A Great Team-Building Activity: Toxic Waste Dump

We’re all familiar with the myriad of team-building activities and icebreakers out there. Generally speaking, these processes aim to strengthen interpersonal relationships between group members, break up the monotony, and get the creative juices flowing. Some require participants to disclose intimate information; others involve the successful completion of a particular group task. If you are […]

Do Professional Learning Communities Really Improve Student Achievement?

The term Professional Learning Community (PLC) is so commonplace in schools across the Nation nowadays. As you know, the literature on the topic is abundant too. Many claim that the implementation of PLCs will certainly increase student achievement. Is that really the case though? Does the empirical research actually support this argument? Perhaps. I’ll let you […]

Four Key Foundations Assessment

I’d like to take this opportunity to share a survey tool that effectively measures the existence of the “Four Key Foundations” within your school or district. The “Four Key Foundations Assessment” helps leaders to guide and mold a fragmented school or district into a functional, unified community. To access the survey, click here. These foundations are […]

Principal/Teacher Partnerships

Recently, a teacher and I presented on the complex topic, Principal/Teacher Partnerships. We really set out to communicate one clear message: If teachers and principals do not model–and continuously nurture–great partnerships, then students will ultimately lose out. This is easier said than done too. Casey Stengel really hit the nail on the head when he said, “It’s […]

Professional Learning Communities: Relationships Over Rules

I was recently asked by one of my mentors, Dr. Thomas Harvey (author of Resistance to change; Building teams, building people; The politically intelligent leader; and Checklist for change), to prepare a brief research paper and presentation on Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for the University of La Verne’s Educational Policy Institute of California (EPIC). The […]

A-B-Cs of Team Building

The building of effective teams is a process dear to my heart. The data from my dissertation, along with Dr. Shelly Morr’s data in her replication of my study, were glaring: If you want to nurture a learning community (that is, a culture of authentic collaboration), then you must build effective teams throughout your organization. […]