What do your PLC's look like?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeachCafe, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

    Feb 12, 2015
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    Mar 18, 2017

    I've been YouTubing PLCs and I'm stunned by how different mine looks from what I'm seeing.
    I've spoken with my team members here and there one on one and in small groups.

    In every PLC, we have our principal, grade level AP and numerous specialists. We're split content so we have math specialists, ELA specialists and the principal and APs in every.single.meeting. We have tons of dead space and awkward silence. As a grade level, we don't meet to discuss anything. The only time we're in a room together is PLC and we never discuss anything as a team because for us, team is personal. I personally feel like the specialists and administrators are dissecting every bit of our conversation seeing positives and really looking for negatives.

    After a bit, our principal or AP will move to a corner and work on stuff on their computer but they're still in the room, I guess silently observing. For what? I don't really know.

    I've likened it to the mafia. We have this giant wood table and at any given time we have 12-14 people in a room. Guests at every meeting and just all around intimidating at least for me. I feel like nothing gets accomplished. We have some team members who hog conversation and no one wants to say anything to mention to them to let someone else speak lest one of the specialists or administrators get a funny look on their face or sense tension on the team. We DO have a lot of tension stemming from bad blood from last year that's never gone away but PLCs being an open space forum only adds to it.

    We just look at data and then take the entire time forming RTI groups. There's no mention of teaching strategies and if someone had higher numbers what they did to get their students to mastery. I want to say we've always heard that those conversations are for content planning and not for PLC. But in a way shouldn't some planning be done? Not full out but conversations on what you did teaching wise?
    I'm seeing small PLCs and no one who seems like a principals or AP so are we doing it wrong? What's the deal?
  3. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

    Jul 5, 2015
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    Mar 18, 2017

    Our PLC time is very different from yours. We have PLC time every Wednesday and to accommodate for this time we have early release every Wednesday. How our PLC time is used is also part of our contracts.

    We have district determined PLC once a month where the districts tell our P or content area lead what to present on. They present info, show how the info relates to our teaching and have us break into grade span teams (k-1, 2-3, 4-5) and we talk about how to implement it. Sometimes the time is used for creating intervention groups and looking at data but not very often or organizing EL binders and making sure everyones paperwork is correct and up to date.

    One PLC a month is site determined and our P decides what we should be learning about and she or a specialist talks about it and it follows the format above.

    One PLC a month is grade level time where we get with our grade level and do a give one/get one where we each bring something to the table and present it to our team and we self determine what info someone else brought that we can take back to our classroom. We also do grade level planning during this time.

    One PLC time a month is self determined duty time. Each person decides how best to use their time.

    Any 5th Wednesdays become district determined as well.
  4. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

    Jul 27, 2011
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    Mar 19, 2017

    My PLC experience was very different from yours. Mine was a small group - only 4 teachers and one (the department chair) never bothered to show up. Since I was a first year teacher, we spent a lot of PLC time on content and pacing. We decided our common assessments for the next weeks and differentiated instruction. I taught one inclusion class and one of the teachers was the special education teacher. Sometimes we talked about data and scores on common assessments. I shared a lot of technological knowledge and resources. They shared a lot of advice from experience. It was a win win, but only because I was with people that I trusted and worked well with.
  5. christie

    christie Rookie

    Jan 1, 2013
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    Mar 19, 2017

    Our PLCs usually have an administrator, an instructional coach and at least one specialist. The PLC is designed so that the grade level team runs the show. Specialists are there to offer support, not to dissect what's going on. I'm the gifted specialist in my building. I offer suggestions on how to differentiate assignments (and will help create those assignments). When it's decided that many students need more time on a subject, I'll pull larger than usual groups of students who have mastered the skill being retaught so teachers can better meet the needs of their other students. I am on 5 different PLCs. I'm more helpful in some than others, but I'm learning a lot and am appreciative of the time to learn.

    If there isn't trust between administration, specialists and classroom teachers - PLCs will not work. If an administrator is moving over to a corner to get his/her work done, it sounds like s/he is staying here to make sure the teachers are working. To me, that suggests a fundamental lack of trust that will doom the effectiveness of the PLC.

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