Chapter 5 of Learning By Doing by DuFour, DuFour, Eaker and Many makes very clear that true collaborative teams working as professional learning communities (PLCs) are disciplined and focus intensely on doing “the right work.” The right work for staff operating as an effective team is focused on the four questions of a PLC:
- What is it we want all students to learn?
- How will we know if each student has learned it?
- How will we respond when some students do not learn it?
- How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?
Several years ago a teacher I was interviewing revealed his depth of experience teaching junior high students in a statement made with a very matter-of-fact demeanor. Paraphrased: “Junior high kids are great to teach. Some of them are dead serious about working on real issues and some are distracted by shiny objects – and they go back and forth in minutes!” His love for students, and the challenge of teaching them, came through loud and clear as he wove through each question with a story about a student he had worked with over the years. Read more