What is Professional Learning Community in this century? First of all, let’s try to find an answer to this question.Professional Learning Community is an enlarged learning facility to cultivate collaborative learning among colleagues within an analytical work environment. Even tough there are some important members of the school learning community such as counselors, librarians, and special education teachers, teachers are the main members of the community that focus on instruction. Why do we need to use PLC? PLC is often used in schools as a way to organize teachers into working groups.It is great opportunity to share and learn from colleagues accomplishments.Teachers use collaborative facilities to organize instruction and improve in the classroom.
PLC unifies teachers with information, different types of strategies and great practices. This community shares collective accountability for all students learning in the school system. Community psychologists Mc.Millan and Chavis (1986)state that there are some key factors like membership, influence, fulfillment of individual needs and shared events and emotional connections form the Professional Learning Community.Collective responsibility ties up the entire education community, teachers, staff and administrators.Members of the learning community switch feedbacks about their practice with one another, visit one another’s classrooms and share resources.
If teacher’s learning is shared and supported by others, it also fosters a sense of community. Technology also has the positive impact on PLC. While technology cannot eliminate every obstacle, it can make differentiation easier for teachers and more engaging for students. Teachers who invest the time and effort to integrate technology into their differentiation practice can reap enormous benefits in classroom management, student engagement, and the pacing of instruction. 1 It also provides a lot of facilities for learning, sharing and archiving. Some teachers meet with their colleagues virtually or even participate online conference.In communities, professional learning necessitates ongoing progress, contribute collective accountability and endorse adaptation of person. Community members are all responsible for each other’s accomplishments for the certain goals.
Dr. Rick DuFour defines a professional learning community (PLC) as “a group of people working interdependently toward the same goal.2
How did I contribute and what did I consume from Professional Learning Community?
When I was in in Turkey, I was a member of the R&D community in the school.We were working very enthusiastically for our school’s success.Me and my friends were operating in the area of the curriculum in order to enhance our educational processes and enrich our assessment. We were creating mission and vision statements.Our contribution was great.Meeting procedures were mostly guided by norms.Our group was meeting regularly every week.After getting positive feedback from our principle and parents, we were feeling more confident and realizing that the learning needs of our student were a splendid opportunity.Our faculty culture was improving, and professional relationships were becoming stronger and more trusting since they were interacting and communicating more productively.I dedicated myself to doing my part of the work which I had contributed.Because we took the first steps into the prolog of improving our school, other teachers had seen our team as an example and they took us as role models.
Teachers were participating in professional collaborations more willingly, like co-developing and co-teaching.Educators were making sure that conversations remain objective rather than subjective.This community was emphasizing on Continuous Learning and Improvement “.For the development of the faculty, we were organizing professional development seminars throughout the year.We were reminding to our colleagues the upcoming events.Our community was also very sensitive on socializing; in order to establish healthy relationships with the society, students were incorporating with the relevant class teachers.By determining the learning styles of our students, we were diversifying of our teaching materials, techniques and methods.
Projects and assignments were assigned to students according to their needs. We were discussing and reflecting on our instructional methods, designs while our admins were addressing leadership questions.strategies and discipline issues.Being a member of this community allowed me to have many unique acquisitions and long-term benefit, which was the consuming part of this group work.
In today’s world, we lead a virtual life analogous to the real one.Now it is a routine to use twitter hashtags and facebook pages to discuss the certain topics.Online social learning tools such as blogs, wikis and podcasts usage are very common.When these groups of individuals come together for same vision, mission or purpose we call them as a ”virtual team “.These professional learning communities do not limit the teacher to four walls.New resources methods, strategies are continually made available.It provides supportive team whenever you need.They are open 7 days a week,24 hours a day.They are just a click away.