Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PLCs Reflections

The table I am sitting at is made up of moveable pieces: one rectangle and two half-moons. The half-moon pieces are pushed up against the short sides of the rectangle, so the table is a long oval. The rectangle table-top has a whiteboard, dry-erase finish whereas the half moons are a beige-y wood-grain laminate. There are seven teachers around the table who teach the same subject at the same grade level.

Here at Singapore American School collaboration is highly valued. PLC groups meet once or twice a week depending on group or division (elementary, middle or high school). Last year, teaching English in the high school, I belonged to three PLC groups: English 9, AP Language and Catalyst (like a senior project for my friends in FL who used to do such things). We met weekly.

This year, I am one of three "teachers on special assignment" working in a gift-funded position on competency-based personalized learning initiatives for the Pre-K thru 12 future. (There is more to the new position, but that is another story.) We've begun by connecting with PLC groups in our respective divisions: elementary, middle and high school.

I love learning in PLC groups. Listening to how teachers facilitate the group's work, address student needs, co-plan... all of it intrigues me. PLCs are complex-- relational and dynamic-- there is more to their work than first impressions would imply. Back to that table, where I'm sitting this morning. I am listening in on a PLC meeting with a group to whom I'm new. It's my third visit.

Today the PLC group is doing a variety of things: checking in around group norms, reviewing a rubric, ordering supplies, planning a goal for the year and reflecting on their PLC.  I am intrigued by the PLC Reflection.

I can see how this tool moves groups forward. It's simple (one page). It invites conversation.

The sequence (noted below the rubric) is sublime. Today, I enjoyed how it invited conversation in the group I'm sitting with--especially when participants differed in terms of levels for specific criteria.
 PLC Reflection

  • Give each PLC participant a copy of the reflection rubric (the entire reflection is linked to the image above) to complete individually without conversation.
  • Share.
  • Pass reflection pages to the PLC leader.
  • Read score levels aloud and/or tally each criterion. 
  • Invite conversation when members score criteria more than one indicator apart.
  • Discuss. 
  • Contribute and commit to PLC reflection level(s).
  • Set goals for future work. 

1 comment:

  1. Structures, vision, and focus are so essential in this work - that reflection on assessments especially. Reading this, I get a sense of things flowing like a well-oiled machine; do you sense that in the moments? Achieving that is both difficult and commendable. Do your PLCs sometimes choose professional book studies during this time as well?