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Home : 2008 : Apr : 2

    PLC school (sorry long, but reflective!)
    By Combow

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    Two years ago our principal went out of state and heard the Dufours (PLC gurus) talk and came back talking "professional learning communities." One of our staff members was working on his doctorate and chose PLC as his thesis. He shared a brief 30 minute overview of the philosophy, 5-6 staff members went to a week long training and came back but really didn't share much with us. Then about 6 of us went to a week long training with the Dufours during the summer. I was one of those individuals. I could see how in theory it is what all of us need to do. September rolled around and then our principal wanted us to practice being a "true" plc. We met about 30 minutes per week but very informally. We documented "discussions" but never really studied any data other then our state scores. The informality frustrated me because that was not what the training was all about, but I was only one person and quite honestly didn't have the time nor the energy to try to encourage others to do it the right way.

    Then this year we have a brand new, young principal who has been trying to "mandate" (although he will deny the word mandate) PLCs. I agree with PLCs in theory and in reading johabella's posts am jealous. It would be great to be at a school where it is "embodied."

    The problem is the difficulties with combining the ideals of a true PLC and the realities of being a teacher on the frontline with the students everyday. RTI, NCLB, AYP, State testing, and Differentiated Instruction are just a few of the plates I am trying to juggle. Throw in there 30 students, their parents, my curriculum all within a supposed 8 hour day. Lesson planning, phone calls, staff meetings, committee meetings, Oh, and of course, my own personal life.(?)

    If PLCs are going to work, it has to be something (somehow) that the teachers, the frontline, makes work. It has to be real and meaningful to us. It cannot be something that someone tells us we must do or else it is possible that we may lose our jobs. Also, more guidance other than the training I've had, plus a couple of books would be helpful.

    How does a teacher who believes in PLCs in theory put it into meaningful practice and balance all of the other demands that are placed on us?

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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