Sunday, July 6, 2014

Conference Day 2: PLC

Looking back on the Maryland College and Career Readiness Conference, I have been reflecting on the sessions. The third sessions from the second day of the conference was one I was very interested as it pertains to goals that I have for my department, Keeping the Learning in PLC. 

This session focused on keeping PLCs as a tool for ongoing rigorous growth for improving student achievement. The key features of a PLC include research, examining student work, enhance pedagogy, and providing time for reflection. All of there can be present in any Professional Learning Community. 

One of the key components needed for any development to take place is to ask why. Why are we doing research, why are we looking at student work, why are we trying to enhance instruction, why are we reflecting, why are we doing anything to grow professionally? The why is the key, for without a satisfying understanding of the why, we will have trouble defining an action plan or vision forward. 

The session took a step towards distinguishing between dialogue and discussion. Dialogue is meant to provide a means for a group to talk while reserving judgement, promote inquiry and examination, and listening. Discussion is meant to advocate for a position, convince others of an idea, and solutions are not necessary. This was an interesting day crib to make, and we discussed that both forms of communication are appropriate depending on the situation. 

The main goal that I have moving forward frm this session are to effectively organize and participate a PLC in my department. I have noticed that meetings among colleagues tend to be too focused on administrative details and not focused enough on learning and improving practice. I would like for meetings to be regular and to address a goal of the collective department. 

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