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PLC - Norms

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Elizabeth Husted

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of PLC - Norms

What is the right work?

How can we focus on the right things? Professional Learning Communities What is the PLC process? “Decades of research and reform have not altered the fundamental facts of teaching. The task of universal, public education is still being conducted by a woman [or man] alone in a little room, presiding over a youthful distillate of a town or city.”

- Tracy Kidder, p. 17, On Common Ground In an era in which cable television and the Internet routinely broadcast almost every imaginable human activity…
teaching may be the last private act in America. Sometimes you are working really hard, but you aren't doing the right work! The Charles Darwin School? The Pontius Pilot School? The Chicago Cub Fan Club? Which school are we?
Motto: We believe that all kids can learn – based upon their ability.

Student aptitude is fixed and not subject to influence by teachers.

As a result, we create multiple programs or tracks to address differing ability levels.

Tracking gives students the best chance of mastering the content that is appropriate to their abilities. Motto: We believe that all kids can learn…if they take advantage of the opportunity we give them to learn.

It is the teacher’s job to provide all students with an opportunity to learn by presenting lessons that are clear and engaging.

It is the student’s job to learn, and if they elect not to do so, we must hold them accountable for their decisions. Motto: We believe that all kids can learn …something, and we will help all students experience academic growth in a warm and nurturing environment.
A student’s growth is determined by a combination of his/her innate ability and effort.
Since we have little impact on either, we will create an environment that fosters their sense of well-being and self-esteem. W.C. Friday
We believe that all students can and must learn at relatively high levels of achievement, and our responsibility is to work with each student until our high standards have been achieved. An on going- process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research 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 educators.
DuFour, DuFour, Eaker and Many (2010) What it's not.... A program to be implemented A package of reforms to be adopted A step-by-step recipe for change A sure-fire system borrowed from another school One more thing to add to an already cluttered school agenda A PLC IS A PROCESS THAT WILL CHANGE A SCHOOL’S CULTURE! Why Norms? Why collaborate? Tips for Team Norms... Gains in student achievement

Higher quality solutions to problems

Increased confidence among all staff

Teachers able to support one another’s strengths and accommodate weaknesses

Ability to test new ideas

More support for new teachers

Expanded pool of ideas, materials, and methods

- Judith Warren Little (1990) Shared Purpose! Before you even get to the teaching part, you need to decide what you want students to learn.

Before you can decide what you want students to learn, you need to meet!

Who is in your group? When will you meet? When all is said and done, the norms of a group help determine whether it functions as a high-performing team or becomes simply a loose collection of people working together.

Positive norms will stick only if the group puts them into practice over and over again. Being explicit about norms raises the level of effectiveness, maximizes emotional intelligence, produces a positive experience for group members and helps to socialize newcomers into the group quickly. Social psychologists learned long ago that if you make a commitment and then share it with others, you are far more likely to follow through than if you simply make the commitment yourself.

Kerry Patterson et. al. Influencers, p. 152 One thing is clear: having clear norms gives teams a huge advantage. A key to effective teams is involving all members in establishing norms, and then holding everyone accountable to what they have agreed upon.
Patrick Lencioni, Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team At the heart of team interaction lies a commitment-building process. The team establishes a social contract among its members that related to their purpose, and guides and obligates how they must work together. At its core, team accountability is about the promises we make to ourselves and others, promises that underpin two critical aspects of teams: commitment and trust.
Katzenbach and Smith, The Wisdom of Teams What are your pet peeves? Each team establishes its own norms. Norms are stated as commitments to act or behave in certain ways. Norms are reviewed at the beginning and end of each meeting until they are internalized. One norm requires team to assess its effectiveness every six months. This assessment should include review of adherence to norms and the need to identify new norms. Less is more. A few key norms are better than a laundry list. Establish a process for dealing with violations of the norms. In order to make our team meetings positive and productive experiences, we make the following collective commitments to each other:

- Begin and end our meetings on time and stay fully engaged during each meeting

- Maintain a positive attitude at team meetings – no complaining unless we offer a better alternative

- Listen respectfully to others

- Contribute equally to the workload

- Make decisions on the basis of consensus

- Encourage one another to honor our commitments and candidly discuss our concerns when we feel a member is not living up to those commitments

- Fully support each other’s efforts to improve student learning Our Team's Collective Commitments
(Our Norms) What if my PLC partner is not following our norms/commitments? 1. Tell the person that they are violating norms/commitment.

2. Revisit norms and revise if needed.

3. Have crucial conversation.

4. Involve administration. Action Items Create your team’s common commitments/norms.
Team norms should also include a process for addressing violations.
Be prepared to review them after each meeting. Culture Shifts in PLC Shift in Fundamental Purpose
...From teaching to learning

Shift in Use of Assessments
...From summative to frequent formative

Shift in the Work of Teachers
.. From isolation to collaboration

Shift in Response When Students Don’t Learn
.. From remediation to intervention
Full transcript