Summer break is finally upon us and teachers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. After a long school year, summer is a welcomed time to regroup. But what if you could take the time this summer to outline a whole new way to generate ideas, share information and collaborate with fellow educators?
These are the ideas behind a Professional Learning Community or PLC. PLCs can take many forms; one definition explains a PLC as “Educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve”.
The way a PLC functions is up to its members, but here are the common elements of a PLC
Here is one educator's view on his PLC
So why is a PLC important? Why do you need one? Here are 3 reasons why you should consider a Professional Learning Community:
Connect beyond walls
What if you could connect with teachers beyond your district—across the country or even across the world? You can! Technology allows educators all over the globe to come together in one PLC. You have to be willing to make connections and you have to participate! Start by following educators on Twitter and participating in a Twitter chat (i.e. #edchat). You’re likely to find a whole new world of peers to connect with!
Discover something new
A PLC is all about connecting, collaborating, sharing and most importantly, learning. There’s always an opportunity to learn something new! Discover new Web 2.0 tools to use in your classroom. Share lesson plans and activities with other educators. Get expert advice from another teacher on YouTube and share your knowledge of blogging. Your PLC will connect to you to an unlimited amount of resources!
24/7 Network of Support
Have a question? Struggling to design a lesson on the solar system? Need some advice on the best video sharing tool? Your PLC is a 24/7 global community, not limited by school hours or classroom walls. Teachers may sometimes feel isolated, but a network of like-minded peers can help! Studies show that teachers who are active in PLCs have greater job satisfaction and stick with teaching longer than those who don’t.
Now it’s time to get started! This presentation gives you an intro. into creating a PLC through Twitter, blogs and social bookmarking
How will you use a PLC next school year?