Professional Learning Communities Overview On-Site Professional Development
FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTIONS • We can make a difference – our schools can be more effective. • People improvement is the key to school improvement. • Significant school improvement will impact teaching and learning.
Characteristics of PLCs • Shared mission, vision, values, goals • Collaborative teams focused on learning • Collective inquiry into “best practice” and “current reality” • Action orientation / experimentation • Shared person practice and reflection • Results orientation
Teachers in PLCs • Emphasize learning rather than teaching • Emphasize active student engagement with significant content • Focus on student performance and production • Routinely collaborate with colleagues • Are students of teaching / research
Classroom Practices • Instruction is guided by a preplanned curriculum • Students are orientated to lessons • Instruction is clear and focused • Progress is monitored closely • Class time is used for learning • Classroom routines are smooth and efficient
Team Meeting Focus - What you do in a PLC meeting • Analyze student assessment data • Examine best practice • Examine student work • Share research • Reflect about learning • Develop artifacts for portfolios • Develop common assessments • Show continuous improvement
Critical Questions to ask in PLCs • What is it we expect students to learn? • How will we know when they have learned it? • How will we respond when they don’t? • How will we respond when they do?
Results for School Improvement • Shared decision-making and teamwork • Effective, efficient meetings • Focus on goals • Excitement and support • Continuous improvement • Results orientation
Investment “You cannot have students as continuous learners and effective collaborators, without teachers having the same characteristics. Michael Fullan
Collaborative Teams • Grade-level or subject area • Shared students • School-wide task forces • Professional training (i.e. teaching strategies, differentiated instruction, portfolio development)
Steps for setting up a school based Professional Learning Community (PLC) 1. The school principal and Teacher Quality & Retention Administrator (TQR) should approve the concept for each PLC to be formed on the campus. The PLC should be based on SIP goals and part of the school staff development plan. 2. A facilitator should be chosen for each PLC to facilitate the work of the team and the paperwork.
Continued…. 3. The facilitator and TQR should complete the Training Application (MIS 64-048) and send it to the Staff Development Office for approval and entry on ESchoolSolutions. • Note: The title of the PLC should reflect the topic of study and the Component # should fall under an approved inservice component of the same topic.
4. The facilitator prints out a sign-in sheet, prepares agendas and meets with the PLC on a regularly scheduled basis of up to ten (10) hours. 5. Once the work/learning of the PLC is complete, the facilitator completes MIS 64038 to receive points and to report progress of the team. 6. The facilitator attaches MIS 64038 to the sign-in sheet and turns in both to the TQR administrator
Finally…… 7. The TQR will complete the bottom of the Training Application (MIS64048) and send all in to the Staff Development Office for the processing of MIP points.
For additional resources • http://www.nsdc.org/standards/learningcommunities.cfm • http://www.sedl.org/pub/change34 • www.nesonline.com • http://www.allthingsplc.info • Getting Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities by Robert Eaker and Richard DuFour • Whatever It Takes by Richard DuFour.