Powerful Learning Conference-Take Aways

I had the opportunity to attend the Powerful Learning Conference on February 1 and 2nd.  I must say that I was highly impressed with the quality of the presentations and the profound learning that took place for myself and fellow colleagues.  Over the next few posts, I intend to share key learnings along with my thoughts and reflections.

Monday morning’s keynote was delivered by Dr. Austin Buffum.  Dr. Buffum spoke to us in a very practical and informal manner and what he said just made sense!  I later attended a break-out session led by Dr. Buffum that I will also blog about in a later post.  Below are the take-aways from the keynote.

Harnessing the experts from within

My thoughts: We need to identify and utilize the expertise within our own building.  A culture of collaboration must be established with high levels of vulnerability and trust.

The most promising strategy to sustain change-PLC

My thoughts: This is only if the PLC is functioning correctly.  It was realized that the PLC I have been part of in my building has functioned with good intention, but with little results. Not completely dysfunctional, but not functioning efficiently and with purpose.  I knew that creating PLC’s takes time, but after three years I was beginning to question when we were going to reach that castle in the sky that you see in the videos during professional development.  I wondered how those teams got to those levels, and why it felt we never got any further than the year before.  The learning I gained from attending the conference brought many things to light and now with some adjustments and “do-overs”, we just might reach that castle in the sky!

It’s a process—→a way we behave.  It’s not a program

My thoughts: This is a no brainer.  Any element of change is a process.  Again, this year I began to question is this the right process or are we experiencing the Groundhog Day effect?  Furthermore, the “a way we behave” aspect is a culture shift and change of mindset for many teachers – the reason it has to be a process.

Not just a meeting for 1 hour a week when we get together to plan.  PLC’s happen all day every day.

My thoughts:  This was an aHa! moment for me.  Simple enough, but I had never really thought of that way.  There are people in my PLC team that I only talk to during that 1 hour meeting a week.  hmmmm…………..and we tend to think of only our department as “our PLC”.  A true PLC is collaboration among the building, between departments, all day long.  It’s the way we behave.

Summative vs. Formative Assessment

Summative assessment=autopsy

  • MAP testing
  • End of unit tests

Formative assessment=biopsy
•    inform what we are doing
•    teams looking at films to prepare for this week’s game-not looking at last season and hoping to make the right changes for this year.


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