5 Books to Enhance and Expand Your Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) have become a cornerstone of educational development, fostering collaboration, continuous learning, and teacher growth. As educators, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest trends, research, and practices that can enhance the effectiveness of PLCs. One way to achieve this is through reading insightful books that offer valuable insights and strategies. In this blog post, we will explore five must-read books that can elevate your PLC and empower educators to reach new heights.

1. Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work: New Insights for Improving Schools (The most extensive, practical, and authoritative PLC resource to date)

by Richard DuFour, Rebecca Dufour, and Robert Eaker

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This book offers practical resources and recommendations that merge research, practice, and passion to transform PLCs so student learning is maximized. The book covers the PLC framework, roles of all involved, core beliefs of the PLC concept, common problems and misconceptions. This new volume contains perspectives from schools and districts around the country that have effectively implemented effective PLCs.

2. Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work

by Richard DuFour and Michael Fullan

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If you’re ready to take your professional learning community to the next level, this book is a must-read. It serves as a guide for moving “beyond isolated pockets of excellence while allowing every person in your school system – from teachers and administrators to students – the opportunity to be an instrument of lasting cultural change.”

3. Building a Professional Learning Community at Work™: A Guide to the First Year (a play-by-play guide to implementing PLC concepts)

by Parry Graham, William M. Ferriter

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This book is an essential resource if you’re launching Professional Learning Communities for the first time on your campus. In this award-winning book, Graham and Ferriter present the research behind the best practices for PLCs.

4. Make It Happen: Coaching With the Four Critical Questions of PLCs at Work®(Professional Learning Community Strategies for Instructional Coaches)

by Kim Bailey, Chris Jakicic

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Aligned with The Professional Learning Community at Work model, this resource includes numerous important tools, such as protocols, templates, tips and strategies to support instructional coaches and PLC training. The book incorporates action steps, reflective coaching strategies, and suggestions for handling common instructional coaching challenges.

5. School Improvement for All: A How-To Guide for Doing the Right Work (Drive Continuous Improvement and Student Success Using the PLC Process)

by Sharon V. Kramer, Sarah Schuhl

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This is a practical guide for K-12 educators who want to target their school’s needs and develop a course of action using the Professional Learning Community at Work practices. You’ll examine school practices and create action plans for a positive school culture. The book contains protocols, rubrics, action, and assessment plans to help you design and perfect your improvement plans. 

Incorporating these five books into your professional reading list will undoubtedly enhance and expand your Professional Learning Community’s effectiveness. By learning from the experiences and insights of expert educators and researchers, you can better navigate the complexities of PLC implementation and create a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement within your school or district. Remember, a strong PLC is the key to unlocking the full potential of both educators and students alike, fostering an environment where all stakeholders thrive.

Teia Hoover Baker is an educator, published author, and entrepreneur. She is an innovative, devoted educator whose career has been dedicated to coordinating programs that support struggling learners. Her passion is meeting students where they are and guiding them to excel. Her main focus is always what is best for children. Teia holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s of Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being Lovie to her growing grandchildren.

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