Why We Need Professional Learning Teams

“Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” By Mattie Stepanek

Traveling across the country and working with districts I get to witness, interact and work with many different teams. I have started noticing a pattern no matter if the districts are large, with many schools, or if it is a district that is small with three schools, the way they work together is all the same.

The Cabinet level has an idea of how to improve X in their district. They inform the central office departments that need to know the information, then the central office tells the principals who inform the school building. This style of delivery chain works in silos yet we know based on Hattie’s work, collective efficacy has the highest effect on student achievement, so why are we still working in silos this way?

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 8.32.30 PM.png

I believe that we need to create Professional Learning Teams (PLT) for different topics/initiatives that work together cross-functionally.  PLTs would work similarly like PLCs would such as designing together, analyzing data, creating action steps and allowing everyone to have a voice. For example, if a district goal is implementing personalized learning, they should create a PLT of multiple stakeholders and move the work forward together.

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 8.33.04 PM.png

By doing this, you break silos, have clearer communication of delivery chains and one person doesn’t own all the content knowledge. Teams continually build trust, learn together and challenge the status quo in order to do what is best for all students.

I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas, add them to the comments.