This year, my district has provided us with one full day each month for Professional Development. They’ve also decided we would create PLCs (Professional Learning Communities). I want to take a few moments and reflect on what I’ve learned so far this school year.
First, I am so grateful that we truly value professional collaboration in my district. I’ve see so many of us take the time to step out of our comfort zones during these days and listen to what’s being shared. Finding the time to talk about education and learning (not always the same thing) has been very valuable to me. I’ve heard others also talk about how nice it is to have a day to be able to focus on the art of teaching. When so many districts are afraid to take time out of the classroom, my district sees the value in supporting the growth of the classroom teacher.
I am also impressed with the amount of open, honest conversation that is taking place about self improvement. Our campus seems to have embraced the concepts behind PLCs. We are separated into PLCs based upon our subject area. This is allowing us to create truly vertical teams. Teachers can see what is expected of the students at each grade level. We are having conversations about what is expected in the previous classes and what we need our students to know before they get to us. This isn’t just about following the standards. Classroom management techniques, grading policies, communication issues are all being shared. We are working together to improve ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, there are those that participate on a minimum level. I don’t think you could ever get 100% full buy-in on anything new. But, even those that don’t think it will last are open to listening for the sake of improvement. I think that is half the battle.
I encourage the leaders in my district to keep it up. By taking the time to value professional learning, I believe my school will be even stronger in the long run. I can’t wait to see what we discuss next.