Creating Conditions for Professional Learning Communities

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Creating Conditions for Professional Learning Communities. Everything has changed!. Schools are experiencing: new and highly challenging students high mobility poverty Here is a modest list for consideration: Expectations Engagement Toxic Grading Practices - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Data for Student Success

Creating Conditions for Professional Learning Communities1Everything has changed!Schools are experiencing:new and highly challenging students high mobilitypoverty

Here is a modest list for consideration: Expectations Engagement Toxic Grading Practices

The nicest gift we could give to ourselves would be a new way of doing business that builds on our strengths and eliminates the road blocks we have encountered these past few years. School systems have experienced a constant stream of new and highly challenging students, growing populations of second-language students, and the exceptional challenges brought on by high mobility and the impacts of poverty. It is the perfect time to modify or eliminate some traditional professional practices that are proving to be incompatible with improved achievement. Here is a modest list for consideration: Expectations Engagement Toxic Grading Practices

The nicest gift we could give to ourselves would be a new way of doing business that builds on our strengths and eliminates the road blocks we have encountered these past few years. 2Think about itOur problem is not a lack of expertise, it is a lack of personal growth.Education is not about what you know but who you become.No educator can be fragile in self-esteem, or have low or no self-esteem. One good teacher can make you believe it is possible!Care about your colleagues and the care for the students will come naturally.We have truly intelligent people, but we must continue to grow personally to be happy.

One good teacher can make you believe it is possible!One bad teacher can make you believe there is no possibility.One good teacher having one bad day, can make you believe there is no possibility.We cant afford to have a bad day as a teacher.

Ask how they are doing and listen to their response. Offer a hug when they need it. If we care about each other, the students will see that, and feel that and in turn will feel we care about them too!37 Power Questions for EducatorsWhy did you become an educator?Do you know your population?Have you found your voice?Are you happy with your job and are you happy in your life?Are you fully maximizing your potential in your current position?Do you understand or have you identified your teaching style?Has being a teacher caused you to neglect yourself, your health, or your family?Outside a parent, a teacher has the greatest impact on an individuals life.A teacher is the most important profession in our world economy.A teacher is responsible for creating thinkers.A teacher is a role model of ideas.Teaching is not where you go when you are looking for a job.

25 million children dont live with biological father6 million grandparents are raising children what will the next generation do14 million single parentsDivorce rate is 41%13% live in poverty1 in 4 children are hungry, 16.7 million

Your place of happiness and maximum performanceAdministration has the responsibility to help professionals find their voice. People are more important than paper every day of the week.College is for everyone, a college degree is not.Have you lost, delayed, or talked yourself out of your own dream?

Are you working at the right place or the right school? Right place = right people = right productivity = prosperity

For instance, the average male only pays full attention for about 15 minutes, after that they tune out or start thinking about something else. Take a break, get up, stretch, move and start fresh.

Take care of yourself. You are your greatest asset!

4What is a PLC? Professional Learning Community

5A PLC should include people in your school building responsible for Title 1, MiBliSi, RtI, School Improvement, Teacher Leaders, at least one administrator and a technology or data person. Unless school leaders , administrators in particular, are willing to support the cause of analyzing data regularly and using the results to make decisions for the school, data work will not become a meaningful part of your schoolwide reform.

The role of this team is to manage the collection and organization of data from the state, district, and classrooms, create graphic displays of this information; and teach faculty members how to collect, organize, or display their own data. Data Director is the tool that does a lot of this work for us!

A PLC has the challenging task of using data to help teachers become accountable to each other and their students. This will increase the chances that your school will use data to inspire teachers rather than burden them. 5What is a PLC?A Professional Learning Community is a group of educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research in order to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job-embedded learning for educatorsDuFour, et. al, 2006

How can we take student learning seriously if we dont take our own learning seriously?6 The driving engine of a PLC isthe collaborative team, on which members work interdependently to achieve a common goal for which each team member is mutually accountable.77Six CharacteristicsShared Mission, Vision, Values, and GoalsCollective InquiryCollaborative CultureAction Orientation and ExperimentationContinuous ImprovementFocus on Results8The 6 characteristics must be institutionalized and must have evidence

Shared purpose concept of franchising classrooms classrooms can vary but what has to be the same (McDonalds some have playlands, some dont, the playlands can be different the menu the same)What distinguishes a learning community form an ordinary school is its collective commitment to guiding principles that state what the staff of the school believes and that determines their actions and behaviors.

Collective inquiry does not mean sharing collective opinions; it is about asking and answering questions

People in a learning community relentlessly question the status quo, seek new methods of teaching and learning, test the methods, and then reflect on the results. o They reflect publicly on their beliefs and challenge each others beliefs. o They share insights and hammer out common meanings. o They work jointly to plan and test actions and initiatives. o They coordinate their actions, so that the work of each individual contributes to the common effort.

Collaboration vs. coblaboration (Dr. Muhammad) this must be in place! Can not be a conglomerate of one room school houses under one roof.

Professionals in a learning community work in teams that share a common purpose. They learn from each other and create the momentum that drives improvement. They build within the organization the structure and vehicles that make collaborative work and learning effective and productive.

Action dont talk create solutions

Members of professional learning communities constantly turn their learning and insights into action. They recognize the importance of engagement and experience in learning and in testing new ideas.

Continuous improvement what is a better way?

Members of a learning organization are not content with the status quo and continually seek ways to bring present reality closer to future ideal. They constantly ask themselves and each other: o What is our purpose? o What do we hope to achieve? o What are our strategies for improving? o How will we assess our efforts?

Focus on results SMART goals (Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Results oriented, Timebound) ASPIRING goals (Assessable, Specific, Purposeful, Inclusive, Reinforcing, Involving, Now, Gaps)

Professionals in a learning organization recognize that no matter how well-intentioned the efforts, the only valid judgment of improvement is observable and measurable results. Assessment and re-evaluation are the keys to continued improvement.

Adapted from Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker (1998), Professional Learning Communities at Work 9Professional Learning CommunityCommunity means different things to different people. To some it is a safe haven where survival is assured through mutual cooperation. To others, it is a place of emotional support, with deep sharing and bonding with close friends. Some see community as an intense test for personal growth. For others, it is simply a place to pioneer their dreams. 10CONTEXT Establishing the environment for professional learning Ongoing processCannot wait until the right conditions exist to provide professional learningAttend to context-building strategiesAllows to implement powerful professional learningImproves capacity for school to function as a learning communityHelps increase student achievement11When groups, rather than individuals, are seen as the main units for implementing curriculum, instruction, and assessment, they facilitate development of shared purpose for student learning and collective responsibility to achieve it (Newmann & Wehlage, 1995).Why should we collaborateA team can make better decisions, solve more complex problems, and do more to enhance creativity and build skills than individuals working alone . . . They have become the vehicle for moving organizations into the future. . . . Teams are not just nice to have. They are hard-core units of the production. (Blanchard, 2007, p. 17)Influencers increase the capacity of others by asking them to work in teams with interdependent relationships. . . . We increase capacity when we work together rather than in isolation. (Patterson et al., 2008, p. 183)12Two Forms of Change in a PLCTechnical Collaborative timeCommon AssessmentsDataEducational TechnologySupport Classes

CulturalPositive or Negative?What cultural work needs to be done in order to get to the technical change?These all come from Anthony Muhammad, PHD running a PLC training at SAU- on the circuit with DuFour, Eaker, Schmoker, etc. 13Common Misconceptions aboutTechnical ChangesChanging the structure will lead to higher levels of learningTechnical changes make up for poor instruction or unprofessionalismTechnical changes will fix kids or fix schools which are brokenLike rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

ie: dress codes, longer school days14Cultural Changes when Attending to ContextEveryone in the building, including the students, knows and understands the purpose of the school (mission, vision, values).

Professional learning is one of inquiry questioning and searching for answers is the main mode of professional discourse.

Being in each others classrooms and buildings is the norm.No one is allowed to work in isolation. I taught it, they didnt learn it doesnt work.

thats the way its always been or we tried that three years ago represents the old culture

Sharing learning is optimal for professionals. Teachers work in collaborative teams. Working together is the norm.

15No one waits for orders from above.

People are not satisfied with the status quo.

People will grumble about old-style staff development

When things need to be changed they are change is the result of constant questioning and searching for answers in other words learning

Instead of thee answer there are several answers questions lead to more questions and several answers

In a culture where learning is the focus, attitudes, conversations, and behaviors change. People want to learn, so traditional pd will not suffice.16Continuum of Community Function17Toxic Laissez-faire Congenial Collaborative AccountableToxic All about the teacher, adults not nice to one another or to the students

Laissez-faire Teacher centered, autonomous, individual contractors

Congenial Counterfeit, confuse niceness w/collaborative, focus not on kids

Collaborative Have structures and skills in working together for improved student achievement

Accountable Able to acknowledge and deal with difficult data effectively;Move beyond familiar solutions and approaches; Let go of instructional practices that do not work; Call one another on unmet expectations or violated norms. Source: Skillful Leader II, Warnock presentationFacilitation:Where are we/you?

Jot on continuum where your local schools are/discuss or stack if time/for indepth training jigsaw or partner read about each level of community function from Skillful Leader II17What is process? Selecting the design that works with context and contentSelecting the professional learning strategies that help adults learn.

Once you have the context for learning, adults will collect and analyze data from various sources. The data help identify student needs and what the adults need to learn to help their students18

Bruce Tuckman's 'Forming Storming' Team Development Stages Model (1965)



19This is why we are doing what we are doing this is about change (PLC) The article Famous Models Stages of Group Development has more processes depending on where groups are in their development.

Right now, most of you are in the forming stage (not only in this team, but teams that will form back at your buildings because of your work)Plan icebreakersClarify expectationsAssign roles

The next stage is storming:Group members begin to rebelRebellion against authorityExpressing disappointment due to lack of progressCan feel angry about goals, tasks, action plansAddress feelings and needs of the groupImplement selective abandonment to refocusClarify expectations

Next is the norming stage:Once youve successfully resolved the storming:Monitor and regularly update group normsPlan celebrations for accomplishmentsProvide additional trainings on meetings and group effectiveness

Lastly, the performing stage:Highly productiveWorking collaboratively and independentlyShows confidence in accomplishing tasksShares leadershipEnsure the group continues to learn togetherConsider strategies for time efficiencyFind ways to recognize and promote risk takersSuccessful teams go through each stage when new members are added, you often have to cycle back to review issues previously resolved.

19The standards of behavior bywhich we agree to operate whilewe are learning together.Norms/Working AgreementsOne of the processes that needs to be in place are norms... You have to begin to think about norms in several places:Staff meetingsSmall PLC meetings (departments, grade levels)Your leadership team meetingsOtherLooking at data in groups can be an intimidating process for teachers who worry that data will be used to blame them for weaknesses in their students performances. Agreeing on norms like no blame is an essential first step! It is important to emphasize that data will not be used to punish teachers, but to help them figure out how to teach their students more effectively!No Shame, No BlameAnother norm could be that all team members approach their work in the role of learner understanding that there are no wrong answers and discussions of data are opportunities to explore and learn.Think about what guidelines and standards are needed for efficient, productive and worthy use of our time when we are together?

20Establishing NormsNo Blame, No ShameParticipate fullyActively listenNo interruptingSeek applicationPress for clarificationHonor time agreements and confidentialitySilence cell phones

21Why PLCs?You cannot have students as continuous learners and effective collaborators, without teachers having the same characteristics. -Fullan 22Teachers have to model this process in order for students to be learners.Learning suggests ongoing action and perpetual curiosity. In Chinese, the term learning is represented by two characters: the first means to study, and the second means to practice constantly. Many schools operate as though their personnel know everything they will ever need to know the day they enter the profession. The school that operates as a professional learning community recognizes that its members must engage in the ongoing study and constant practice that create an organization committed to continuous improvement. 22Steps for Deciding Content Connecting data, professional learning, and student achievementStart at the endWhat should students know and be able to do?What are the GLCEs or HSCEs really asking?How well do they know and are they able to do what is expected?How will you respond if they dont meet expectations?How will you respond if they already meet the expecations?Keeping in mind what students need to know and be able to do, consider what teachers should know and be able to do.1) What do we want students to learn? What should each student know and be able to do as a result of each unit, grade level, and/or course?2) How will we know if they have learned? Are we monitoring each students learning on a timely basis?3) What will we do if they dont learn? What systematic process is in place to provide additional time and support for students who are experiencing difficulty?4) What will we do if they already know it?23Look at the current professional learning program (if there is one) and determine if it works to support needed contentDesign your own professional learning programDetermine indicators of success for students and their teachersDetermine indicators of success for others in the system24Data Leadership Teams: Why?Schools that explore data and take action collaboratively provide the most fertile soil in which a culture of improvement can take root and flourish."The Collaborative Advantage." Educational Leadership Dec/Jan (2009)Teams bring together complementary skills and experience that . . . Exceed those of any individual on the team. Teams are more effective in problem solving,provide a unique social dimension that enhances . . . work, motivate, and foster peer pressure and internal accountability (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993, p. 18).The best way to achieve challenging goals is through teamwork: Teams nurture, support and inspire each other (Tichy, 1997, p. 180). research.

The old saying two heads are better than one.25What do Data Teams Do?Typical responsibilities for Data Team members might include (not limited to):Collecting and analyzing a variety of types of school dataDeveloping or adapting common assessment instrumentsCommitting to norms of collaboration and to examining data from an equity perspectiveUsing the processes and tools to identify student learning problems, verify causes, generate solutions, and monitor and achieve results for studentsConsulting research to investigate problems, causes and best practices

Reference Data Coachs Guide:A Data Team is a group of teachers and ideally the building administrator who work together to use data and improve student learning at the school level. 26What do Data Teams Do? - contDeveloping data-supported action plansCommunicating with staff and key stakeholders about the findings and the plansOverseeing the implementation of the plan and/or implementing instructional improvement in classroomsSharing successes and challenges from their own classrooms and/or at the school levelEngaging a broader group of stakeholders to gain their input, involvement, and commitmentCoordinating with other school/district initiatives leadersDeveloping their knowledge and skills in data literacy and collaborative inquiry, leadership and facilitationWhat are some barriers to using data?Lack of training data analysis we dont know how to analyze the dataTime how do we currently use our time effectivelyFeast or Famine data overload or no dataEvaluation will this be used against meExposure my credibility Culture what is the knowledge base, skills, and attitudes of the membersTechnical access, how to use warehouse, program

27Steps to Data-driven Decision MakingShare meatloaf recipesDiscuss last years dataBuild calendarCreate pre-assessmentsAdminister assessmentsAnalyze data (assessment results)Teach, teach, teachAdminister post-assessmentScore post assessmentBegin process againDiscuss what, when, how, why. What works? When will you teach a particular standard? How will you teach it? Why will you teach it? Why wont you teach this in this way, in other words, what doesnt work?

Look at what standard the students are missing? Discuss what can be done to change?

Build a common calendar of when each standard or group of standards will be taught. Create a curriculum map.28


Not the beginning and end for your School Improvement PlanYou want to plan to implement your vision not simply fill the gaps!30The success of the PLC concept depends not on the merits of the concept itself, but on the most important element in the improvement of any school-the commitment and persistence of the educators within it.-Richard DuFour31


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