Updated: Jul 16
One of the most commonly asked questions we receive (from teams that we coach and teams that we encounter through workshops, conferences, and social media) is:
"How do we roll out PLCs to our staff?"
Usually, this question is asked after we've already established a few key trainings that are need for:
The Admin Team
Teacher, PLC Leaders
At the heart of this question, leaders want to know how to organize the information for their entire school team--and typically they want to do this at the start of the year (which makes total sense!) District teams will spend time in the spring and summer determining when PLC meetings will occur, on which days, for how many minutes...and then the principals will inevitably look at me and say, "Now how do we teach this...to everyone?"
While PLC time should be sacred and 99.9% of the time that means it is for teacher teams to follow their structure and discussion--at the very beginning of the process, it's 100% necessary that all teachers receive some training, background, information, etc. as to the Why, What, and How PLCs function in a school.
With that in mind, consider using your first 3-4 PLC meetings as your front-loading, kick-off sessions where you paint the picture for your staff. We've created this simple, editable Google Slide Deck for you to use as you start the journey with your staff.
We've broken the slide deck into 3, 60 minute parts:
The Why (and research)
The What (unpacking Dufour's 4 questions)
The How (agendas, norms, structure)
Depending on your BOY (beginning of year) schedule, you might cover all of this content and activities in a half day. Or, you may want to space these sessions out through your first month (or first 3-4 meetings). These are designed for whole-staff learning experiences, and we believe can be easily adaptable to virtual staff meetings, too.
We know you will have staff who are hired throughout the year (and are therefore unable to experience the learning w/ their team at the BOY) but having this document as a guide to talk through will help you onboard that new staff member. You may also check out our Self-Paced Course: PLC Leadership 101 for any new PLC leaders who join your team.
Purposeful Redundancy is a key aspect of learning (ie, review!) so embrace and celebrate the power of reviewing the Why, What, and How--even with your veteran teams. What we reiterate matters--so be sure to reiterate these key pieces each year! See this simple post for more information on the power of Purposeful Redundancy with adult learning.
There might be resources you want to add or subtract---and we encourage you to do so. Take this framework and make it fit for you--but we do suggest that you follow the pattern of Why, What, and How. Additionally, we suggest that you keep with a simple background and format.
If you have resources or activities that you are willing to share--drop a note in the comments for this post, or reach out to us directly! We'd love to celebrate your ideas in an upcoming post or communication.
Happy PD planning!