I have always been engaged in PLCs throughout my career as I am absolutely convinced that collaboration is an essential factor for moving from good to great.
Because the nature of PLCs can be so diverse, its impact on student learning takes many forms. Co-building capacity amongst faculty, implementing new instructional strategies and reflecting on pedagogical practices offer many improvements in student achievement. In PLCs, everyone is focused on the shared responsibility of improving student learning. This is a time to not only create, review and enhance practices but also to dive deeply into how we might reach out to each of our learners, to problem-solve and make decisions based on data and based on the best interest of the child. In PLCs, faculty are intentional about their conversations, they engage in developing exemplary instructional practices that will help cater to the needs of specific students who benefit tremendously from timely interventions.
In addition, the very fact that adults are not simply “teaching” but also continuously learning and growing makes the difference. Learners deeply respect teachers who engage in inquiry themselves! As teachers practice self-reflection to constantly look for ways to enhance their skills, they truly walk the talk. Learners look up to those adults whose objective is not to be masters of knowledge or skills but rather inquirers and listeners who are flexible, transparent and show persistence and optimism. Indirectly, teachers involved in PLCs develop outstanding collaborative skills and the quality of the relationships between adults influences the ones learners have with one another and with their teachers.