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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

PLCs

46 Replies 1720 Views
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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Eric Sheninger's picture
Eric Sheninger
Principal at New Milford High School
Blogger 2014
Facilitator 2014

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

Steve J. Moore's picture
Steve J. Moore
I'm a writing teacher in Kansas City
Blogger 2014

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.

mritzius's picture
mritzius
High school science teacher from NJ

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.

Joel Zehring's picture
Joel Zehring
I am a Christ-follower, a husband, a father, and a sixth grade teacher.

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.

Steve J. Moore's picture
Steve J. Moore
I'm a writing teacher in Kansas City
Blogger 2014

[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.[/quote]

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.

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