Read PDF A Leaders Companion: Inspiration for Professional Learning Communities at Work

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Historically, schools have functioned in a teacher-centric structure where educators dispensed knowledge and students were to act as sponges, absorbing everything that came their way. Was this physical structure built for adult employment or student learning? As educators, we owe it to future generations to begin functioning in collaborative teams to ensure learning for all students at high levels. This process begins by making the cultural shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning.


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This past school year the district I work for implemented PLC's half way through the school year. There was not a lot of support or guidance from our administrators. There for, the teachers did not have a solid understanding as to how to go about running a meeting. Teachers would spend time complaining during the PLC meeting and little work got done. Does any one have suggestions as to how I can motivate the team of teachers I work with?????

Will Remmert

Another problem is the lack of "sharing ideas", "collaboration", and "interdependently working together". Any and all suggestions are welcome!!!!! I would like to start the school year off on a positive note but am seeking some input. Refreshingly, the staff meeting at my school was designated as PLC meeting time and not just in name!

Now instead of the dreaded staff meetings, we meet in vertical, subject related groups called "PLC Pockets" for the areas of reading, writing technology, and math. Each grade level team has a representative in each pocket and the facilitator of each group solicits the members who consult their grade level teams for specific concerns,areas of success they wish to share,or topics for professional development related to our new curriculum.

After each meeting, the idea is for representatives to take pertinent information back to the grade level, jig-saw style. The feedback for our first year of PLC Pockets has been very positive. One thing that has worked well is the use of the vertical teams- since we are in the middle of implementing new curriculum at all grade levels, these groups have been helpful in building teacher confidence and consistency across grade levels.

As a first grade teacher, hearing the perspective of a 4th or 5th grade teacher on how subject matter looks in their grade gives great insight into where we are going and what my part is in getting students there. One area that we will be working to tweak is the fact that there is no time provided for debriefing our learning with our grade-level teams. This would add immensely to the whole experience because we all feel like we are learning great things in our pockets, but have very little time to squeeze in sharing it or hearing what others have learned.

I am looking forward to see how these practices evolve. In our school system we have PLC's every other Wednesday for an hour in the afternoon.


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I teach math, so I am in a math PLC group made up of 4 other math teachers. I found this to be extremely helpful. We all taught different grades, so there were differences in the teaching material, but hearing all the teaching method and techniques is what I really enjoyed.

There was a problem, however, for these meetings to turn into a complain about your day or week meetings instead of a student focused meeting. I love the reflection questions in this blog and I think that they would be a good list of questions to have out during the PLC to make sure that the teachers stay on task! In our district, our staff meeting was renamed a PLC meeting. Unfortunately, it remained a staff meeting, where information is disseminated and we look at our standardized test scores to see where we need to focus. After reading about what a PLC is supposed to look like, I now can see why people are so excited about them in other districts.

I would love to be a part of a collaborative, school-wide team ours is a small school that truly has the students' learning in mind as we work. What an empowering, exciting thing that must be! Sadly, I find that the majority of teacher groups we have in our school are filled with cynicism and a lack of depth. We know how to "talk the talk" so to speak, but many of us choose not to do what we know is right for our students. I am in the hopes that those of us on staff who strive to assist our students to learn can start a PLC on our own.

I too am working on a Master's degree from Walden and found this topic to be very interesting. I agree that there needs to be a shift from teaching to learning. This planned meeting was dreaded by most teachers because if administration had nothing to discuss with us, they would turn off the lights and play a video that told us how to be better teachers.

It is not that the information was not interesting, but after teaching all day, it was not the best time. At my current school, meeting are not as frequent, and are more data related. We evaluate data by departments, then as a whole. I feel this is a more effective use of our time. I agree that professional learning communities can be challenging to accomplish. I believe this is due to the amount of time and commitment required. Teachers, as well as administrators, have so many obligations to fulfill that it can be difficult to find the time necessary to collaborate successfully.

I strongly agree that schools need to become facilities of learning rather than facilities of employment. Schools were created to be institutions of learning. I believe that in order for schools to serve their intended purpose, instruction needs to shift from teacher-centered to student-centered. By fostering student-centered learning, teachers will see increased engagement and successful learning in the classroom.

Student-centered instruction elicits higher-order thinking and promotes student interest in learning. As educators, we need to show our students the importance of education in order to ignite a passion for life-long learning. Professional learning communities can improve instruction and learning. In order for them to be successful, teachers must understand the importance of collaboration. Professional learning communities need to focus on improving student achievement not only in individual classrooms but in the school community. By collaborating with one another, teachers can share opinions and ideas and discuss ways to improve instruction and learning.

As educators, we need to understand that we have a right and responsibility to learn what it takes to do this job to the best of our ability. I really enjoyed reading this blog and what everyone else has to share! Just this year, my school district brought in the term "PLC," but I was never quite sure what it meant.

I am also starting my Master's degree from Walden and this week has truly opened my eyes to what we are supposed to be accomplishing during our PLC time and meetings. We meet once a month for about an hour with just our PLC, which makes up my grade-level team. Sure, we analyze and discuss data, but not to the extent that I am now aware of.

I feel as if I will be much better prepared for next year in regards to what I am supposed to be doing with my data on my students. My principal is really working hard on trying to close the learning gaps in our building with all of our students, and as I was reading about going from teaching to learning, many scenarios ran through my mind. I have found this blog to be very informative and helpful!

I have started a master's program at Walden and our focus this week is on PLC's. At our school, we had a meeting yesterday to discuss pre and post assessments. We met for 3 hours and have a lot of work to do. The statement by wremmel," it is a marathon, not a sprint. I felt we did not get too much accomplished and realize it is going to take a long time to get to where we all want to be. I really enjoyed reading this blog. I think every teacher can use the information in this blog and quickly assess whether they are truly engaging in learning during PLCs. I think PLCs can possibly change the culture of a school while increasing teacher and student learning.

I enjoyed reading the blog and learning about PLC by trying to shift from teaching to learning. I agree we as teachers need to adapt the learning mentality and not just be willing only to teach to complete the syllabus. It is often heard when teachers meet that they behave as students, since most time they do not reflect on meaningfully topics to improve student learning, instead, discussions are about the negative situation or challenge teachers may be encountering without solutions.

I am not exposed to PLC in my school, furthermore in my country, actually I am now learning about it at my University as I pursue my graduate work. However, I have realized it is an asset to create within the school environment for teachers to communicate effectively about learning and how best to impart knowledge to our students.

I admire the fact that the teachers meet so often, to exchange ideas and to see what best work for the student and how the teachers can collaborate in order for it to be effective. At my school we focus on student learning, however, I believe we as teachers need to be more proactive and come together to reflect on some of the same questions that were mentioned in the blog in order to develop a meaningful future for student learning.

I will make an effort with few of my colleagues to see if we can start PLC at our school. I am the only teacher who teaches the subject at my school but I believe we can collaborate and share information to improve student learning overall. Furthermore, I was wondering, is there a recommended size to form the PLC or can any number of teachers start? Thanks for the ideas to reflect upon to improve student learning.

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To continue where I left off. My sentence should conclude as "fail to do so. But the key element to achieve all this is reflection on the part of the educator. I totally agree with you in regards to the many challenges educators faces in the learning communities as well as the traditional aspect of teacher centered classroom. But what I have found out is that when we as educators work in collaboration on specific goals in mind and put our ideas and thoughts and shift away from the teacher centered to students centered then the results create a positive impact on the learner.

It is difficult at time but we must not forget the importance of it. In my school, we meet according to various group setting found in the structure of the school such as the academic, prevocational and life skills areas. Teachers will meet in their specific areas every first Friday in each month. In these clusters we share insight on problems, solution and introduce resources to enhance lesson.

We also come up with ideas a how to integrate other disciplines in our specific areas to achieve learning outcome of all students. It is within these areas teachers demonstrate the importance of team teaching. We all know that individuals have unique ways of approaching and applying different techniques to gain a require result where others might. Thanks for reading the blog and for the amazing feedback. If you have further questions or insight, please email me at willremmert gmail. Understanding that developing the culture that all students can and will achieve is so important and having the open and honest conversation that what we do as educators is critical to student learning will get things moving in the right direction.

There will always be fundamentalists that won't see the light. If you have colleagues like this, read the work by Anthony Muhammad - it is amazing and transformational stuff! A real effective way to have conversations about student learning is when the data is utilized in a transparent manner. Are you utilizing common formative assessments and grading them together?

The data doesn't lie, especially if we begin assessing and evaluating the same things. This is also an amazing way to gain confidence in what we are doing as educators, when we begin to see and feel success, we begin to create winning streaks where we tend to get on a roll and then the students really start to benefit from our hard work. I was very intrigued by the title of your post.

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As I began reading, I found myself agreeing with your insights over and over. I am new to the teaching profession, as I was hired for my first job this school year. In my school, I am not sure that we have fully developed the concept of PLCs. We do have Professional Development twice a week, and our committee are very similar to those I've seen discussed. This book provides school leaders with readily accessible information to guide them in initiating and developing a PLC that supports teachers and students.

Using field-tested examples, the text illustrates how this research-based school improvement model can help educators: Sponsored Products are advertisements for products sold by merchants on Amazon. When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Amazon detail page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it.

To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here. Steeped in years of study and immersed in the realities of school life, the book does not gloss over the challenges that leaders will encounter as they embark on this journey.

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The authors draw upon rich research evidence and personal experiences, sprinkle humorous vignettes throughout, and offer many practical and proven change strategies. This is a valuable resource for any educational leader who wishes to become a 'head learner. Sommers is an experienced administrator and past president of the National Staff Development Council. With their extensive backgrounds in educational evaluation and the implementation of school change and development, they are uniquely equipped to delineate and defend a particular vision of professional learning communities that has educational depth, professional richness, and moral integrity.

Hord and Sommers create a powerful bridge between knowledge and action that reflects their deep experience as scholar-practitioners committed to improving school culture. The book's dual focus on principles and 'rocks in the road' provide a grounded basis for school leaders. A dog-eared copy should be in every principal's office and in every professional developer's tool kit. Hord and Sommers's rationale and suggestions will resonate because they come from experience and great insight.

The bottom line remains steadfast for these two distinguished educators: This text will help educators reach toward that compelling vision. Wallace Professor "Readers will immediately sense from the authors a deep respect for educators combined with an understanding of the challenges that schools face today. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime. Read more Read less.

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Making the Shift From Teaching to Learning

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