We do not have a professional learning community at my school. But we do…
When I joined my staff at a ruralish school in a lakefront community I was told that the staff there liked to do their own thing. 6 months later we very much are ‘doing our own thing’ as we showed at our annual ‘School Growth Plan Show N Shine’.
Each year staff meets with trustees parents and senior admin to look at our school growth plan and see what supports can be provided. I was told that this years was unlike any in the past.
I think it’s because our staff works like a Professional Learning Community, but not in the traditional way; not in the way I expected it would evolve.
Every day and all day long we are talking about and thinking about what is core to our mission. Currently we are focused on integrating technology in a way that everyone feels comfortable with it and identifying strategies to help get out of states of anxiety – an issue we see more and more each year.
Like a PLC we all take leadership roles when and where it is appropriate. Even though I’m principal, I only use ‘final say’ on very sensitive topics (twice this year). We all use our I divisible strengths to make our combined whole greater than the sum of its parts, and at our School Goal meeting it came out loud and clear that we could/would/should support all members of our learning community regardless of age.
It is powerful when a school team finds itself growing with partners who traditionally have been beyond the brick and mortar schools. Texts and emails have broken down barriers and kept key stakeholders in the loop on a regular (asynchronous) basis. Open dialogue has brought people to the table to look for solutions to school community questions that need a community to work on.
I am glad that my staff works in a non-traditional manner and that we don’t have to set a meeting to talk about school improvement and that conversations are natural and happen ‘whenever wherever about whatever’ – the new “www”.
And in continuing our theme of ‘doing our own thing’ our school growth plan will be a video instead of a traditional paper report that doesn’t get read. Coming soon to a Vimeo/YouTube near you!