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As it exists today, the PLC process in West Orange-Cove CISD is a journey that
began over four years ago through a vision of teamwork and collaboration.
Leadership and staff work together towards creating an environment of
increased teacher empowerment and input yielding high student achievement. Dr. Silvia
Martinez, Assistant Superintendent, tells about the beginning of this journey.
"Well when I first arrived to West Orange- Cove CISD, I had the opportunity to
observe classrooms and I saw that there was a lot of direct instruction. Um, it was
identified that direct instruction was the primary way and the primary method
of student learning, and so it became evident that there was a need for
teacher collaboration and for an opportunity for teachers to share ideas
to spark each other's thinking and to build upon the expertise that we already
had in the school district. Um, coming into the school district it was--uh--visiting
classrooms...there were a lot of observations that took place... a lot of
visits to classroom. And it could be seen that there were some really great,
excellent teachers who had wonderful ideas and great instruction.
Unfortunately, that level of instruction was not, uh, being seen throughout the entire
district, and there was really a need to see an increase in that. And so it was
important to find a way that we could give our own teachers and our own
experts the opportunity to share so that they could then send their expertise
into other classrooms and help their own neighboring teachers to improve in their
instruction and in the quality of the student outcomes."
Middle school principal Anthony Moten speaks to the significance of PLC's from
his perspective: "I think it's been everything...um... because that is what frames
our instructional direction--it frames what we do instructionally, and the
direction in which we're going. Everything that we have implemented,
everything that the conversations that we have, all come from that PLC model...
and which is 'How do you know they're learning it? What are you doing when they
don't? and 'What do you do when you know that they do?' And those are the things
that drive our conversation. Uh, so for us, instructionally, um... it's everything. It's... it's
foundational to to the academic success that we've had." One of the very first
steps in this journey was identifying the need for PLC's in the school
district. District staff shared their views: "Initially we had a lot of needs
in the district, and PLC's have a met a lot of those needs." "Sometimes you get bogged
down in your own classroom, and... and you're and you realize that you really need
uh, someone's brain to pick and to follow through with your ideas and to--uh, you know,
they can...they can elaborate with you and collaborate with you. And your visions
become clearer with the help of...of your fellow teachers." "You know you had some
classrooms, you know, things were happening, people were doing really well,
students were succeeding...In other classrooms-- uh, not so much, and in some
of the, the island classrooms--those were some of the best classrooms, you know. But we
had is to see 'How can we all be successful?' and so that was probably
number one need. It's just the student need and for student success and achievement."
Team members identify a variety of benefits they have experienced through
the use of PLC's. "(It was) obvious or evident that there was a
real need for PLC because we were a fractured faculty. Um, we were, uh, with working
within our department, but, uh, not to its greatest benefit for all of us.
Um, PLC has made us one. We, um, like I said, it...it makes us click. We are, uh, working together
on a daily basis. We are sharing information...what works-- what doesn't work
...um, bringing ideas to the table to, um, to teach differently. And it's ever so
important when there is a...a... there's new teachers that are new to the campus or
new to teaching. It is a way to, um, take them under your wing and to, um, be there for
support." "We were able to find some...uh... common vocabulary that need to be
taught, and there were things were needing to happen at high school that, you know, elementary
or Pre-K could actually help, you know, set that foundation. And so, um, through that
you know, we were able to support so that students could be successful...um...in high school."
"I think that we've experienced great growth...um... not only from a student performance
perspective, but as practitioners we've grown. I remember back in the beginning
of the process, when we were people presenting it to staff and how that
process itself has morphed into us going deeper in the work, and
that is driven based on our level of comfort and understanding within the
work. So, seeing everyone grow within the process and having those deeper level
conversations about the things that actually work with our kids." Over the
past four years PLC's have become an integral part of
the district's culture. Team members share their reflections of the journey.
"Initially, we had a lot of needs in the district, and PLC's have, have met a lot of
those needs...um...and met a lot of the academic needs for both...professionally for the
teachers and...um...academically for the students." "I think the PLC allowed us to,
number one...have a...have a format for framing what we do. But then it allowed
us to be able to...to systematically...uh, have those broader conversations about the
good things that are taking place on our campus, and allowing us to frame those in
a way that...uh...allow people to have greater ownership of the things that are taking
place on the campus." "We counted on our leadership to set a tone and to create
an environment for the work of professional learning communities to
take place. It was really important for our leaders to set the example, to set
the tone, and to model what collaboration looks like." "Initially, you would expect
apprehension from teachers, and, you know, it's something new. But...
and we learned that in our experience. It was something new, and, uh, met
with apprehension. But over time, I believe teachers bought into it and...and they
saw the benefits of PLC's and, um, I think if today...if we said we weren't doing PLC's,
that teachers can find a way...uh..to do the PLC's on their own." The district
recognizes the need for continued growth as a professional learning community.
"It's just bringing in the new people and training them, 'Hey, this is how we do
business.' and so, um, I think that that really is one of our largest challenges. It's
just starting again, building the trust, understanding each other...you know...uh... just
learning...learning each other. You know, you're, you're starting kind of at that square one."
Although there are instances of teacher empowerment within the district, the
overall goal is for all teachers to be empowered as one WOCCISD professional
learning community. "You know, as I said, the PLC has strengthened us as staff
members, um...and it's allowed for us to not only become friends and coworkers...um... we're
proud of who we are. We're proud of being North staff at WOCCISD." Superintendent
Ricky Harris describes the ways in which the district desires to grow and build
systems upon the foundation already in place. "And then after we talk about where
we're going as a district, uh, everything is centered around...around professional
learning communities because we have to... we talk about what we want to build
the capacity of our, of our administrators, build the capacity of our
teachers...uh, and then we talk about how we want to grow, we want to grow our own. You
can't function by yourself. Uh, if you... uh...everything that I send out from my desk
uh you'll see it will, it will reference John Maxwell quote
John Maxwell's quote, uh, concerning one is...one is too small of a number to do anything and
do anything significant. And so you have to, you have to understand that all of us
have to work together. It takes a great team to move, to move
the district, not an individual. Continue to work...uh...to...to generate that environment
uh, that great PLC's... PLC's are all about. Uh, I just would say...I will just say let's
make sure that we're not... we're not just coming to meetings just to be in a
meeting because this is the meeting that that has been called, but we're coming to
bring some valuable information. We come to gather some valuable information so we
can move our students to the next level. And, uh, I come with a mind to learn and to grow--and that's what it's all about."
(Music)
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教師專業學習社群 (Professional Learning Communities)

192 分類 收藏
Pedroli Li 發佈於 2018 年 4 月 6 日
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