NEW GROUP! Includes discussions from the Administrators and Professional Development groups. What will it take to move our schools into the 21st century? Please share your thoughts and leadership strategies here.

PLCs

Eric Sheninger Principal at New Milford High School

My district has begun to make a big push for the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLC's). Now I am fully aware of what PLC's are and how they are supposed to function within a school. Can anyone share with me their experience with them? How have you set time aside for them? How do you monitor them? Do your teachers think they effective in terms of professional growth? What are the positives and negatives? Can you tell me how you got your teachers to "buy into" the concept?

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Consultant

Have been working with

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Have been working with several schools ...all levels implementing PLC's.
Key is creating environments where teachers become vulnerable with colleagues, build trust, and see action from their time invested.
Here are questions for PLC's focusing on individual student needs.

http://blogs.plsweb.com/2009/10/teaching-teams-as-professional-learning....

Principal at New Milford High School

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Thanks Steve! We are receiving some initial training as a district tomorrow. I might have some more specific questions later in the week.

I'm a writing teacher in Kansas City

PLCs in My District

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In the Ozarks, many mid-sized to large schools have adopted this practice, mine included.

We have a late start one day a week in order to provide 45 minutes of PLC meeting time. This can be used in a variety of ways. We have done book studies, departmental meetings, curriculum evaluations, presentations, and planning for common assessments. I feel that it is a valuable time for my department and I cherish it.

Our school building, as a whole, uses time each month for a PLC meeting. This is usually geared toward a district professional development goal, but is also a time for discussion and community building. We are doing a building book study this year on DuFour and DuFour's Whatever It Takes.

I wasn't there a few years ago when the practice was implemented, but it seems that good stewards and models of PLC practice were required for buy-in.

High school science teacher from NJ

My PLC

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A group of us created our own PLC as part of an integrated studies program. We spend all together in the same with 100 students.In just two months, it has led to many interesting cross curricular interactions and level of collegiality that was previously unimaginable. Working with 4 other individual, all from different disciplines has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life.

A big part of our success is the fact that our PLC developed organically with no input from the administration. In fact, we tell the administration how things are going to work. The amount of innovation that is coming from this little experiment has been mind blowing.

I am a Christ-follower, a husband, a father, and a sixth grade teacher.

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I just finished reading the book "Professional Learning Communities at Work" by DuFour and Eaker, and it was way more helpful than any workshop or seminar I've attended.

One point of clarification: A professional learning community is a school made up of collaborative teams. Calling a collaborative team a PLC is like calling Arizona the United States of America.

I'm a writing teacher in Kansas City

PLC titles

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Quote:

A professional learning community is a school made up of collaborative teams. Calling a collaborative team a PLC is like calling Arizona the United States of America.

I love it! What a great distinction between what DuFour's book says about PLCs and what a misunderstanding of the language associated with it is.

Principal at New Milford High School

Fantastic PLC resource

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I came across this website this morning when I was reading Digital Directions: http://www.allthingsplc.info/
Here is a quick summary taken from the website:

"All Things PLC, All in One Place! This site was created to serve as a collaborative, objective resource for educators and administrators who are committed to enhancing student achievement. We invite you to share your knowledge, ask questions, and get expert insight into the issues teachers face each day in the classroom. The All Things PLC website provides research, articles, data and tools to educators who seek information about Professional Learning Communities at Work™. This information is provided so schools and districts have relevant, practical knowledge and tools as they create and sustain their Professional Learning Community"

What is really cool about this resource is that you can download sample agendas and activities, choose from a variety of helpful links, and find/compare statistics with other PLC schools.

I'm a writing teacher in Kansas City

All Things PLC

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What a great site! I had no idea there was a Solution Tree site for PLCs. It looks like Rick DuFour has his hand in it.

Thanks Eric!

High school assistant principal, southern California

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The school I came to as an administrator 2 years ago had created common prep times for grade level teams. As a school that focuses on project-based learning, this was essential---and the by-product has been grade level teacher collaboration that clearly enhances the quality of instruction, learning and professional well-being, plus provides time to integrate subject matter. Now to strengthen the vertical teams and pull all together into a true PLC, that seems to be the challenge.What a find to help in this effort--the PLC website.

Program Specialist II / Fullerton School District

Making It Work

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As an elementary site, we use early release Wednesdays, and twice weekly PE time. Further, we use learning assemblies students to allow release time for teachers to meet in grade level PLCs to do classroom walk-throughs or focus on special topics.

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