This year MWES is extending the philosophy of creating stronger, better organized and smooth functioning Professional Learning Communities. A Professional Learning Community follows the idea of shared leadership, shared decision making and shared responsibility for students. Each Tuesday our teachers meet in grade level groups to discuss and problem solve issues with curriculum, assessment and student achievement. PLCs have been a crucial component of how we respond to children who need interventions and students who need enrichment.
What is a Professional Learning Community?
The premise behind Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) is to recognize the experts among us. It involves regular team meetings where teachers work together to find lessons to teach concepts. It encourages the best of what we already know.
These meetings are not your typical planning time. PLCs are formal meetings where teachers focus on the details of their lessons and adjust them on the basis of assessment results. They’re simply teachers coming together to find better strategies or lessons on how to teach skills such as addition with regrouping or writing better leads for personal narratives. The end result is standard based lessons and assessments created by teachers.
Professional Learning Communities Encourage a Shift in our Thinking
From a focus on independence -- To a focus on interdependence
From outside professional development -- To job-embedded learning
From a focus on what is taught -- To a focus on what is learned
From covering content -- To demonstrating proficiency
From infrequent summative assessments -- To frequent common formative assessments
From individual teacher assessments -- To assessments created through collaboration
From remediation -- To intervention
From optional outside tutoring -- To required direct support during the school day