Professional Learning Communities - Steve Barkley

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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Teaching and Learning Through Analysis

Analysis frequently precedes appraisal, evaluation, or problem solving. When analyzing we are separating into parts, groups or elements. Often a generalization or understanding will emerge from an analysis. We think in generalities, but we live in detail. — Alfred North Whitehead When word problems stump students, it is often because they believe they should be […]

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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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