PLC insights from the TLN forum

TLN Forum member Bill Ferriter, keeper of The Tempered Radical blog here on the TLN website, makes a significant contribution to the informal literature about Professional Learning Communities in a new post he titles “The Vision-less Learning Community.”

Bill takes the time to describe and reflect upon his school’s PLC odyssey, which began a few years ago in a brand-new school where many teachers were getting to know each other for the first time. If you’re looking for teacher insights into what really makes school learning communities work, bookmark this one.

On a similar topic, TLN member Cindi Rigsbee wrote an article about her own PLC experience in an essay posted last week at Teacher Magazine. At one point in “From Closets to Community,” Cindi writes:

To make the PLC case to our newly melded staff, our administrators brought in an expert to speak to us—a middle grades teacher who was part of a successful professional learning team. We soon learned we had something in common with him: he’d been a member of a faculty that had recently opened a brand new school not far from us. We sat and listened, wondering if our school could ever display the positive characteristics he described.

Sharp readers of these two PLC accounts will soon figure out that Bill and Cindi teach in the same region of North Carolina, and that Bill is likely the “expert” who came to visit Gravelly Hill Middle. And so he is.

Read both of these articles and perhaps you’ll agree with the administrator (Ms. Zeta) who left this comment at Cindi’sTeacher essay: “I agree with the fact that PLC’s take time to build, but if the focus is on student achievement, one would think that building successful PLC’s would be easier.”

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