About two years ago, I had one of the singular most exciting moments of my professional career.

At a dinner meeting designed to introduce the members of our State’s Board of Education to the core principles of professional learning communities, Rick and Becky DuFour—who, along with Bob Eaker, were the guests of honor—recognized me because of my writing!

“Are you the Bill Ferriter who wrote a terrific piece in the Journal for Staff Development a few years back about how professional learning communities have changed who you are as teacher?”  asked Becky in front of the entire room of policymakers and juiceholders.

“It’s a great article that we use in our work all the time!”

(Not bad for a guy who is “just a classroom teacher” huh?!)

Since then, Rick and Becky have been incredibly supportive, celebrating and encouraging my professional growth as both a writer and a speaker on professional learning communities.

Most recently, they’ve authored the introduction to my first book, titled Building a Professional Learning Community at Work, graciously allowing my co-author and I to publish our title under their own PLC at Work brand.   (Want to preorder a copy of BPLC?  Here’s the link.) 

That’s why I’m so excited to announce the next in our continuing series of Voicethread conversations here on the Radical:

Rick and Becky DuFour will be joining us from September 8th – 11th to talk about the nuts and bolts of restructuring schools as professional learning communities!

Drawing from the insights that Rick, Becky and Bob have polished and published in their newest book—Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work—participants will be able to look inside the minds of two of the foremost experts on sustaining school change from the comfort of their own homes!

While there is certainly no “easy button” for those working to build professional learning communities, pairing the advice of Rick and Becky with the guidance of other participants who are learning by doing, we’re sure to spend four good days building capacity with one another.

Talk about an amazing opportunity to get your building’s learning communities off on the right foot for the 2009-2010 school year, huh?!

So get the dates on your calendar, create your free Voicethread accounts, and whip up a list of questions that you’d like to see tackled in our time together.

And stop back often in the next few weeks.

I’ll be posting a review of Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work alongside a collection of tips and tricks for successful participation in a digital conversation in order to ensure that September 8th – 11th are productive for everyone!

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