Friday, June 11, 2010

Professional Learning Communities

This week, our school improvement team (SIT) started studying PLC's and what they will look like at Van Meter Schools for the 2010-2011 school year for our entire district's professional learning model. In our discussion, one of our SIT members really hit the nail on the head. "Isolation leads to frustration." Our team went on to discuss that by ourselves there is a sense of anxiety and stress in trying to be what every learner needs. By ourselves, finding every kid's passion and helping them succeed seems an impossible task.

I got thinking about how as a director of teaching and learning, I feel the same way. I feel an enormous amount of responsibility for making our district the place we envision it. It was through the SIT retreat this week that I felt that stress turn into excitement (just as the research on PLC's says happens for members of a learning community). My learning community, the school improvement team, helped energize me for the work ahead of us. Our team encouraged me that the vision of Van Meter Schools is no one person; it is all of us working and learning together. We are a learning community.

After two exhausting, very full days of learning, collaborating, and planning, I am so excited for next year! And the 09-10 school year only officially ended on Monday. I love having a job that I feel so passionate about!

1 comment:

  1. Our district is also gearing up for collaborative learning teams (Iowa Core term for PLCs) in 2010-11. It should ideally take the pressure off of any single individual and collectively bring the masses together to view students as "ours" rather than "mine." Rick DuFour said, "If you're working in a school where teachers have license to work in isolation, you're committing educational malpractice" and I agree with him.