Authorspeak: Building a Professional Learning Community at Work


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This deck contains the slides that Solution Tree authors Bill Ferriter and Parry Graham will b

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  • In Bill’s remarks, he’s going to talk about the emotions that teachers feel during the first year of PLC work—specifically looking at his own initial feelings with his initial learning team. On this slide, he’ll share the story of learning to use Paideia with the help of his peers: He’ll also talk of wanting to walk away from teaching before joining his PLC simply because education wasn’t professionally challenging or interesting anymore—and how collective work made teaching interesting and exciting again. ___________________________________________ Original Image Credit: Water War by AZ Rain Man Licensed Creative Commons Attribution on October 5, 2011 Slide by Bill Ferriter The Tempered Radical
  • On this slide, Bill will tackle the very real truth that initial work on collaborative teams can be completely overwhelming, too—primarily because teachers are asked to engage in all kinds of new behaviors that they’re not automatically prepared for. He’ll likely tell the story of the conflicts that his team had over teaching every objective in the curriculum and how that conflict almost destroyed his collective group. He’ll also talk about how his group felt like failures often—which is surprising considering how successful they were as individuals. The fact of the matter, however, is that no matter how accomplished his group was as individuals, they had little real experience in collaborative behaviors and practices. __________________________________________________________ Licensed under a Creative Commons attribution-share alike license. Bill Ferriter
  • Bill will use this slide to finish his remarks on the emotions of PLC work. His central point will be that there’s nothing easy about implementing PLCs at the team or the school level. The work is hard, but the work is also rewarding—and most importantly, the work has a positive impact on teacher retention and student learning. _______________________________________ Image retrieved from Licensed Creative Commons: Attribution Slide created by Bill Ferriter
  • There is no simple blueprint for creating a PLC in your building – this can lead to high levels of uncertainty, ambiguity, and cognitive dissonance, which all contribute to stress and strong emotions As a building leader, you often feel as though you are leading without a compass ________________________________ Original Image Credit: Compass Study by Calsidyrose Licensed Creative Commons Attribution on October 5, 2011
  • One way to reduce ambiguity and uncertainty – both for teachers and administrators – is to introduce some explicit expectations These expectations should focus both on what team meetings look like – do they have an agenda, is there a team leader, should teachers take minutes – and what teams work on (give example of literacy tasks at Lufkin) While building principals should lean on their leadership team, school improvement team, or a PLC planning committee, it is ultimately the building principal’s responsibility to decide what the expectations will be, and how the expected behaviors will be monitored ________________________________ Original Image Credit: Crews Build Foundation for New I-85 Bridges over Yadkin River by NCDOT Communications Licensed Creative Commons Attribution on October 5, 2011.
  • A final frustration, both for teachers and for administrators, is the fact that different teams develop at different rates, and need different kinds of support Example about 3 rd and 4 th grade at Cedar Fork Briefly explain team ZPD idea _______________________________________ Original Image Credit: Night Run by Phil Roeder Licensed Creative Commons Attribution on October 10, 2011 Slide by Bill Ferriter The Tempered Radical
  • Parry: Maybe you can use this slide to talk about the importance of jumping in and getting started. Perhaps you can detail what the first jump should be. ___________________________________________________ Licensed under a Creative Commons attribution-share alike license. Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D.
  • Authorspeak: Building a Professional Learning Community at Work