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PLC Mission and Vision

PLC Mission and Vision

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson, students examine the development and importance of the vision and mission for the PLC.

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In this tutorial, I'll explain and model the process of creating PLC vision statements and mission statements. We'll also discuss the importance of checking for alignment. Let's get started.

Before we look at vision statements and mission statements in detail, let's first understand the importance of establishing a mission and a vision for your PLC. It's important that a PLC works as a team or as a community of practice to establish norms and a vision and a mission and goals. This helps that PLC to manifest the features that are critical for success.

In fact, all highly effective site-based management teams engage in this cyclical process. It's important for these teams to frequently revisit all of the elements of this cycle while looking at related student academic data and social-emotional data, such as student behavior and school culture information. And these elements also need to be reviewed using feedback from teachers, students, and parents.

So let's take a closer look at vision statements. A vision statement should be created only after the PLC has defined its norms or common commitments. A vision statement should be brief yet broad. It should be about one sentence in length or less, and it should outline the hopes and dreams of the PLC.

The vision statement should set the team's direction. It should outline what the team wants to achieve or what they want to become in the future. All team members should have a voice in the formation of the PLC's vision. And it's also important that the vision takes into account the larger district vision and that it addresses the voices of all of the stakeholders on the team.

To create a vision statement, first it's important that you include all of the group members in the process. All of the team members need to understand the importance and the meaning of the vision statement. They need to understand why we are going through this process of creating the vision.

To spark discussion, you can ask, where do we want our PLC to be in three to five years? What do we hope for? What do we believe? And what do we value in the context of our PLC? You can examine sample vision statements for inspiration. You can use statements from existing organizations, and you can discuss what these vision statements mean to the members of the group. What do the individual members of the PLC find effective or ineffective about these sample vision statements?

Also, as part of this process, you should review the district's vision statement so that you can be aligned with the vision of the larger district. You should review student data and feedback from stakeholders, including students, teachers, and parents. For further inspiration, ask are we aligned with the district's vision? Are we aligned with the hopes and dreams of the teachers and students and parents in our school and district?

Based upon our current beliefs and our knowledge of the current reality, what do we want to aspire to in the future? And as a result of all of this inquiry and these reflective questions, you can then work collaboratively to draft your vision statement as a team. It's important to realize that the process of writing your vision statement may actually require multiple iterations before your team agrees that you have arrived at a vision statement that accurately reflects your beliefs and your hopes.

Let's consider a sample situation so that I can model for you the process of drafting a vision statement. There's a lot of ground to cover here. So at any time, feel free to pause the video to take a closer look at any of the text that is on the screen.

Our sample situation will be middle school math teachers who are meeting in their PLC. After ensuring that everyone is able to participate and discussing why they are creating a vision statement, the team jots down a few ideas based on the inspirational questions from the process that I just outlined for you. They also examine some sample vision statements, including a few from the world of education but one from the corporate world as well.

After discussing what they find effective and ineffective in the sample vision statements, the team then examines the district vision statement. They also review student data and feedback from teachers, students, and parents in the district. Based on this data, they jot down a few more thoughts about their current reality and about what they would like to focus on in the future. They put all of these pieces together to collaboratively write their vision statement.

Next, let's look at the process of writing a mission statement. This should only happen after the PLC has already defined its vision. A mission statement summarizes the steps that are going to lead the PLC to achieving its vision. The mission statement makes the PLC's purpose clear. It's a statement of the reason why the PLC exists.

The process for creating a mission statement is very close to the process for creating a vision statement. Note that there are minor changes in the inspirational questions through the process and the team reviews the district's mission statement, in this case, instead of the district's vision statement.

After asking all of the questions, reviewing the data and feedback, and examining sample mission statements, including the district's mission statement, the team once again works collaboratively to draft their own mission statement. Just as is true with the vision statement, this process might require several iterations before the team has worked together to create a mission statement that truly represents that team.

So referring once again to the sample situation with the middle school math teachers, in the process of developing their mission statement, they once again address those inspirational questions. They refer to some sample mission statements from both the world of education and the corporate world. And after discussing what is effective and ineffective about those sample statements, they also examine the district's mission statement.

Based on a review of data and feedback, they write down the reality of their current situation and their hopes for the future. This helps the team to develop a mission statement that identifies the reason why the PLC exists and establishes the purpose for that middle school math PLC.

The final step in the process is checking for alignment. You need to check for alignment between the PLC vision and the PLC mission. And you need to check the PLC vision and mission for alignment to the vision and mission of the school district. If there are any areas of misalignment, you will work as a team to adjust the vision or mission as necessary.

So here we can see the sample district and PLC vision and mission statements. The two PLC-centered statements need to be checked for alignment with each other, and the PLC statements need to be checked for alignment with the district-wide statements.

A potential area of misalignment is that the PLC mission statement does not mention 21st century skills. This means that the PLC mission statement is not in perfect alignment with the vision statement of the PLC. The PLC mission statement can be modified in order to create better alignment.

So here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Take a moment to locate the vision and mission statements for your school district. You can refer to these statements as you work with your PLC to develop PLC-level vision and mission statements.

As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you may want to explore the Additional Resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "PLC Mission and Vision"

(00:00 - 00:11) Introduction

(00:12 - 01:02) Why Establish a Vision and a Mission?

(01:03 - 03:55) Vision Statements

(03:56 - 04:47) Sample Vision Statement

(04:48 - 05:54) Mission Statements

(05:55 - 06:40) Sample Mission Statement

(06:41 - 07:39) Checking for Alignment

(07:40 - 08:17) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

FranklinCovey Mission Statement Builder

This free online tool helps you and your team develop a mission statement that is customized to meet the needs of your organization.

School Mission Statements: Where Is Your School Going?

This article walks you through the building of a team mission and vision. Included in the article are links to real examples of school mission and vision statements.