Home Events Introduction to Creating and Facilitating Professional Learning Groups

Introduction to Creating and Facilitating Professional Learning Groups

Recent events have amplified the need for focused and powerful student-centered teacher collaboration that addresses inequities in our schools and supports meaningful change for all students. By utilizing professional learning groups (PLGs) educators can collaborate effectively and ensure their meetings, whether in-person or virtual, are meaningful, efficient, and focused on student outcomes. 

PLGs provide dedicated and supported time to evaluate student work, tune assessments and plans, and engage in constructive dialogue with colleagues. Developing PLGs that nurture a community devoted to continuous improvement and educational equity requires shared vision, strong facilitation, and thoughtful support for implementation. 

Our three-day virtual training session introduces participants to facilitation skills and strategies, provides opportunities for active engagement and practice, and offers a framework for effective implementation of PLGs in any context. In the true spirit of PLGs, we encourage participants to register as teams with varied roles, including administrators, in order to effectively process and apply the learning to your school community. 

This online training is not a presentational webinar, but rather an interactive opportunity for participants to engage with each other through a lively series of discussions and activities. Participants will need a computer with audio and video, as well as a stable internet connection. All participants will receive a physical Professional Learning Groups Facilitator Manual, a certificate of professional development hours, and access to digital versions of all materials used in the session.

Participant outcomes

  • Identify the purpose, definition, and core elements of PLGs
  • Explore the role effective PLGs can play in working towards equity and school improvement 
  • Build capacity to lead and learn through facilitation and participation in structured protocols
  • Consider best practices necessary to support productive collegiality in your context

Draft institute schedule 
Here is the schedule and what you need to know about the activities we will engage in and experience together.

Day 1

  • Opening
  • Building Our Community: Zones of Comfort, Risk, Danger, & Norms 
  • How Is Equity Central to Professional Learning Groups?
  • The Purpose of PLGs: Text Protocol
  • Reflection, Feedback, & Closing 

Day 2

  • How to Start a Meeting: Connections, Reflections, Agenda, & Norms
  • Probing & Clarifying Questions
  • Planning for Protocols: Framing Questions & Pre-Conference Moves
  • Dilemma Protocol: Consultancy
  • Reflection, Feedback, & Closing

Day 3 

  • Opening
  • Planning for Protocols: Tuning
  • Improving Work: Tuning Protocols
  • Considerations for Responsive Facilitation 
  • Guidance for Effective PLG Implementation
  • Team Reflection & Planning
  • Reflection, Feedback, & Closing

The institute is designed for those who are new to PLGs or facilitation, or those who want to clarify their vision or process for how to increase the effectiveness and impact of PLGs. In the true spirit of PLGs, we encourage participants to register as teams with varied roles, including administrators, in order to effectively process and apply the learning to your school community.

Optional: Personalized Afternoon Coaching Session
Does your team have unique challenges that would be helpful to talk through with a GSP senior associate? Do you anticipate needing additional support to help your team craft implementation plans? An additional feature of this year’s summer institute is a time for personalized afternoon coaching sessions to support team planning. If you feel your team would benefit from a bit more school/district-specific support than what can be offered through the three-day institute schedule, please register for a 90-min coaching session (1:30-3pm) with a GSP senior associate following the close of the institute sessions, July 19, 20 and 21. Limited availability. See the registration form to reserve your spot!


Jean Haeger, Senior Associate
Don Weafer, Senior Associate

 Tuesday-Thursday, July 19-21, 2022
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST
Where: Virtual, via zoom
Cost: $435/person
Registration Deadline: Friday, June 24, 2022


Jul 19 2022 - Jul 21 2022


9:00 am - 1:00 pm




Online Zoom Meeting
Jean Haeger & Don Weafer


Jean Haeger & Don Weafer