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Tim Brown + Solution Tree Associate + Creating a Culture of Learning: It’s Not A One Time Thing.

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Presentation on theme: "Tim Brown + Solution Tree Associate + Creating a Culture of Learning: It’s Not A One Time Thing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tim Brown + Solution Tree Associate + Creating a Culture of Learning: It’s Not A One Time Thing

2 Essential Questions What does it mean to be a Professional Learning Community? What is the principle purpose of our schools? What must our schools become to accomplish our purpose? What are some characteristics of a highly collaboratively culture Where are we now and where will we go from here?

3 Springfield, Missouri Queen City of the Ozarks





8 Campbell Elementary School Springfield, Missouri

9 Choose Your Attitude: Make the choice to approach our learning with a positive attitude Be Present: Be present with your colleagues throughout the discussion Play: Have fun, enjoy the opportunity to reflect and share - “Sit and get won’t grow dendrites” Make Someone’s Day - Consider positive possibilities Norms for Our Work

10 What if we believe all students can learn at high levels? And what if we provide additional support? And what if we provide additional time? And what if we work collaboratively to guarantee best practices in curriculum, assessment, instruction and interventions ?

11 Why should we work collaboratively? Quotation Quest Why should we work collaboratively? Read the quotes found in “Quotation Quest” on page 55 of your handouts. Star three quotes that resonate with you Form a group of three with others who are not from your table team Share your favorite quote with your partners. Before you share your thoughts, let your partners respond to your quote. Listen for different ideas Finally, share your thoughts as to why you selected that particular quote (The reason you picked three was in case one of your partners used your first pick)

12 It begins with a shared understanding of where you want to go together, and is fueled by a continuous process of building the skill and the will to share responsibility for the success of all learners.

13 A Little Back Porch Time... Please!!! Anyone who is too busy to reflect... Is too busy to learn

14 Another Plate???

15 Oh No!!! Another New Thing!!!

16 Define: Professional Learning Community

17 Three Big Ideas The professional learning community model requires the school staff to: 1. focus on learning rather than teaching 2. work collaboratively on matters related to learning 3. hold itself accountable for the kind of results that fuel continual improvement Dr. Richard DuFour

18 18 “Leaders of the PLC initiative will attempt to build shared knowledge regarding the initiative until a critical mass is ready to support moving forward. They will then create conditions that require people to behave in new ways in the hope that these new experiences will affect attitudes and beliefs in a positive way.” —DuFour, Eaker, & DuFour (Eds.), On Common Ground (2005), p. 247 18

19 Making a Shift in Schools FromTo A focus on teachingA focus on learning What was taughtWhat was learned IsolationCollaboration These are my kidsThese are our kids Decision made on the basis of individual preferences Decision made collectively by building shared knowledge of best practices Infrequent summative assessmentsFrequent formative assessments Assessments used to reward and punish students Assessments used to inform and motivate students Teachers as followersTeachers as leaders


21 A Learning Community is Characterized by Shared mission, vision and values Collaborative teams Collective inquiry Action orientation /Experimentation Commitment to continuous improvement Results orientation DuFour and Eaker, Professional Learning Communities at Work, 1998 Handouts pages 56 - 58

22 Why would we want to work collaboratively? What are the benefits?

23 Correlates of Effective Schools Strong Instructional Leadership Clear and Focused Mission Safe and Orderly Environment Climate of High Expectations Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress Positive Home/School Relations Opportunity to Learn & Student Time on Task Ron Edmonds and Lawrence Lezotte

24 For Our Students Sake - We Want to be Great!

25 The Bell Curve Standard Deviations -3 -2 0 +1 +2 +3 2% 14 % 34% 14 % 2% A Random Distribution

26 Today’s Desired Growth

27 What does it mean to have a focus on LEARNING? It’s Not Enough to Say We Have a Focus on Learning Policies, practices, and procedures must relate to learning New decisions must filter through a framework to determine probable impacts on learning.

28 Tier 1: Core Program Tier 2: SST Driven Learning Pyramid Response to Interventions Tier 3: Intensive Intervention

29 “We must change from a model that picks winners to one that will create winners.” Harold Hodgkinson, 1987 “Michigan: The State and Its Educational System”

30 Raise Questions and Finding Answers

31 Do we believe all kids can learn? Do we believe that educators are the key contributors to student learning? Do we believe education is critical to the future of our students? Do we believe we can make a difference in the lives of our kids? Essential Questions About the Culture of Your School

32 102030405060708090100 To What Extent Do We Believe? Where would your post-it note go? How important is it that a staff have a shared belief system?

33 Crucial Messages for becoming “Engines of Hope” What we are doing here is importantWhat we are doing here is important You can do it!You can do it! I’m not going to give up on you – even if you give up on yourself.I’m not going to give up on you – even if you give up on yourself. Jonathan Saphier On Common Ground

34 Strategies for Changing Beliefs Accentuate the Positive! Say it. Model it. Organize for it. Protect it. Reward it.

35 Commit to shared mission, vision, values, and goals. “At the heart of a school’s culture are its mission and purpose—the focus of what people do. Although not easy to define, mission and purpose instill the intangible forces that motivate teachers to teach, school leaders to lead, children to learn, and parents to have confidence in their school.” —Deal & Peterson, Shaping School Culture: The Heart of Leadership (1999)

36 Mission asks: “Why? Why do we exist?” Vision asks: “What? What do we want to become? Values and Collective Commitments asks: “How? How must we behave to create the school that will achieve our purpose?” Goals ask: “How?” How will we know all of this is making a difference?”

37 Live your BHAG? BIG – HAIRY – AUDACIOUS – GOAL A huge and daunting goal – like a big mountain to climb. It is clear, compelling, and people “get it” right way. It serves as a unifying focal point of effort, galvanizing people and creating team spirit as people strive toward a finish line. Like the 1960’s NASA moon mission, a BHAG captures the imagination and grabs people in the gut. Jim Collins Good To Great

38 To Be… World Famous The Best School In Town An Accelerated Academy The Best Science Department in the State Dedicated to Student Success


40 They Meet As Collaborative Teams People, Processes, and Tasks

41 What is collaboration? A systematic process in which we work together, interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results. DuFour, Eaker, & DuFour

42 What is a Team? interdependentlycommon goal mutually accountable. A group of people working interdependently to achieve a common goal for which members are held mutually accountable. Collaborative teams are the fundamental building blocks of PLCs.

43 43 Collaboration or Coblaboration

44 Inattention to RESULTS Avoidance of ACCOUNTABILITY Lack of COMMITMENT Fear of CONFLICT Absence of TRUST Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

45 Inattention to ResultsStatus and Ego Avoidance of Accountability Low Standards Lack of CommitmentAmbiguity Fear of ConflictArtificial Harmony Absence of TrustInvulnerability (Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team)

46 Compass Points Activity North Acting- Lets do it Likes to act, try things, plunge in West Paying attention to detail- likes to know the who, what, when, where, why, before acting East Speculating- Likes to look at the big picture, the possibilities, before acting South Caring Likes to know that everyone’s feeling have been taken into consideration; that their voices have been heard, before acting

47 What are the strengths of your style? (4 adjectives) What are the limitations of your style? (4 adjectives) What style do you find the most difficult to work with? What do other people need to know about you so that we can work together more effectively?

48 Norms??? The standards and behaviors by which we agree to operate while we are in this group.

49 NORMS ➡ In order to fulfill our mission, members of the Frontier community commit to these core values and promise to: Express opinions, ideas and concerns openly, professionally, and respectfully without judgment.Support and communicate agreed upon decisions.Respect, appreciate, support and value each other.Encourage each other to grow.Commit to use collaboration time as a team.Commit to being prepared, productive, punctual, and to follow through.Hold self and others accountable.Go to the source first.Seek clarity – work through not around.Keep in mind that the relationships are more important than issues, projects and/or decisions.Maintain confidentiality.Be Nice.Listen.Keep an open mind.Trust.Keep Life in Balance. Our Goal: COLLABORATION Our Nightmare: EVERYONE DOING THEIR OWN THING

50 Handout page 8

51 What are the characteristics you would like to see in colleagues who are members of a Professional Learning Community?

52 Team Protocol-Consensus Building consensus on the critical questions that constitute the foundation of a learning community is an important step in developing the capacity to function as a professional learning community.

53 Common Mistakes in Building Consensus We try to get it alone, rather than building a guiding coalition We use a forum that is ill-suited to the dialogue that is typically necessary for consensus We pool opinions rather than build shared knowledge We feel we need consensus on each, specific detail of implementation We set an unrealistic standard for consensus and invest too much energy in resisters

54 Consensus We arrive at consensus when two criteria are met: 1. All possible points of view have been heard 2. The will of the group becomes evident even to those who most oppose the solution DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker

55 How do we ensure that all voices are heard? Fist to Five 5 - I’ll champion 4 - Strongly agree 3 - Agree 2 - Reservations 1 - Oppose Fist - veto

56 A+4100 - 98 A497 - 93 A-3.792 - 90 B+3.389 - 87 B3.086 - 83 B-2.782 - 80 C+2.379 - 77 C2.076 - 73 C-1.772 - 70 D+1.369 - 67 D166 - 63 D-0.762 - 60 F059 - 0 I00 to be changed to grade when completed A Way to Close the Gaps in a Grading Practice

57 Finding the Grade Example of a grading scale A 93-100 3.6-4.0 B 85-92 2.7-3.5 C 77-84 1.7-2.6 D 69-76.7-1.6 F 0-68 0-.6

58 Find The Grade TEACHER 1 TEACHER 2 0 80 2 85 3 90 3 Total: 335 10 Calculate the final grade by finding the average for scores on five major assignments 67%2 FC

59 Collaborate About What?

60 Four Critical Questions 1. What do we want our students to learn? (essential, guaranteed, and viable curriculum) 2. How will we know they are learning? (frequent, team-developed, common formative assessments) 3. How will we respond when they don’t learn? (timely, directive, systematic intervention) 4. How will we respond when they do learn? (timely enrichment and extension)


62 Actions Leaders Can Take Reinforce the vision by speaking and writing about the direction of the school Cultivate relationships (teamwork) around new ways of thinking Step outside the traditional way we do business to establish new habits of mind and behavior Couple rationale with ideas and connect them to the underlying principles of the school

63 Actions Leaders Can Take Staff development days spent working on the work Engage staff in collective inquiry Move from sit and get to active learning Create time for collaboration Expand the administrator’s role from manager to leader Arrange site visits to other schools Plan for next steps to ensure ideas are not lost (what follow-up is needed?)

64 Where and How? Administrative Meetings Faculty Meetings Team meetings One-on-one Community Meetings Newsletters Board Meetings Media Student Publications Assemblies

65 Cultural Wars (School Crusades) The Believers The Tweeners The Survivors The Fundamentalists Dr. Anthony Muhommad

66 People have to believe... 1. It will be worth it 2. They can do what is required

67 The Power of Professional Learning Communities at Work: Bringing the Big Ideas to Life (2008) DuFour, Eaker, & DuFour

68 What do we want our classrooms to look like for students and for us? How do we want our students to interact with each other and with us? How do we want our students to approach learning? What will happen when students struggle? Communicate Their Vision To achieve this we will....

69 “Communicating confidence and hopefulness in good times is important in any organization, but demonstrating confidence and hopefulness in trying times is imperative.” —DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, Learning by Doing (2006), pp. 199–200

70 What Messages Will Be Communicated? This? Or This?

71 How Did You Come To School Today?

72 School-wide Messages About Learning Climate of High Expectations Skilled and Dedicated Staff Alignment of Beliefs and Practices Learning is Continuous We Can Learn From Their Errors Assessments Will Be Used To Nurture Achievement We Have a Plan in Place When You Struggle

73 Workshops that inspire teachers and administrators Staff training that is research-based Professional Development that provides an interactive approach Customised professional learning for your school’s needs

74 From Back Porch Time to Implementation On Board With Still Thinking About Ready to Blow up and Rebuild

75 Thank You

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