Barkley’s Hot Topics in Education
Steve Barkley provides a wealth of resources for educators including video, podcasts, articles and more.
Instructional coaching positions have been added to many school leadership teams as an effort to support teacher growth in order to enhance student learning. How coaches interact with school leadership and with teachers directly impacts their ability to increase student success rates.
This quote from the ALL Things PLC website provides a clear and comprehensive definition of a Professional Learning Community:
A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is “an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.”
In many schools today, teachers are engaged in activities that are being called PLCs that are really something else—perhaps professional working communities (PWCs). Much of my writing, presentations, and facilitations are geared toward getting teachers to ask the question, “Why do students need us to learn?”
Teacher Professional Growth
Continuous teacher growth is the driving force behind continuous student achievement. I posted a blog titled, There Is No Mountaintop, to illustrate that every year a teacher’s learning from the previous year can advance his/her skills and positively impact student learning. In addition, this new learning opens the door to new questions and ideas. If you place everything you know about teaching and learning inside of a balloon, the outside of the balloon represents areas for future learning.
Peer coaching occurs when educators learn from each other through observation, feedback, and reflection. Peer coaching creates a culture of collaboration that brings shared knowledge and insight to create maximum learning for students. Peer coaching differs from evaluation, supervision, and mentoring. In Peer coaching the teacher being coaches is in control of who, when, and why an observation is occurring.