Building a Professional Learning Community at WorkTM: A Guide to the First Year addresses the real-world critical questions that arise when schools begin their work to become professional learning communities. How can administrators and teachers take the promise of a PLC and turn it into reality? How can school leaders transform theories of collaboration into highly effective nuts-and-bolts practices? This book is set in the context of one year in the life of a PLC. It chronicles the efforts of a building principal, Steve, and his teachers to build a true PLC at Central Middle School by focusing on the successes and challenges inherent in the process. Each chapter includes four elements. An opening story highlights an important event in the growth of a learning community. Lessons From the Front Line spotlights the successful decisions and common mistakes made by the characters in the opening story. The Relevant Theory and Research section introduces the theories of experts and connects them to the work of PLCs to provide readers with an approachable framework for understanding and a language for describing the complex, yet predictable, changes that are inevitable when schools restructure as PLCs. The Recommendations section offers a collection of suggestions from which to draw while working through change in a building. The lessons in Building a Professional Learning Community at Work are drawn from the authors own experiences working as teachers, building administrators, consultants, and coaches at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. It emphasizes that powerful collaboration can happen anywhere, but it requires hard work, purposeful steps, and a deep understanding of the PLC model. The tools in this book have been tested time and again by real teachers and teams.