Since the early 2000’s school districts have been embracing the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model for system-wide learning and student success. While straightforward in philosophy and application, many school systems struggle to fully and successfully implement PLCs. In their new book, Amplify Your Impact: Coaching Collaborative Teams in PLCs at Work, authors Thomas Many, Michael Maffoni, Susan Sparks, and Tesha Thomas help practitioners break through these challenges.
Amplify Your Impact gives practical tools to guide district leaders, principals, and PLC coaches from good intentions to full implementation of PLCs. In an interview, one of the authors attested to the critical need for strong coaching in PLCs:
So many teams are engaged in “PLC-lite”—and they’re not going to get to “PLC-right” without some targeted, purposeful support. That’s where the coaching comes in. We’ve seen that when teams are coached, schools get better, teachers feel a greater sense of efficacy, and student achievement improves.
From start to finish, Amplify Your Impact gives both a theoretical grounding for the ideas and then practical tools that coaches can integrate within their own systems. The book begins with a detailed explanation of how collaboration and coaching must go hand in hand for maximum educator and student success. It goes on to remind the reader of PLCs three big ideas and four critical questions, focusing all of these with an eye toward coaching for maximum impact. In the third chapter, the authors offer a strategy implementation guide (SIG) which helps coaches and teams improve clarity. From here, coaches learn key components of giving feedback and providing support for teams. To maximize impact, the book advocates for coaching whole teams instead of simply coaching individual teachers.
Amplify Your Impact concludes with coaching scenarios which help deepen the readers’ understanding of the concepts and tools. Drawing on both an elementary school and a high school examples, these scenarios attest to the power of coaching and the true potential impact of a thriving PLC.
Tom Many and Susan Sparks are excited to see this new publication in print and for coaches to begin using its tools. Amplify Your Impact is available for purchase from Solution Tree.