleagues. That knowing is key to real collaboration. Here are two examples […]

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Teacher Goals and Shared Student Achievement Outcomes

Using a backwards planning process reinforces that teachers develop their decisions/plans by beginning with the identification of student learning outcome goals. Teachers have a reason to work collaboratively with their colleagues when they are focused on shared desired student outcomes. Those shared outcomes create teams. Teachers are encouraged to be vulnerable and growth focused with […]

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School Leaders: Getting Teacher Input or Empowering Teachers

In an earlier blog from August 2017, I explored the topic of leaders empowering PLCs. I included in that blog lists from Mindsteps identifying compliant and engaged students and suggested that the same descriptors could apply to PLCs. Compliant Learners: Follow directions with minimal prompting. Timely complete explicit procedures. Focus on task completion. Respond to straightforward questions […]

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