Professional Learning Communities
Rick DuFour describes Professional Learning Communities as four main priorities:
Focus on learning
Better known as, “What do we want students to know?” many SK buildings are creating priority standards that they want each student to leave that grade level as mastered. It can also be seen in classrooms as a student friendly learning target.
Focus on collaborative culture
Wednesday mornings are devoted to our PLC’s. Whether it is a grade level team (elementary) or content area (secondary), teams work together through our collective norms. The idea being the best training is from sharing strategies and ideas amongst our teams rather than attending a one time workshop.
Focus on results
“How do we know if they students know it?” This can only be done by having measurable goals that are aligned to a school’s mission.
Provide timely, relevant information
As a PLC, teachers will measure their success by looking at classroom data. This data allows teachers to know what students met the target and which students need more practice or retaught the skill. This cycle of assessment and feedback occurs in regular intervals of six to eight weeks.
The ultimate goal of a PLC is that students achieve at higher levels as well as teachers learning and perfecting their craft.
Eaker, R., DuFour, R. & DuFour, R. (2002). Getting started: Reculturing schools to become professional learning communities. Solution Tree: Bloomington, Indiana.