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Professional L earning Communities. The Why , The What , and The How of Implementing PLC’s. Why be a community of Professional learners?. The process is a good form, a user friendly form of INNOVATION in a school

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Professional l earning communities

Professional Learning Communities

The Why, The What, and The How of Implementing PLC’s


Why be a community of professional learners
Why be a community of Professional learners?

  • The process is a good form, a user friendly form of INNOVATION in a school

  • The approach is centered on student learning, student achievement, and acquisition of knowledge and skills by students

  • The approach is centered on a team of teachers and administrators supporting each other, and reflecting on and calibrating their methods

  • If done correctly, and over time, it becomes the culture of relationships among colleagues

  • Going from doing good work, to great work!


Good to great
“Good” to “Great”

“Good is the enemy of great…..good organizational performance can cause complacency and inertia instead of inspiring the continuous improvement essential to sustained greatness.”

Jim Collins, 2001


Plcs the yeah but responses
PLCs: The “yeah, but…” responses

  • “Yeah, but how are we going to have the time to work in a PLC?”

  • “Yeah, but how can we find the time to give students extra time and support learning with our current schedule?”

  • “Yeah, but how can a PLC work in a school this small, or this big, or this poor, or this rural, or this suburban, or this inner city, or this low achieving and despondent, or this high achieving and complacent?”

  • “Yeah but how can we make this work with our ineffective leadership. Or our ineffective teachers, or central office, adversarial teacher association, and so on?”


A school staff needs to understand the difference between first order and second order change
A school staff needs to understand the difference between First Order and second order change

  • What is first order change?

  • What is second order change?

  • Have you heard of them before?

  • Do they apply to this school district? At what stages are you?


A First Order and second order changequick Pause: remember, change is good if-- it is innovative,student-centered, and the benefit is tangible


Healthy natural change
Healthy, natural change First Order and second order change


Unhealthy unnatural change
Unhealthy, Unnatural change First Order and second order change


First order change
First order Change First Order and second order change

  • Proceeds the next most obvious step to take

  • After a need for a healthy change is identified, the steps to making this change are incremental, gradual, subtle, and perhaps even comfortable

  • A huge element of effectiveness for First Order Change is as follows:

    Incremental change fine-tunes the system (Your school and system) through a series of small steps that do not depart radically from the past set of procedures, expectations, and experiences

  • Lets discuss a couple of examples.


Second order change
Second Order Change First Order and second order change

  • Dramatic departure from the expected or usual routine, process, course of action

  • A deep change which alters the system in fundamental ways

  • A dramatic shift in direction

  • Requires new ways of thinking

  • Requires new ways of acting

  • Often requires new, expansive, and extensive training


First order and second order change the contrasts
First Order and second order change: The contrasts First Order and second order change

  • An extension of the past

  • Fits with existing beliefs

  • Is consistent w/prevailing values and norms here

  • Can be implemented with existing knowledge, skills, and resources

  • Usually has common agreement that the change is necessary

  • A break from the past

  • Does not fit with existing beliefs

  • Conflicts with prevailing values and norms

  • Requires having new knowledge, skills and resources

  • May be resisted because only those with a broad perspective of the school see it as needed


Synergy direction teamwork processes becoming one while maintaining autonomy and unique style
Synergy, Direction, teamwork, processes, Becoming one while maintaining Autonomy and unique style

“Merging is change, but can be autonomous”


The what of professional learning communities what does a plc do
The “ maintaining Autonomy and unique styleWhat” of Professional Learning Communities: What does a PLC do?

  • Determines the characteristics of the school which colleagues desire to create (Address the current reality of your program here)

  • Builds consensus on purpose and most important focuses of the PLC work (Among this is universal understanding of terms, concepts, and actions taken)

  • Establishes and keeps collective commitments to others in the PLC

  • Establishes and tracks specific goals to monitor progress

  • Crafts strategies for achieving these goals (each member is accountable to each other for utilizing these strategies)

  • Focuses on results through ongoing assessment, not on activities or intentions


Results driven lets discuss what this means
Results Driven: Lets Discuss what this means maintaining Autonomy and unique style

The rationale for any strategy for building a learning organization revolves around the premise that this organization will produce dramatically improved results.”

Peter Senge, 1994, p.44


Determines the characteristics of the school which colleagues desire to create
Determines the maintaining Autonomy and unique stylecharacteristics of the school which colleagues desire to create

  • “Remember […] if you are to move your school and district towards greatness, you must have the discipline to confront the facts of your current reality, whatever [those] facts might be.” Collins, 2001, p.13

  • Culture vs. Climate


Builds consensus on purpose and most important focuses of the plc work
Builds maintaining Autonomy and unique styleconsensus on purpose and most important focuses of the PLC work


Establishes and keeps collective commitments to others in the plc
Establishes and keeps maintaining Autonomy and unique stylecollective commitments to others in the PLC


Establishes and tracks specific goals to monitor progress
Establishes and tracks maintaining Autonomy and unique stylespecific goals to monitor progress

  • Clarify as a team, what your priorities are

  • Based on your priorities, Identify a limited set of focused goals, obviously embedded in student learning

  • Establish indicators of progress to be monitored with watchful eyes

  • Use well-defined processes to establish these goals in each classroom, and to be spoken of and used by each team member (remember, consensus and collective commitments


Crafts maintaining Autonomy and unique stylestrategies for achieving these goals (each member is accountable to each other for utilizing these strategies)


Focuses on results through ongoing assessment of the team s actions not on activities or intentions
Focuses on maintaining Autonomy and unique styleresults through ongoing assessment of the team’s actions, not on activities or intentions


The PLC by nature is an Umbrella: maintaining Autonomy and unique styleIt should not protect you from having to work together, it should provide a safe venue to be accountable and to work together


Your roles as a team
Your roles as a team maintaining Autonomy and unique style

  • Determines the characteristics of the school which colleagues desire to create (Address the current reality of your program here)

  • Builds consensus on purpose and most important focuses of the PLC work (Among this is universal understanding of terms, concepts, and actions taken)

  • Establishes and keeps collective commitments to others in the PLC

  • Establishes and tracks specific goals to monitor progress

  • Crafts strategies for achieving these goals (each member is accountable to each other for utilizing these strategies)

  • Focuses on results through ongoing assessment, not on activities or intentions


The how of professional learning communities
The “ maintaining Autonomy and unique styleHow” of Professional Learning Communities


A user friendly systematic process to follow as a group
A User Friendly maintaining Autonomy and unique stylesystematic Process to follow as a group

  • Gather evidence of current levels of student learning

  • Develop strategies and ideas to build on strengths and weaknesses in both instruction and student learning

  • As a team, implement, monitor, and evaluate implementation and actions taken

  • Analyze the impact of those steps and strategies on student achievement and instructional practice, determining whether they were effective and why, or not effective and why

  • Apply in practice the new knowledge, strategies, etc., learned from this

  • Measure the impact of implementation on student learning and achievement through observation, reflection, and multiple forms of assessment


Eliminate anything from your collaboration which is nonessential to student learning
Eliminate maintaining Autonomy and unique styleanything from your collaboration which is nonessential to Student Learning

Most of us have an ever expanding “to-do” list, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing---and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who build good to great [teams and organizations] make as much use of “stop doing lists” as they can with “to-do” lists. They have the discipline to stop doing all the extraneous junk.”

Jim Collins, Good to Great, p.139


3 essential questions become your umbrellas for all conversation in your plcs essential learning
3 Essential questions become your umbrellas for maintaining Autonomy and unique styleall conversation in your PLCs: Essential Learning


Essential question 1
Essential Question 1: maintaining Autonomy and unique style

  • Whatare they supposed to be learning? What knowledge and skills should every student acquire as a result of this lesson, unit, etc.? What are we using to determine this? (Idaho State Standards and Objectives, Pacing, etc.)


Essential question 2
Essential Question 2: maintaining Autonomy and unique style

  • How will we know when they have learned it? In other words, how will we know when/that each student has acquired the essential concepts, knowledge, skills, and ability to apply new concepts and skills? What are our indicators? What determines when we are satisfied constant learning is happening?(Classroom based assessments, observation, formative assessment, summative assessment, attentiveness to the Spiraling curriculum)


Essential question 3
Essential Question 3: maintaining Autonomy and unique style

  • What are we going to do if they are not learning the knowledge and skills? What determines when we either step in and intervene, or trust they will pick it up through repetition and mastery? What determines the types of and frequency of interventions?


The tasks of clarifying what students must learn
The maintaining Autonomy and unique styletasks of Clarifying what Students must learn

Total Instructional Alignment

Instruction

Curriculum

Evaluation

I

C

E


The tasks of clarifying what students must learn cont d
The maintaining Autonomy and unique styletasks of Clarifying what Students must learn, cont’d

  • Vertical curriculum alignment

    which leads to

  • Common understanding by each teacher/administrator, of what each teacher teaches, what the goals are

    which leads to

  • The creation of common assessments

    and

  • The creation of common interventions


Creating common assessments
Creating Common Assessments maintaining Autonomy and unique style

  • Measures common or congruent concepts

  • Provides similar data driven by congruent concepts

  • Vastly enhances the commonality of dialogue about student learning an progress when teachers and administrators can relate to each others’ students and data information

  • Are efficient, and are equitable for students

  • A best strategy taken by a team for determining whether the curriculum is being taught, and is aligned to state objectives

  • Builds a team’s capacity to improve the program

  • Show individual teachers how their students are performing due to their instruction, compared to other members of the team


The tasks of determining if students are experiencing knowledge and skill acquisition
The maintaining Autonomy and unique styleTasks of determining if students are experiencing knowledge and skill acquisition


The tasks of responding when students are not acquiring knowledge and skills
The maintaining Autonomy and unique styleTasks of Responding when Students are not acquiring knowledge and skills

Response to Intervention


Getting started maintaining Autonomy and unique style

  • Determines the characteristics of the school which colleagues desire to create (First, address the current reality of your program here)

  • Builds consensus on purpose and most important focuses of the PLC work (Among this is universal understanding of terms, concepts, and actions taken)

  • Establishes and keeps collective commitments to others in the PLC

  • Establishes and tracks specific goals to monitor progress

  • Crafts strategies for achieving these goals (each member is accountable to each other for utilizing these strategies)

  • Focuses on results through ongoing assessment and debriefing, not on activities or intentions


Review of the systematic processes discussed questions that keep you focussed
Review of the systematic processes discussed: Questions that keep you focussed

1. What are the students to supposed to be learning?

2. How do we know they are learning?

3. What are we doing if they are not learning?


Review of the systematic processes discussed keeping the cycle going
Review of the Systematic Processes Discussed: Keeping the cycle going

  • Gather evidence of current levels of student learning

  • Develop strategies and ideas to build on strengths and weaknesses in both instruction and student learning

  • As a team, implement, monitor, and evaluate implementation and actions taken

  • Analyze the impact of those steps and strategies on student achievement and instructional practice, determining whether they were effective and why, or not effective and why

  • Apply in practice the new knowledge, strategies, etc., learned from this

  • Measure the impact of implementation on student learning and achievement through observation, reflection, and multiple forms of assessment


Baby steps but absolutely forward with each step
Baby Steps….….But absolutely forward with each step

“The most effective change processes are incremental—they break down big problems into small, doable steps and get a person to say ‘yes’ numerous times, not just once. They plan for small wins that form the basis for a consistent pattern of winning that appeals to people’s desire to belong to a successful venture. A series of small wins provides a foundation for stable building blocks for change.”

-James Kouzes and Barry Posner (1987, p.210)


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