Sticky Standards

Learning Communities: What Do our Students Want (Need) Us to Learn? A Conversation with Steve Barkley (Sticky Standards #24)

Our guest today is Steve Barkley. For the past 30 years Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities, facilitating the changes necessary to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. Recently Steve has been working with Learning Forward, connecting professional learning, professional learning communities, and coaching.

Today, Steve is focusing on learning communities whose goal is increased student learning. The purpose of learning communities is increased student achievement. We must begin with goals for our PLCs, not activities, but GOALS. What is our purpose? What are the members LEARNING that impacts students?

A PLC begins with backwards planning. First, what do you want students to DO? Then, what student behaviors do you want to see?  Next, what teacher behaviors will we see? Finally, what is the role of leaders? As we implement, leaders come first! Leaders set clear expectations. Leaders look for changes in teacher conversations, then changes in teacher behaviors, then student behaviors, and finally, student learning.

Steve has created a continuum of the journey to becoming a learning community. Do your educators work as individuals? Or do your educators who work as a FRANCHISE? Or true learning communities that have collective responsibility for ALL student learning?  What are the adults going to learn?

What do our students need (want) us to learn?

Again….are our PLCs a franchise or a true professional learning community?

If you want to learn more, check out Steve’s website;

Teaching is too important for it to continue to be an isolated, individual activity…….create a collaborative, continuous improvement approach to teaching and learning.   ~ Steve Barkley

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