The Beauty of Collaboration

My definition of a PLC: professional learning community is something that happens at my school. It is usually structured during our “Cougar Collaborative Time” and it feels like it sucks the soul out of the participants. A PLN: professional learning network is a group who comes together more organically to discuss professional issues relevant to a person’s thinking about their career.

My PLNs are beautiful. They push my thinking. They occur online (mostly Twitter) and at my school in small conversations that take place in pods here and there. It is these conversations that make me a better teacher. It is these conversations that make me want to keep poking and prodding to become a better stronger teacher.

The PLC at my school is what many teachers say “sucks their soul”. It is usually people from grade levels who have something mandated to accomplish or discuss and make some sort of plan.

I have a new role next year at my school: data-literacy coach/professional developer. I will be working with all of the departments in my school to push their thinking professionally. I am studying ways to do this that are effective. I am looking for ways to bring the concept of the PLN to a PLC. Is this even possible? The beauty of the PLN is choice in people you are working with. It gives the freedom to discuss and do what makes the most sense.

Does anyone out there have a model for PLCs that feels more like a PLN…if so, PLEASE let me know.

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