Monday, June 30, 2014

A Little Help, Please!

Next week, I'm off to Seattle for a 2.5 day session on PLCs. Our school district is trying to pilot PLCs, and my principal has asked me to attend. He's working his posterior off to get our school on track, so I would probably walk across coals if he asked, but the fact that my daughter and son-in-law just moved to Seattle is definitely a bonus.

Anyway, we have a variety of breakout sessions to attend, so I thought I would see if anyone had any recommendations regarding any of these folks. You can leave something in the comments, find me on facebook or twitter-- whatever works. Here's the list of presenters

Tim Brown
Austin Buffum
Luis Cruz
Rebecca & Richard DuFour
William M. Ferriter
Janel Keating
Shanon V. Kramer
Mike Mattos
Anthony Muhammad
Sara Schuhl

Note: It won't be useful to tell me to avoid the whole thing. I'm going. I'll be there. Any idea of how I can best use my time?



  1. My middle school piloted PLC in 12~13. We focused on what students seemed to be struggling with and created activities to help them master material. We didn't have formal training but check with other attendees or if prsenter vitaes are online you may find out some info. Enjoy the trip and conference.

  2. Peter, I don't know any of the other people on the list, but do NOT miss Janel Keating. She is one of the most intelligent educators I have ever met. She's the superintendent of a small district in rural Washington state, but got her start as a K teacher. (Not sure you've noticed, but the best teachers around tend to be Pre-K, K and Grade 1 because it's so hard to get away with lousy practices at those levels.) She was one of the original PLC people, and has used PLC's with incredible skill in her district over the past 7–8. And have a great time in beautiful Seattle!

  3. That's 7 or 8 years, not days, weeks, or months.

  4. Without a doubt, go see Rebecca & Richard DuFour. I also recommend this as your #1 guide (

    These are also good resources.

  5. I just read an article: that gives more evidence that testing is not the answer and mentions things that sound like PLC's. I hadn't heard of the term PLC's (I'm retired now so I've been somewhat out of the loop, but still interested) and told me that they usually involve collaborative meetings discussing teacher work, student work, student data, or professional literature. I would have been especially interested in discussing professional literature, since I think the only way to improve the profession is to have teachers be experts in research-based cognitive learning, but outside of a few graduate classes, I haven't seen many people interested in it. Anyway, I'll be interested to know what you get out of the conference.

  6. My school just sent 6 teachers for the same training. I must say, this company must be making money hand over fist! I found that all of the presenters were very good, and like most conferences that are trying to appeal to a wide variety of needs, you won't get a lot of the nuts and bolts of making PLCs work "just so" for your school's situation. Most of the presenters spent the majority of their talks telling us why the PLC model was necessary...and then added a little spin. The conference agenda will give you more info on what each presenter is focusing on.