Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Professional Learning Community Ideas

One big push over the past few years in education is Professional Learning Communities, where teachers get together and discuss important learning trends.

  Back when I was student teaching at Franklin Middle School, I was impressed with the PLCs.  The teachers were reading How Full is your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton.  They met once a month discussed housekeeping issues and discussed how the book could impact their profession and the children they serve every day.  Some of the teachers' groups really got into the discussions and really took the book to heart.  This was a pleasure to witness.

Some PLCs can be very literal and only discuss housekeeping issues. I never left those PLCs feeling refreshed or glad I was a teacher. These discussions embraced issues like "Dress Code - Bra Straps are Out!"  or  "Pieces of Garbage I've found in the Hallway."

I know there are some of my readers who really embrace the idea of deeper discussions with their PLCs.  Over the summer, I do a lot of reading on education and how to become a better teacher.  I take the idea of professional development very seriously.  I love the idea of getting together with other colleagues and discussing how we can improve ourselves.

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of articles and videos I think would be stimulating PLC topics.  The first would be "The Case of Summer Vacation" from Time.  I shared this with my Reading Concepts course at the ALC - I also notice that this is one article that Teacherscribe recommends too in one of today's post.

A good back to school topic would be this article Simple Two-question Can Help Identify Hungry Children  from Science Daily. 

Anything from Ted Talks is worth sharing...  I especially enjoy Sir Ken Robinson - which I have to admit Teacherscribe introduced to me last summer.  These two videos are especially worth viewing and discussing within a PLC...


Also, I believe there are a lot of good youtube videos that will spike educator's imagination - like these two boys from Fosston who organized their own school event surrounding Chuck Norris' 70th birthday.

Of course, there's the Gary Paulsen Video I've shared before to inspire teachers to remember how a book can save a child's life.

I bet there would be some lively discussion of Michelle Rhee in a PLC... And anything to do with Standardized testing...

I love the idea of an entire school reading Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosiland Wiseman and watching her video about bullying.  Another good book on this topic is of course Barbara Coloroso's The Bully, The Bullied, and The Bystander.

Anyways... those are just some ideas. Of course, share more ideas with me - they are always worth reading and sharing again.

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