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Principal as a Leader in Professional Learning Communites

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This slidecast is a presentation of Chapter 9 in Robert DuFours book "Professional Learning Communities at Work". www.tinyurl.com/3cfx8t

This slidecast is a presentation of Chapter 9 in Robert DuFours book "Professional Learning Communities at Work". www.tinyurl.com/3cfx8t

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  • 1. Professional Learning Communities A journey, not a destination…
  • 2. Chapter 9 The Role of the Principal in a Professional Learning Community Sean M. Martinson
  • 3. P rofessional L earning C ommunities
    • The best hope for school improvement is to be found in the principal’s office.
    • Let’s reconsider what it means to be a “strong” leader.
  • 4. Strong Leaders….
    • Some descriptions…
    • Strong leaders:
      • Have definite ideas about teaching and a clear understanding of how their schools should operate.
      • More than willing to impose their ideas on their schools.
      • Strong, forceful, assertive individual who are quick to take initiative.
    • When you read this, what do you picture?
    From the Hoover Archives: http://hoover.archives.gov/
  • 5. Emerging Research
    • On effective schools..
      • Principals lead from the center rather than the top.
      • Less command and control and more learning and leading, less dictating and more orchestrating.
  • 6. 5 Characteristics of Effective Principals
    • Principals of professional learning communities:
      • Lead through shared vision and values rather than through rules and procedures.
      • Involve faculty members in the school’s decision-making processes and empower individuals to act.
      • Provide staff with the information, training, and parameters they need to make good decisions.
      • Establish credibility by modeling behavior that is congruent with the vision and values of their school.
      • Are results oriented.
  • 7. 1. Lead through shared vision and values rather than through rules and procedures.
    • Engage the faculty in co-creation (of vision and values).
    • Demonstrate a sincere interest in finding common ground.
    • Regard this as one of the most important responsibilities.
  • 8. 2. Involve Faculty Members in the School’s Decision-Making Process.
    • Two of the most significant and effective strategies used by capable leaders:
      • Involving others in the decision-making processes.
      • Empower individuals to act.
        • IN FACT
          • When improvement initiatives disintegrate it’s often because the leader (principal) makes the mistake of trying to effect change alone without building a coalition of collaborators.
    • The ultimate key is creating pleasure in the hard work of change.
  • 9. 3. Provide staff with the information, training, and parameters they need to make good decisions.
    • Provide staff with relevant background information and research findings to help them arrive at informed decisions.
    • Ensure teachers receive the training to master skills that will help them meet the schools goals (more effectively).
    • Provide time and create structures for staff reflection and discussion.
    • Provide clear guidelines and boundaries to help direct daily work.
    • Loose/Tight Management
      • Loose on particular strategies
      • Tight on adhering to the vision, mission, values, and goals.
      • Loose on the means to achieve the end.
      • Unshakable tight on the end that must be achieved.
    • Both ardent supporter of teacher autonomy and passionate promoter of visions and values.
  • 10. Responding to Resisters
    • Three mistakes when struggling with this problem:
        • Pay too much attention to resisters.
          • If you wait for all the teachers to get on board your ship may never leave the harbor.
          • Consensus does not necessarily mean unanimity.
          • Focus on advancing the cause rather than agonizing over those who are reluctant to join it.
        • Vilifying resisters.
          • Resistance is a natural and understandable human reaction to what people perceive as disruption.
          • Uphold the vision and values but legitimize dissent and always seek to learn what lies behind it.
        • Focusing on attitudes rather than on behaviors.
          • The effort to change attitudes must begin with the effort to alter behavior in ways that result in new experiences.
          • Focus on behavior.
          • Change what people do, provide new experiences that can become the catalyst for transforming attitudes.
    • Principals of successful learning communities do not hesitate to confront violations of the commitments articulated in shared visions and values.
    • To be perceived by teachers as serious about change, principals must care enough to confront.
  • 11. 4. Establish credibility by modeling behavior that is congruent with the vision and values of their school.
    • Without credibility and trust, there are no followers.
    • Principals of PLC acquire trust the old fashioned way, they earn it.
    • Deliver on promises.
    • Consistent and predicable.
    • Establish and focus on priorities.
    • Willing to stand up for beliefs
    • Admit mistakes and change behavior.
    • Maintain composure and respond professionally during times of crisis.
    • DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO.
  • 12. 5. Are results oriented.
    • The ultimate test of a leader is results.
    • Principals of PLC are hungry for facts and constantly in search for meaningful data.
    • Analyze results critically rather than “Happy Talk”
      • Face the facts, don’t look for the silver lining in a black cloud.
  • 13. 10 Guidelines for Principals in Building a PLC
    • Attend to the building blocks of a professional learning community.
    • Communicate the importance of mission, vision, values, and goals on a daily basis.
    • Create collaborative structures with a focus on teaching and learning.
    • Shape the school culture to support a professional learning community.
    • Foster an approach to curriculum that focuses on learning rather than teaching.
    • Encourage teachers to think of themselves as leaders.
    • Practice enlightened leadership strategies.
    • Establish personal credibility.
    • Be fixated on results.
    • Recognize that continuous improvement requires continuous learning.
  • 14. 1. Attend to the building blocks of a PLC.
    • Mission
    • Vision
    • Values
    • Goals
  • 15. 2. Communicate the importance of mission, vision, values, and goals on a daily basis.
    • The staff will find them important only when the principal pays attention to them on a daily basis.
  • 16. 3. Create collaborative structures with a focus on teaching and learning.
    • Create teams that:
      • Engage in a constant cycle of reflection, planning, experimentation, analysis of results, and adaptation.
    • Provide time for collaboration and a clear purpose.
      • And the training and support needed to collaborate effectively.
  • 17. 4. Shape the school culture to support a professional learning community.
    • Help facilitate the articulation of guiding values and vision.
    • Ask questions, prompt reflective dialogue.
    • Remind staff they are valued.
      • Celebrations, ceremonies…
  • 18. 5. Foster an approach to curriculum that focuses on learning rather than teaching.
    • Work with teachers to:
      • Establish processes that clarify what students must know and be able to do.
      • Clarify strategies that enable the school to make valid conclusions regarding the degree of student learning.
  • 19. 6. Encourage teachers to think of themselves as leaders.
    • Foster the image of a teacher as a leader.
    • Regard (and demonstrate this view) teachers as fellow leaders.
  • 20. 7. Practice enlightened leadership strategies.
    • Demonstrate Loose/Tight leadership.
    • Listen carefully to resisters and strive to understand their position.
    • Focus on changing behavior rather than attitudes.
  • 21. 8. Establish personal credibility.
    • Deliver on promises.
    • Act in accordance to the values they ask others to demonstrate.
    • Be consistent and predictable.
    • Admit mistakes.
    Do what you say you will do!
  • 22. 9. Be fixated on results.
    • Work with staff to:
      • Articulate clear measurable goals.
      • Identify indicators that offer evidence of progress.
      • Use evidence to inform practice, celebrate success, and to identify areas that need further attention.
  • 23. 10. Recognize that continuous improvement requires continuous learning.
    • Help establish external resources and networks that support and stimulate innovation in the school.
    • Develop the ability of others.
  • 24. Principals
    • Strong principals are crucial to the success of Professional Learning Communities.
    • Has this information shifted your view of a “strong” leader?
    From the Hoover Archives: http://hoover.archives.gov/
  • 25. Professional Learning Communities A persistent endeavor.
  • 26. Credits
    • Text Reference
      • Dufor; R., & Eaker, R. (1998). Professional Learning Communities at Work . Reston, VA: Solution Tree.
    • John Wayne Picture
      • The Hoover Archive
    • Clipart & PowerPoint Template
      • Microsoft Clipart Gallery
    • Music (if it worked for you)
      • The Dare Ya Blues Band from Long Island, New York
        • “ Home to New Orleans”
          • www.garageband.com
            • copyright free