PLCs push problem solving

I just finished participating in my first #OHedchat on the topic of PLC’s. For some time I have been concerned with the direction PLC’s are taking in my building wondering if the tact being taken is the right one. Having read the thoughts of others in the chat it’s pretty clear the way we are headed is the wrong one.

I am not an expert on Professional Learning Communities but firmly believe that they exist for educators to come together to learn about topics important to us and solve building problems.  If teachers come together for a meeting placed on a calendar then it is just that, a meeting and meetings do not share the same characteristic function as does a PLC.  PLC’s are meant to allow free exploration of education topics key to the practice and transformation of teachers. PLC’s allow choice as the method by which to learn vs. being told what to learn.

PLC’s embody Learnership.  Learnership is the idea that educators at any level combine leadership, pedagogy and technology in a way that leads to deeper learning by the student and teacher.  A PLC is all teachers but they must be willing to participate in the learning process showing each other how to lead learning and be a learner in the process.  If a PLC were a meeting then there is one person who sets the agenda and directs the outcome,  however in Learnership everyone has the opportunity to lead and learn as a learner.

PLC’s are meant to extend and deepen teacher learning on a variety of topics that are not tied to a meeting.  Where I work this is the case and there is little learning going on so teachers are left with an inaccurate idea of a true PLC.

How do PLC’s run in your school or district?


PD with urgency: Engage in Twitter chats [3]


The Conversation

Rich Evans, HR director at BBHCSD, stopped in my computer lab this morning before I took off to teach a class about Google Docs.  As he walked in he said.

Rich:  Do you ever sleep?

Me:  Sometimes.

Rich:  No, I’m serious.  Do you ever sleep?

Me:  I try to.  Why?

Rich:  Because I follow you on Twitter and you are always posting something.

Me:  I try to do that a lot because it is the best PD experience I have.  I get to connect with many people in a short amount of time and I get really great ideas.

Best PD Experience

Good PD experiences are hard to come by and great ones are nearly non-existent.  The BEST PD experience I have to date are the chats I engage in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Tuesdays #edchat has put me in contact with people around the world exchanging ideas about topic for the evening.  One of the best things about #edchat is that my thinking is pushed and pushed hard. Not only do I see how other people are thinking, but my ideas are challenged causing me to defend what I believe. This may sound confrontational but I find it stimulating to think in new ways.  These new ways of thinking do not just creep into my teaching, the blast their way in because as soon as I think and engage in the conversation, I immediately reflect on my practice.  As a 21st Century Skill, reflecting allows me to make accurate and valid decisions for myself about my own teaching causing reform.  What is better is the shift, or transformation, that takes place within me that shapes my teacher reasoning, perception, problem solving, and decision making.  Participating in #edchat gives me a PD experience that cannot have with real people in the profession.

Another chat I having just started participating in is #techcoach specific to technology integration specialists or others interested in this.  I have the same experience in this chat as I do the other – my teaching is improved with the people I interact with.

Why should Twitter be an urgent PD experience for you?  Answer these questions for yourself.  How many times during a year do you get the chance to get out and have quality PD?  Of the experiences you have had, how many have been great?  When do you get a chance to really talk about education?  How often are your own teaching practices changed as a result of PD?

How has your teaching practice changed as a result of Twitter?