3  Big Ideas that Drive the Professional Learning Community Process

BIG IDEA #!:  The purpose of the school is to ensure that all students learn at high levels.  So educators working in a professional learning community need to clarify the following questions:
1.  What is it that we want our students to know?
2.  How do we know if our students are learning?
3.  How will we respond when students do not learn?
4.  How will we enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?

BIG IDEA #2:  To help all student learn requires teachers to work collaboratively in teams.  Time for collaboration is embedded in the routine practices of school.  Educators are clear on the priorities during collaboration.

BIG IDEA #3:  Educators must be “hungry for evidence of student learning and use that evidence to drive continuous improvement of the PLC process”  Every member must work together to achive SMART goals that are:
1.  strategically aligned with school and district goals
2.  measurable
3.  attainable
4.  results-oriented
5.  time-bound

Dufour, R., and Marzano, R.J.  2011.  Leaders of Learning:  How District, School and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement, Solution Tree Press.

One area in schools that is ideal for building professional learning communities is within departments.  What SMART goals is your department working on this year?  Curriculum revision?  Common Core alignment?  Technology integration?  Differentiated instructional practices?

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