What Do Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) Look Like?

PLC (Professional Learning Community) is a group of educators, stakeholders, community members and administrators who come together to analyze and improve their practices. Usually, such groups meet regularly over a period of time and discuss various things of common interest.

Professional Learning Communities can be at the school, district and national level and the members of the community are determined by its focus. For example-a group of science teachers can work in collaboration to adopt and implement programs in the best ways that help students learn science and develop 21st century skills simultaneously. Or administrators and teachers meet in professional learning community to learn and share best teaching and leading strategies including the use of technology. In PLCs, school heads and decision makers can talk and discuss on the effective ways to handle challenges and overcome problems in their role. The purpose and aim of the PLC and several gatherings may be any:

  • Annual Meeting of the community members
  • Showcase of member initiatives and best practices around 21st century education
  • Face-to-face networking with leaders and educators from across the country
  • Refinement of the content, tools, initiatives and future priorities through member collaboration.

What Can a PLC Do for You?

Professional Learning Community cultivates professional culture and growth within the school districts. Here's what PLCs can do for you.

  • If you are a part of PLC, you cultivate the quality of building productive relationships that are needed to carry out a school-development program effectively.
  • You can involve yourself in steady and context-specific learning.
  • PLC endorses efforts to increase outcomes in terms of student learning, system and school culture.
  • PLCs help in refinement of the content, tools, initiatives and future priorities through member collaboration.

How Do Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) Look Like?

There is no specific look for professional learning communities. PLCs can be large or small; it can work within formal as well as informal settings. Group meetings in PLC may be held over a specific period of time like days, weeks, and months. In brief, professional learning communities can be seen in many ways but it includes people who share the common believes like:

  • Eager to learn new things
  • Intend to work together and better
  • Feel free to take risk while learning
  • Respecting and praising every member's thought in the community
  • Work smartly and always think of community as whole not individually

Moreover to this, a successful professional learning community shares common focus. Although, whatever the believe of the community might be, the work of the PLC should be data-informed, standards-driven, and focused on instruction, equity, and results.

Strong PLC Benefits to School, School Teachers and Leaders:

  • Increased efficacy
  • Both collectively and individually
  • Collective responsibility for student learning
  • Reduction in teacher isolation
  • Learning about good teaching and increased content knowledge
  • Higher morale
  • Greater job satisfaction
  • Greater retention
  • Enthusiasm

PLC also promotes positive culture in the school by providing opportunity to the educators to meet with new people and explore. Overall PLC has a lot of positive advantages for educators, leaders and obviously school as a whole.

What have been your experiences of being part of PLCs? How does the PLC which you are a part of look like?

References

http://annenberginstitute.org/pdf/ProfLearning.pdf

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/profdev/resources/proflearn/looklike

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About the Author
Author: Prasanna Bharti
Prasanna is a blogger by profession, and loves to write about education technology. Her write-ups intend to provide a deep insight about enormous resources and ideas available to make learning better and effective with the use of technology.
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