The Strategic Teacher

The Strategic Teacher:
Selecting the Right Research-Based Strategy for Every Lesson

Harvey F. Silver, Richard W. Strong, and Matthew J. Perini

Grades K-12 $27.95

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The first step in creating a successful Learning Club is to create a clear mission statement describing the purpose of your initiative.

An example of a PLC mission statement follows:

Our Mission is to build a learning community that fosters the climate necessary for sustaining:

  • High levels of learning for all students
  • Quality teaching in every classroom
  • Skillful leadership throughout the organization
  • Professional Learning for one and all

Next, teams of committed educators are formed to develop goals and milestones which are precisely aligned with the mission statement. These teams facilitate the execution of steps, procedures and practices required to move the members of the community toward reaching these goals.

Click below to view/download the PP presentation:
Team Effectiveness - How to Conduct a Thoughtful Learning Club

Examples of leadership teams follow:

Instructional Leadership Team
The Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) is made up of teacher representatives and other professional staff members (guidance, psychologist, social workers, etc.) and the school administration. The principal or his/her designated person is the leader of the group.

The focus of the ILT is on student learning. The ILT is a quality assurance teams that set the standards for the school's instructional process. The ILT monitors achievement, school climate and instructional practices to assure that the learning environment is producing results consistent with the school's mission, vision, and goals.

The ILT is responsible for assuring that a high level of quality instruction exists throughout the school. The ILT helps the school to identify where there are gaps in performance, analyze causes for the gaps, develop plans of action to address the gaps and monitor the plans to assess their effectiveness. The ILT meets frequently throughout the year to carry out their role, establishes priorities for professional learning, and communicates regularly with the staff about the school's overall effectiveness.

Learning Club
Learning Clubs are made up of small groups of about 4 to 6 teachers. The teachers can be from the same grade level or department, or a mix from different grade levels or subject areas.

The purpose of the Learning Club is to improve student learning by enhancing the effectiveness of teachers. Learning Clubs focus on deepening teacher understanding of the best instructional practices and how to implement them to address student learning needs. Learning Clubs help schools close the gap between what we know is best practice and what is often done in classrooms.

Learning Clubs meet regularly, about twice a month for at least 45 minutes to an hour. They have a “routine” and a “rhythm” and a set of agreed-upon rules and norms to guide their process. Leadership rotates through all members and specific roles are identified. Learning clubs are data driven. Members identify a particular instructional need, learn a specific teaching tool or strategy to address the need, try the strategy out, reflect upon and refine their use of the strategy, and integrate the new techniques into their practice. Learning Clubs continually assess the effectiveness of their instructional practice based on student needs and learning results.

Questions to consider when forming Professional Learning Community Leadership Teams:
   -What makes a team successful?
   -What drives you crazy about meetings?
   -What could a team do to assure that it would not fail?
   -If you had a chance to create the perfect team meeting, what would it be like?

Sample Team Planning Form (click here)