Grade Level Teams and Departments as PLC'S - Steve Barkley

Grade Level Teams and Departments as PLC’S

I am currently working with several schools in Lake County, Florida who are focused on using grade level teams and departments to create Professional Learning Communities, where teachers’ conversations can generate teacher professional development and increased student learning. Collegiality is the goal. The following quote from Roland Barth appeared in an interview in the Independent School Magazine.

Independent School: What does collegiality look like in a school?

Barth: By collegiality I mean four things. One, teachers talking with one another about the work they do — talking in faculty meetings, in hallways, in classrooms, at the dinner table about practice. Second, sharing that craft knowledge, shouting it from the mountaintop, and honoring it when someone else is sharing it. Third, making our practice mutually visible. That is, you come into my classroom and watch me teach seventh-grade biology and I come into your classroom and watch you teach ninth-grade geometry, and, afterward, we talk about what we are doing and why, and what we can learn from each other. Above all, collegiality means rooting for the success of one another. If every adult in the school is rooting for you, when the alarm clock rings at six a.m., you jump out of bed to go to that school.
When these qualities of collegiality are in place, a lot of good things happen to schools, to kids, to teachers…

In my work with Lake County schools, I provided teachers and administrators with questions to guide their initial conversations as they presented student assessment data to their colleagues to seek insights and ideas for continued learning growth. Here are some examples for your exploration:

Looking at the results from my last assessment…

What is similar and different about the students’ performance?
Based on those results, who needs what as the next step?
What reteaching needs to be done and how would I teach it differently?
What options exist within my classroom to meet these steps?

What ideas, materials, centers, etc do my teammates have that could support the next steps for each learner?

Do teammates have students needing the same next steps? How might we work together?

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