It is often helpful to have a map to your destination when taking off on a journey. Without one it is easy to lose your way. This holds true with groups of teachers collaborating as part of a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Sometimes teachers find themselves in situations where they have time to meet as a team to help improve student learning, yet they don’t know how to use the time as productively as possible. As a result, it may be difficult to determine what the next steps should be.
Fortunately I have found a very helpful resource called “The Seven Stages of Teacher Collaboration Diagnostic Tool” from the book “Building a Professional Learning Community at Work: A Guide to the First Year” by Parry Graham and William Ferriter. It effectively articulates how to determine where a team is at in terms of their ability to collaborate and what the next steps should look like. The document contains a list of seven stages along with “questions that define this stage.”