As a high school principal, it is crucial to have tools and models that have teeth, that will make an impact on student achievement, and also improve collegiality and collaboration among teachers. This is a wonderful faculty book study choice for any school looking to have teams of teachers focused on data and how to incorporate best practices in their classrooms.”

—Steve Knobl, Principal

Gulf High School, New Port Richey, FL

Strengthen teacher expertise and expand instructional leadership through focused professional learning teams!

Although a generous amount of research describes professional learning teams (PLTs) as a positive structure for developing a vision of school change through informed, data-based decision making, little guidance exists for schools wanting to create and sustain this type of team initiative.

Leading Professional Learning Teams provides a field-tested model for implementing PLTs that strengthen teacher collaboration in professional learning communities, improve instruction, and increase student achievement. Developed in partnership between educators, Education Northwest (formerly known as the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory), and six high-needs schools, this guide shows a professional learning team in action. Each chapter highlights four important elements to help ensure alignment with educators' objectives:

Action: Steps for starting up a PLT; Voices From the Field: School leaders offering insights from actual PLTs; Tools: Resources with information about PLTs, plus at-a-glance road maps for each step of the implementation process; Leadership Team Discussion: Discussion suggestions for implementation leaders

Written for school leaders who are new to PLTs and those who want to fine-tune their efforts, this resource is an invaluable tool for correlating staff development with your school's improvement goals.

Laying the Foundation within the School Community

Laying the foundation within the school community

With stubborn resolve and ingenuity, every school creates or sets aside time needed for staff to plan programs, exchange ideas, and reflect together about instruction, student needs, and teacher growth. This vital resource of time is indispensable for all aspects of the culture shift [to a professional learning community] we've examined so far.

WestEd, 2000, p. 35

Focus of This Chapter

  • Where do we need to advocate for PLTs?
  • Do we need to align PLT efforts with overall school improvement goals?
  • What structures support PLTs?
    • Developing the leadership team
    • Allocating time for PLTs to meet
  • What do teams do with data?
  • How do we ensure accountability?
  • What additional resources might be needed?

Advocating for PLTs with Important Stakeholders

In addition ...

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