We're Meeting. Now What?


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This slide deck includes the materials covered in Bill Ferriter's Summer of 2011 presentation on effectively structuring the work of professional learning teams.

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We're Meeting. Now What?

  1. 1. We’re Meeting. Now What? A Look Inside a Learning Team William M. Ferriter http://wferriter.posterous.com
  2. 3. Session Outcomes To explore some of the most common challenges faced by learning teams as they work through the early stages of collaborative work To examine specific tools that can help to provide structure for the most common learning team tasks
  3. 4. Websites Worth Exploring http://go.solution-tree.com/plcbooks You can download free PDF versions of every Solution Tree handout from this website. http://6sci.pbworks.com This developing website contains materials from Bill’s current learning team. Most valuable are the team norms.
  4. 5. Central Contention “ Because of the inherent difficulty of working with others…when PLTs are put together and members suddenly asked to work in cooperation—to make collaborative decisions about what will happen in their classrooms—many teachers experience considerable frustration .” — Graham & Ferriter, 2010, p. 70
  5. 6. Checking In <ul><li>Working with the other teachers from your learning team, answer the following questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the greatest challenges faced by teams that have just started to work with one another? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the most likely causes of the “considerable frustration” in the teams that </li></ul><ul><li>you’ve worked with and/or on? </li></ul><ul><li>How do those challenges change the way that members feel about collaboration? </li></ul>
  6. 7. Personalities Matter Working with the other teachers from your learning team, answer the following question: If your learning team was a hand tool (hammer, pencil, saw drill, screwdriver, and so on), what hand tool would it be? Why?
  7. 8. Personalities Matter: Hammers <ul><li>Get things done quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Are assertive and confident </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes make painful—and hard to correct— mistakes </li></ul>
  8. 9. Personalities Matter: Pencils <ul><li>Tend to be creative and comfortable </li></ul><ul><li>Are good at creating drafts of what could be; imagining </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes are unprepared for real challenges </li></ul>
  9. 10. Personalities Matter <ul><li>Screwdrivers: Focus deeply on one task. Struggle to multitask. Are joiners and built to last. </li></ul><ul><li>Paintbrushes: Are easy going and soft, but give ‘em enough time and they’ll get any job done. </li></ul><ul><li>Sandpaper: They smooth out rough spots in relationships or team plans. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Structures Matter “ The most effective teams are clear about the why, what, where, how, and when of their work…. Defined roles and responsibilities may seem formal...[but] when the team see results, members will appreciate its structure :  ‘Our team is focused and organized. We share roles and responsibilities, and we get our work done.’ ” — Sparks, 2008, p. 42
  11. 12. Structures Matter
  12. 13. Structures Matter <ul><li>Working with a partner, review the team structuring tools ( Agenda , Team Roles , Fist-to-Five Ratings ) in your packet. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the following questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the strengths of these documents? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the weaknesses ? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you improve them? </li></ul><ul><li>Would these documents help your team? </li></ul>
  13. 14. Structures Matter <ul><li>Working with a partner, review the team conflict tools ( Weathering Storms , Managing Conflict , Trust Survey ) in your packet. Answer the following questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the strengths of these documents? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the weaknesses ? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you improve them? </li></ul><ul><li>Would these documents help your team? </li></ul>
  14. 15. Structures Matter Now that you’ve reviewed documents designed to structure the work of professional learning teams, return to your original partner and introduce your documents to your peers. Together, decide which documents are likely to be the most valuable to your learning team(s).
  15. 16. PLC Blueprinting In your packet of handouts, you’ll find Blueprint for Building a Professional Learning Team . Working with members of your learning team, spend a few minutes working to fill out one of these charts. Pay particular attention to the first two sections : What do we want to build? What does the site currently look like?
  16. 17. References and Resources Graham, P., & Ferriter, W. (2010). Building a Professional Learning Community at Work: A guide to the first year . Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Sparks, S. K. (2008). Creating intentional collaboration . In The collaborative teacher: Working together as a professional learning community (pp. 31–55). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree. Image Credits Hammer by Cellular Immunity flickr.com/photos/58534808@N00/323527111/sizes/l/ Licensed Creative Commons Attribution Pencil macro close-up by Orangeacid flickr.com/photos/orangeacid/204163563/sizes/l/ Licensed Creative Commons Attribution
  17. 18. The Tempered Radical http://snipurl.com/temperedradical Twitter Username: @plugusin Email: [email_address] Bill Ferriter has about a dozen titles—Solution Tree PLC author and associate, ASCD columnist, senior fellow of the Teacher Leaders Network—but he checks them all at the door each morning when he walks into his sixth-grade classroom ! Bill Ferriter
  18. 19. Bill Ferriter Author and Teacher
  19. 20. Thank You! To schedule professional development, contact Solution Tree at (800) 733-6786 .