Creating Professional Learning Communities


PLC Team Norms

What are Norms?
In PLCs norms represent protocols and commitments developed by each team to guide members in working together. Norms help team members clarify expectations regarding how they will work together to achieve their shared goals.

A Strategy for Establishing Team Norms

Ask team members to think of a past negative experience they have had serving on a team or committee and to identify a specific behavior that prevented that group from being effective: for example, whining an complaining, arriving late and leaving early, being disengaged during the meetings, and so on.  For each negative norm identified by members of your team, establish a positive commitment statement (a norm) your team should adopt that, if everyone adhered to it, would prevent the past negative experience from recurring.

Tips for Establishing Team Norms

1. Each team establishes its own norms.

Norms are stated as commitments to act in certain ways rather than as

3. Norms are reviewed at the beginning and end of each meeting until each
    team member internalizes them.

4. One norm should require the team to assess its effectiveness at least 
    twice during each school year.

This assessment should include a review of members’ adherence to team norms and the need to add new norms. 

Remember, Less is more.  A few key norms are better than a laundry list.

Violation of norms should be addressed.

Examples of Team Norms

1. We will maintain a positive tone at our meetings.

2. We will not complain about a problem unless we can offer a solution.

3. We will begin and end our meetings on time and stay fully engaged throughout each meeting.

4. We will contribute equally to the workload of this team

5. We will listen respectfully and consider matters from another’s perspective.

Note: PLC worksheets, planning strategies and team guidelines are available in the File Share


PLC Norms Planning Form: submitted by Patti Corr, Silver Sands Middle School

Silver Sands Middle School

PLC Team Norms

PLC Name:   ____________________________________

Team Members:  _________________________________________________________


Established Norms:

1.      ________________________________________________________________

2.      ________________________________________________________________

3.      ________________________________________________________________

4.      ________________________________________________________________

5.      ________________________________________________________________

6.      ________________________________________________________________

7.      ________________________________________________________________

8.      ________________________________________________________________

9.      ________________________________________________________________

10.  ________________________________________________________________


Established _______________________

Reviewed  _______________________________________________________________________

PLC Planning Notes: submitted by Patti Corr, Silver Sands Middle School

Professional Learning Community



PLC Team Name:_______________________________


Meeting date:__________Time:_____________Location:________


Members present:_______________________________________________________


___     Review/create/revise team norms ___________________________


___     Review/create/revise team goals  ___________________________


___     Special Session topic/guest ________________________________


___     Develop common assessment:  (skill/topic)  _____________________________


___     Discuss previous common assessment ________________________________


           Skill topic/results/findings:___________________________________________




___     Review student assessment data (attach data summary)


___     Discuss instructional practices / share / inquire with team members


___     Create topics as a result of (circle one) data results/student observation/

home base assignments

            *Include topics on back of sheet.


___     Assign students to specific labs and write lab tickets.













Establishing Smart Goals

What Are SMART Goals?

In order to become a team – a group of people working interdependently to achieve a common goal for which members are held mutually accountable – you must establish a specific and measurable performance goal. The SMART acronym helps teams in PLCs establish goals linked to gains in student achievement.

Tips for Establishing Team SMART Goals:

1. Ensure your teams’ goal is aligned with the broader, overarching schoolwide


2. Clarify the level of achievement students were able to attain in the previous year (for example,

86% achieved the target proficiency score on the district reading assessment, or 94% earned the

grade of C or higher in our course).

3. Using the Student Achievement SMART GoalSetting

Worksheet on the following page, set a

SMART Goal that challenges your team to improve upon last year’s performance.

SMART goals: Goals that are Strategic and Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results oriented, and Timebound

(ONeill & Conzemius, 2006)

Professional Learning Communities at Work Plan Book 2006 Solution Tree