The contemporary educational system continually strives for advancement and innovation. Professionals are trying to develop new techniques to make sure that young individuals are receiving a significant amount of knowledge and learning to implement it effectively. One of the concepts widely used in the modern environment is the professional learning community. As mentioned by Glickman et al. (2018), these groups can be defined as the associations of professionals that are working to positively influence student learning by engaging in constant collaborative work. Therefore, it seems vital to understand how professional learning communities operate in the context of a particular school.
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In our educational institution, PLC meetings happen once a month during which the members choose a topic that has to be discussed and taken into consideration as soon as possible. There are three people working in the team who all have a certain role, attend monthly meetings, contribute to the discussions, and support, cover, and value each other’s opinions on specific matters. The usual gathering happens during a set time; however, the team allows itself to go beyond the limit in order to talk about all the points and address challenges. The general and the most critical goal of the professional learning community in our school is to work on a topic that concerns the elementary staff.
Talking about the PLC structure of the school in relation to the first characteristic, I would say that it is effective. The community has a clear goal and a team of three professionals who are interested in bringing positive change and innovation. In addition, the principal of the school is always involved in the process which means that the association takes other agents’ opinions are into account and respects them. The overall organization of work and similar values of all group members determine the success of the community’s operations.
The second essential characteristic is also effectively applied in the school by the professional learning community. This element stands for supportive and distributed leadership that is “needed to facilitate change” and foster the performance of the team (Glickman et al., 2018, p. 449). In the discussed scenario, the structural support is continually provided through the organization of meetings that happen every month at the same time. However, this aspect could be improved if the team members ensured that their discussions do not last longer than agreed to not to occupy the personal time of group members. Additionally, relational support is of the highest level in the community since all three members are honest, communicative, and loyal.
The third character of PLC discusses the importance of collective learning. It is believed that to achieve the best results, individual teachers have to engage in conversations, share their opinions, and discuss topics connected to students, learning, and teaching with other colleagues (Glickman et al., 2018). They discussed school does a good job at achieving this goal by sharing ideas at the initial stage of preparation. This strategy helps to establish an open environment and creates a foundation for future debates. Moreover, the members are not afraid to share their findings, which means that they are in a constant process of exchange and collaboration.
Concerning the deprivatization of teaching, it should be mentioned that it is hard to achieve it during the time of COVID-19. This concept gives teachers an opportunity to visit other classrooms, observe the learning process, and give professional advice to their colleagues (Glickman et al., 2018). Even though the deprivatization of teaching is a normal practice for the school, the pandemic makes it impossible. It is not allowed to keep open doors at the moment, making it harder to gather data and share important insights. Nevertheless, specialists still have an opportunity to meet in the conference room or teacher’s lounge and discuss challenges, concerns, and ideas.
The fifth characteristic that points out the cruciality of student learning, is one of the goals of the school’s professional community. This element proves that in order to provide young individuals with the best education, it is vital to evaluate their needs and preferences, provide constructive feedback to teachers, and observe students’ performance over time (Glickman et al., 2018). For this reason, the PLC team organizes focus meetings during which it identifies children’s desires and decides how to meet them by implementing various techniques. It would also be beneficial if the community would control the process constantly and assess if the needs are met or not.
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Finally, the team does a great job at implementing the last characteristic of a professional learning community. This concept mentions the importance of collective and organized work that is based on mutual respect and recognition (Glickman et al., 2018). One thing that the team does perfectly is structing the work process and distributing tasks. Each member of the association has their persona role and purpose. For instance, Jaicee looks for new ways of using technology, and Judy identifies differences and calms the team down in case of a problem. This strategy allows the community to focus on a specific task and achieve positive results as quickly as possible.
Glickman, C.D., Gordon, S.P., Ross-Gordon, J.M. (2018). Supervision and instructional leadership: A developmental approach (10th ed.). New York, New York: Pearson.