Success! (maybe)

Just last week I recounted my anxiety at awaiting the answer from the Business Office about new hiring.  Things looked rather bleak on that end, so I began the week preparing myself to be told that the PLC would not be feasible this year.  Returning 7th and 8th grade course registration is now complete and we’re about finished with 6th grade and new 7th and 8th grade registration.  After a preliminary headcount, it appears that there is ample leg room to start a PL-something.  I’ll explain, but first, the lingo:

The PLC has undergone dozens of common permutations as schools around the country take a stab at collaborative culture.  DuFour and Eaker have a somewhat rigid definition of the characteristics of a PLC, but just who the participants are is never addressed.  The assumption, therefore, is that any collection of contributors constitutes a PLC.  My school, in an effort to scaffold degrees of collaboration, prefers to address the who as well as the what.  So, in brief, here is what my school has cooked up for definitions regarding professional learning structures (ooh, I just made up a new phrase):

PLC – A professional learning community consists of groups of educators from varying departments, divisions, or grade level teams.

PLT – A professional learning team consists of educators from a single department, division, or grade level.  When different PLT’s work together, it would then be considered a PLC.

After careful noodling, it looks 90% possible that the Junior High will be able to implement a Junior High Spanish PLT consisting of JH Spanish teachers, with me and Kristen (French teacher and one of the best people I know) facilitating.  As a result, I will step down from the Lab Director role and assume a full course load (with the course transition for the PLT).  This being my 7th year in that role, it’s a good time for me to move on to something new.

So, the work continues with reading, planning, and learning.  Let’s hope this thing really comes together.

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2 Responses to Success! (maybe)

  1. Ted,

    I find the definitions you all are using very interesting. Do a PLT and PLC otherwise have the same structure (lightened course load, meet daily)? You write that you will drop the language lab but carry a full course load. What do you mean by the parenthetical “with the course transition for the PLT.” Sorry that I am not understanding. May be this ugly Monday morning weather!

    Nonetheless, and actually first and foremost, congratulations on getting some movement on your dream. I’m very happy for you!

    • Ted says:

      Laura,
      Yes, PLT’s and PLC’s enjoy the same structure (lightened courseload, meeting 4x weekly, same four objectives). I will likely step out of the lab in the fall, go back to teaching full-time, but as a full-time teacher I will receive a one-course transition (or reduction). I will teach four sections of Spanish, and facilitate the PLT with Kristen.

      I’m sad to leave the lab, especially since I’d already gotten excited about some of the things I had put in place for next year (since things looked bleak through March and April), but my professional priority is to get the PLT off the ground.

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