Module 1: Why PLCs - Reflections on PLCs
How can working collaboratively impact teacher and administrative professional growth?
- “Even the grandest design eventually translates into hard work. The professional learning community model is a grand design—a powerful new way of working together that profoundly affects the practices of schooling. But initiating and sustaining the concept requires hard work. It requires the school staff to focus on learning rather than teaching, work
collaboratively on matters related to learning and hold itself accountable…”
- “When educators do the necessary hard work to implement these principles, their collective ability to help all students will rise. If they fail to demonstrate initiative and sustain the work then their school is unlikely to become more effective, even if those within it claim to be a professional learning community.“ Richard DuFour, “What is a Professional Learning Community”? Educational Leadership, May 2004, Vol 61, Number 8 pp 6-11
- “I used to tell myself that it didn’t matter if the teacher across the hall was assigning “read the chapter and take the test” with his students while I actively taught our history curriculum. I just shut my door, he shut his and we agreed to disagree. That’s pretty much the way it was throughout our school with cliques and seniority. It wasn’t until we were
offered the opportunity every week to meet as a PLC that we started thinking about our students as being, well, “our” students—collectively. We use protocols and PLC structures to non-defensively share our work, commonly address challenges and to enjoy those lovely moments when we know that what we have done—together—has made a difference for all of our children learning well. I can’t imagine teaching any other way.” Veteran teacher urban high school, Massachusetts
- “The professional learning community model represents a fundamental shift away from this traditional model of professional development. Professional learning communities at their best are grounded in generation of “knowledge
OF practice” Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999
- "What’s the difference for me as a teacher since we really grew invested in PLC work? I have a relationship with my colleagues which is about improving our work—and not about complaining about our kids or our administrators. What is the difference for me as a person? I look forward to being in school every day (well nearly every day!) and I can see myself growing in teaching as a career. Before we did this work I figured I would teach just long enough to pay off my college loans. "New Urban teacher, Massachusetts"
- “Probably the most significant action school districts can take in changing the nature of professional development is to provide meaningful and engaging programs that respect the intelligence and good will of teachers.…The conditions in
which they work are often trying. If we are to keep good teachers in the classroom, [we] need to find ways to create environments in which teachers can form strong collaborative relationships with their peers and in which they can continue to learn about themselves, their students, and their students' communities.“ Sonia Nieto in Educational Leadership February 2009 | Volume 66 | Number 5 How Teachers Learn pp 7-7.
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