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A Playbook for Instructional Leaders

A companion to the PLC+ Playbook

Additional resources:

200 pages | Corwin

Build cohesive PLC+ teams to improve learning outcomes

Effective teacher collaboration can amplify student learning and well-being outcomes, increase teacher satisfaction rates, and improve the onboarding of new teachers. Yet developing a cohesive PLC+ team isn’t always so simple. Designed as a companion to PLC+: Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design and The PLC+ Playbook, this easy-to-use playbook for school leaders provides strategies, techniques, and evidence-based approaches to help leaders foster successful collaboration among teachers and positively impact student learning.

Four cross-cutting values are infused within each guiding question: high expectations, activation, individual and collective teacher efficacy, and equity. Building on this framework and drawing from Visible Learning research, the guide offers specific instructional leadership actions and behaviors to promote cohesion in PLC+ teams. Leaders will learn:

  • Contextual information to boost knowledge about effectively engaging with adults
  • Essential information on how to lead PLC+ teams to become strong, interdependent, and productive
  • Leadership tools to support and inspire others to work at optimal levels
  • Examples and insights into time management, decision-making, successes, failures, and learning opportunities

Discover how to build social, human, and decisional capital within your organization, equipping teachers with the skills they need to drive school improvement.


This companion guide masterfully and succinctly offers leaders a crash course in the why, the what, and the how for effective implementation of PLC+ teams. With authentic examples, ready-to-use templates, and thought-provoking reflection exercises, this guide thoroughly equips leaders with planning and monitoring pieces that are often so elusive when attempting to launch (& sustain) an impactful PLC culture. I just wish it had been on the market a decade ago!

Tara Howard
Dean of Instruction, Owensboro High School

As schools recover from pandemic achievement losses, educators need new teaching strategies specific to these fragile learners. Professional Learning Communities provide a supportive approach to instructional development as we strive to bring students back to grade level and beyond. 'PLC+: A Companion Guide for Leaders' is a succinct guide for leaders to successfully implement pedagogy growth strategies with their teachers.

Stephanie A. Blake
Science Department Head, OTC Middle College Alternative High School

PLC+: A Companion Guide For Leaders is the right book at the right time. Where many of our original PLC leaders are reaching retirement age, we’re finding it necessary to revisit the core principles of PLCs, inspiring one another as we navigate turbulent times and leaning into the power of the PLC/Team.  PLCs that use their time wisely advance student learning.  Working together at optimal levels shows advanced positive impact in overall school improvement. The 14 major ideas provide resources in the form of self-assessments and tools to incorporate throughout a school year. I’d recommend PLC+: A Companion Guide for Leaders as an exceptional Team Book Study as you approach your next school year.

Jill Gildea
Ph.D, Superintendent of Schools, Park City School District

A successful school provides opportunities for teachers to collaborate about teaching and learning. PLC+: A Companion Guide for Schools provides the know-how in not only acknowledging teacher voice but also the steps to a thriving school culture. 

Elizabeth Alvarez, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Forest Park D91

Nancy Frey

Nancy Frey is professor of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Previously, Nancy was a teacher, academic coach, and central office resource coordinator in Florida.  She is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California.  She is a member of the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. She has published widely on literacy, quality instruction, and assessment, as well as books such as The Artificial Intelligences Playbook, How Scaffolding Works, How Teams Work, and The Vocabulary Playbook. More About Author

David T. Nagel

Dave Nagel, MsED, is an international educational consultant and researcher. Dave began his educational career as a middle school science and high school biology teacher. His administrative experiences involved middle school assistant principal, high school associate principal, and director of extended day and credit-recovery programs. He was honored numerous times as a ‘Senior Choice’ winner, where graduating seniors selected him as someone who dramatically affected their life in a positive way. Dave has credentials in school leadership and secondary science teaching as well as a master of science degree from Butler University. Dave is... More About Author

Douglas Fisher

Douglas Fisher is professor and chair of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Previously, Doug was an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator.  He is a credentialed teacher and leader in California.  In 2022, he was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame by the Literacy Research Association. He has published widely on literacy, quality instruction, and assessment, as well as books such as Welcome to Teaching, PLC+, Teaching Students to Drive their Learning, and Student Assessment: Better Evidence, Better Decisions, Better Learning. More About Author

Toni Osborn Faddis

Toni Faddis, EdD, is a Corwin author and full-time professional learning consultant. Toni was previously a bilingual teacher and Reading Recovery specialist in elementary and middle schools, as well as a principal in San Diego. In addition, Toni served as a district central office leader responsible for equity, access, and leadership development throughout the largest elementary school district in California. She holds teaching and administrative services credentials in California and earned her doctoral degree in educational leadership from San Diego State University. Toni also mentors and coaches current and aspiring school leaders in... More About Author

Aida Allen-Rotell

Aida Allen-Rotell, MA, is currently a full-time professional learning consultant for Corwin and a teaching clinician. She was previously a bilingual teacher in an elementary school, where she taught grades K-6 for 15 years, as well as a high school special educator, academic coach, coordinator of services for multilingual learners, and administrator. She holds teaching and administrative services credentials in California and earned her master’s degree in education from San Diego State University. She led efforts to improve student learning, which resulted in her school earning academic distinction for impacting the lives of students... More About Author

For instructors