Tuesday, September 27, 2016

One Great Question for Professional Learning Communities

I'll never forget the first time I heard "PLC" spoken a decade or so ago during a staff meeting.  My principal was talking about starting them, and I was confused.  I thought he was referring to Prairie Learning Center.  Since then, my understanding has grown a bit. I've been fortunate to be part of some really great professional learning  communities, and I've had the opportunity to learn about PLC possibilities through many avenues.

 Recently, Steve Barkley posed a great question that helped me think about PLCs in a more meaningful way. He asked, "What have you learned in your PLC that has impacted your work with students?"  This one question can help us formatively assess our PLC time, and provide focus to ensure that we are indeed learning from our professional learning communities. It can help us prioritize learning and avoid becoming a group dedicated solely to getting our work done.

When I thought about this question, Thursday morning at South Central High School immediately came to mind. The staff there is taking turns bringing something important to the group.  It might be a strategy to share or a problem to solve together. When I was there, I was blessed to get the chance to hear Mr. Sonneman share the way he provides for more student choice in his room by differentiating the products that students create to demonstrate their understanding. The strategy he shared was applicable to all of us seated around the table; we all learned from him that day.

What have you learned recently in your PLC that has impacted your work with students?  Please leave a comment to share your thinking and/or tune in to Twitter Tuesday on October 4th from 8:30-9:00 pm as we continue to discuss a learning focused PLC.

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