Principal - November/December 2019 - 18

instructional ideas with each other," one
teacher said. "We talk about what students
need to learn and then how to assess that
learning, which is great. But we never talk
about how we think students learn and what we
can do to accelerate that learning."

Mind the Gaps
Rate your success in building a PLC on a 1-4 scale:
1.
2.
3.
4.

This is not yet established in our PLC.
This happens randomly and is not commonplace.
This exists but can't yet be considered systematized.
This is systematically embedded within our PLC.

Structural Conditions: Does our PLC have established
times when we are able to meet? Are there schedules
in place that support collaboration and diminish isolation? Are needed resources available?
Supportive Relational Conditions: Is there trust and
respect in place within our PLC that provides the basis
for giving and accepting feedback in order to work
toward improvement?
Shared Values and Vision: Do members of the team
have the same goal? Do they have shared beliefs about
student learning and the ability of team members to
impact student learning?
Intentional Collective Learning: Does our PLC engage
in discourse and reflection around sharing practices,
knowledge, and skills to impact the growth and achievement of our students? Do we find ways to learn from
each other or learn together?
Peers Supporting Peers: Does our PLC support lifting
each other up? Do we celebrate individual and group
successes? Do we observe one another while engaged in
practice to help others strengthen their practice?
Shared and Supportive Leadership: Are power,
authority, and decision-making shared and encouraged
between teachers and building leaders? Is there a positive relationship among administrators and teachers in
the school, in which all staff members grow professionally as they work toward the same goal?

18

Principal n November/December 2019

2. Update the Discussion Drivers

We agree with past practice that suggests guiding questions are important, as they help team
members focus in their discussions. But as the
third-grade teacher said, many PLC teams avoid
talking about instruction, and we're not sure
why. We are not suggesting that the discussions
focus exclusively on instruction, but rather that
teaching is part of the conversation.
If we want to change learning outcomes, we
must make changes to instruction. Therefore,
we want people to share evidence-based practices with their peers. We encourage team
members to know the research behind the
instructional strategies they try and how those
strategies moved learning forward. We expect
that they will determine the impact that their
instruction has on student learning. The discussion drivers we have found to be especially
effective are:
„
„
„
„
„

Where are we going?
Where are we now?
How do we move learning forward?
What did we learn today?
Who benefited, and who did not benefit?

These questions don't have to be asked in any
particular order, but let's look at them in turn:
"Where are we going?" focuses on what
students need to learn. Since the 1970s, teams
have been encouraged to discuss learning
expectations. Standards were not common,
so the curriculum in one first-grade class
could be very different from the one in the
classroom next door. Today, standards drive
decisions about what to teach, but teams need
time to analyze the standard concepts and
skills so they can select appropriate instructional materials and plan the right level of
rigor in lessons.
"Where are we now?" focuses on what students already know, because far too many
lessons cover content students have already
mastered. What a waste of time! Few teachers
have extra time, so it's important that they
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Principal - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - November/December 2019

from the editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Intertwined for Achievement
Planting the SEAD
Making PLCs a Plus
Measuring Up
Look Out for the Leader
Engagement Across the Generations
The Sum of Its Parts
Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Raising the Bar
Principal’s Bookshelf
School Law
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover1
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 1
Principal - November/December 2019 - 2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 3
Principal - November/December 2019 - from the editor
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5
Principal - November/December 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - November/December 2019 - 7
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - November/December 2019 - 9
Principal - November/December 2019 - Intertwined for Achievement
Principal - November/December 2019 - 11
Principal - November/December 2019 - 12
Principal - November/December 2019 - 13
Principal - November/December 2019 - 14
Principal - November/December 2019 - Planting the SEAD
Principal - November/December 2019 - Making PLCs a Plus
Principal - November/December 2019 - 17
Principal - November/December 2019 - 18
Principal - November/December 2019 - 19
Principal - November/December 2019 - Measuring Up
Principal - November/December 2019 - 21
Principal - November/December 2019 - 22
Principal - November/December 2019 - 23
Principal - November/December 2019 - Look Out for the Leader
Principal - November/December 2019 - 25
Principal - November/December 2019 - Engagement Across the Generations
Principal - November/December 2019 - 27
Principal - November/December 2019 - The Sum of Its Parts
Principal - November/December 2019 - 29
Principal - November/December 2019 - 30
Principal - November/December 2019 - 31
Principal - November/December 2019 - Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
Principal - November/December 2019 - 33
Principal - November/December 2019 - 34
Principal - November/December 2019 - 35
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
Principal - November/December 2019 - 37
Principal - November/December 2019 - 38
Principal - November/December 2019 - 39
Principal - November/December 2019 - 40
Principal - November/December 2019 - 41
Principal - November/December 2019 - 42
Principal - November/December 2019 - 43
Principal - November/December 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - November/December 2019 - 45
Principal - November/December 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - November/December 2019 - 47
Principal - November/December 2019 - 48
Principal - November/December 2019 - 49
Principal - November/December 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - November/December 2019 - 51
Principal - November/December 2019 - Principal’s Bookshelf
Principal - November/December 2019 - 53
Principal - November/December 2019 - School Law
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - November/December 2019 - 56
Principal - November/December 2019 - 57
Principal - November/December 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - November/December 2019 - 59
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - 61
Principal - November/December 2019 - 62
Principal - November/December 2019 - 63
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover3
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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