PLP Pathways: Supporting Teachers and Act 77

Today’s post is brought to you by Don Taylor, language arts and social studies teacher at Main Street Middle School in Montpelier and co-director of PLP Pathways.


The PLP Pathways collaborative is excited to continue our work supporting teachers implementing Act 77 for a fourth consecutive year. For those not familiar with our organization, PLP Pathways is an educator driven professional development community created to support the implementation of the three pillars of personalized learning (personal learning plans, proficiency-based assessment, and flexible pathways) and the development of innovative curriculum for Vermont.

You can follow us on Twitter, join or view our webinars on YouTube, or access relevant resources through our website. If you’ve got information or material that you think would help kids, teachers, and communities, let us know and we’ll spotlight those resources.

Building Student Relationships

As students, teachers, parents and the community approach the 2018-2019 school year, it’s always a great reminder to consider the relationships that, as educators, we will be creating and renewing over the first days, weeks, and months of the school year.

Are the “get to know you activities” planned for the first days of school designed to support students transitioning into the new school year? Are the activities linked to broader relationship building that will enhance the learning community? Are any of the planned activities designed to increase understanding of student needs relative to proficiencies and the development of flexible pathways? Can we begin building positive relationships with students that will be a foundation for the development of independent learners capable of directing their own educational journey?

Thoughtfully planning these initial activities with the idea that resulting relationships, created over the initial part of the school year, will create dynamic learning communities can be the difference between a good year and a great year. One tool that we’ve used over the past few years to help develop this process is the Personal Learning Framework.

The Framework breaks down the student’s journey through the learning experience into three phases: Identity, Growth and Reflection, and Transformation. The Identity phase focuses on introductory activities that reveal student interests, strengths, challenges and goals. Exploring these in an intentional and purposeful way can help educators who are building curriculum, designing personal learning plans, and intent on building great student-teacher relationships. Find out more about some innovative Identity activities on our website.

Building Professional Relationships

Through the course of our work we’ve found that positive classroom relationships are enhanced through the development of supportive professional relationships. PLP Pathways thrives in large part due to our work with other organizations. These include support from the Middle Grades Collaborative, collaboration with the Tarrant Institute, resources from UP for Learning, and the innovation of Vermont Learning for The Future. As the new year begins, we encourage you to reach out to the numerous professional organization available that will help support your work, create positive relationships, and lead to a rewarding and successful school year. PLP Pathways looks forward to this work, to strengthening our relationships, and to supporting all your efforts. Good luck on the first day of school and keep in touch!