The idea of a Professional Learning Community, a PLC, is awesome.
I want to sit with other professionals and participate in critical conversations around student work, achievement, and my personal practice.
But that doesn’t always happen.
Maybe people are particularly open about their use of educational technology in these groups, but I am hearing some unexpected things.
What are you supposed to do when a PLC becomes a place where you document the meeting more than you concentrate on teaching and learning?
Are PLCs becoming a compliance piece for teachers in stead of a professional growth opportunity?
How might that ultimately impact students
Look around, these are the stakeholders to convince.
The stakeholders in how you run your PLC are the members of that Professional Learning Community.
You might think administrators are making choices for your PLC. However, if PLCs are new enough to your school or district you can have tremendous impact if you can convert those in the PLC with you.
Consider the role data plays or doesn’t play in your meetings. Do you want it to have a greater or lesser impact? Convince those in your PLC first and then you can make that happen.
Do not just bring an idea to an administrator who may already be struggling to produce movement in multiple PLCs, present that administrator with a consensus from the PLC; when you make it easy to say yes, they like to agree with you.
Analyze how you contribute to the current atmosphere.
Maybe you hold some different beliefs from you PLC?
If the norms of your PLC do not reflect your own, something needs to change.
Maybe you have some unique perspective within your PLC?
No one wants to hear how you did it the last place you worked, but it is all in the presentation of the idea. Can you paint a picture of how your teammates might do something here and now?
Maybe you have to recalibrate your attitude?
Introduce the change you want to happen.
Professional Learning Communities are places full of potential ways to assist students. If you think there is a better way to collect, act on, or examine data you should share it.
One way not to do it is to just talk about it.
You might want to show the current way next to your new idea. You might want examples of how you are using the data in a different manner and what that means to students in your class. You might want to share impacts to students in a case study format.
What is your experience with Professional Learning Communities and how have you positively shaped yours?