"On many teams people are committed to their individual goals but on great teams they're also committed to each other." -Jon Gordon
When I started to select a book for our District’s Leadership Academy this year, it took me quite a while to decide which title would have the most impact. There are so many wonderful books on teaching and learning that it wasn’t hard to find plenty of relevant topics, but I chose The Practice of Authentic PLCs by Daniel Venables for three very distinct reasons: 1. As we like to say in our District, “we learn best, with and through others!” 2. Last summer at the Leadership Academy and throughout the school year, we focused in on John Hattie’s research and the impact that teachers evaluating each other’s work can have on overall student learning in a school. 3. Finally, this Spring, our School Board adopted our “Profile of an NISD Educator”. This document sets forth our not only our aspirations, but also our expectations for educators in our District. Highlighted in the document is the key word “committed” but also throughout, it shares words like collaborate and shared responsibility. These three reasons and countless others we will find in the book, demand that we all work together in the process of getting better. It’s the growth mindset, so let’s get started.
|Profile of an NISD Educator - Adopted 2015|
In Chapter 1, Venables sets the stage by sharing some of the research behind PLCs and their purpose. The definition on page 10 probably states the purpose of our PLC’s as well as any I have read…. “PLCs exist to improve student learning by making teachers more effective in the work of teaching.” That is really the bottom line. If your PLC is not making you and your teammate’s better teachers, then they are a waste of time. How does that happen? The author suggests that a narrow focus within a PLC that provides for specific tasks to occur will be the most effective:
- Looking at student and teacher work;
- Designing common formative assessments; and
- Reviewing and responding to data.
As you read through Chapter 1 this week, please pay attention the chart on page 13 and reflect on your own PLCs from this past school year. My guess is you did many of the things the book will advocate, but as we stretch our own thinking and learning, I hope we will all work together to make ourselves a better Professional Learning Community!!!
1. Who is the lead facilitator in your PLC?
2. Where did your PLC spend most of its time? What items were on the agenda on a regular basis?
3. What training or understanding does your team need?
4. For the good of the group, please share some of the most effective activities you do in your PLC’s?
You can share here or feel free to share at #impactNISD