Saturday, September 19, 2009

Huddle Up!

Not so long ago, being a teacher was like being a quarterback without a team. When I began teaching it was common practice to walk into the classroom in August, close the door, and walk out again in June. No team, no sense of community. I did the best I could every day. I called the plays. If I made a good call the students would advance down the field, but if I made a questionable play they might lose a few yards. I had no offense to help me plan the best instruction, and no defense to help me get back in the game.

Thank goodness things have changed! So far this year I have been part of several high school, middle school and elementary school Professional Learning Communities. I found myself in the middle of a team huddle. There were classroom teachers, Title 1 teachers, principals, intervention specialists and guidance counselors all having meaningful discussion about data, curriculum, intentional choice of instructional materials, etc. We were talking strategy. We were drawing Xs and Os. It was a real team effort with all the players... a winning combination!

In Results Now, Mike Schmoker describes how effective teamwork can produce a steady stream of successes, which in turn will create the magic of momentum. The secret is to "win small, win early, win often."

Professional Learning Communities are definitely a win. They create success and momentum through collaboration and informed decision making of all the team members. I hope to be a part of other PLCs this year. You might say... I'm their biggest fan. Huddle up!


1 comment:

  1. What's the difference between a PLC (professional learning community) and a PLN (professional learning network)?

    Simple. Our PLC involves those whom we work with and learn from face-to-face. A PLN, on the other hand, includes those from whom we learn via our Web 2.0 connections...a virtual community of listserve partners, bloggers, Twitter friends.

    Both require interaction. One's local. The other, global. Who's on your team?


    PS Some people say the "P" in PLC or PLN stands for personal. I like that too.