Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Professional Learning Communities - a light bulb moment occurs!

I have struggled with the amount of technologies we have been introduced to, I have never signed up to so many different 'free' accounts on the Internet before. Overwhelmed I went looking for some direction and I had scribbled a note - R J Marzano - so I Googled and found The Solution Tree - Professional Development and Professional Learning Communities - http://www.solution-tree.com/Public/ProfDev.aspx under PLC at work they outline how a set of auditors can come into a school review their current practices and give a report on how to set up a PLC and strategies improve their teaching results.

Then I moved on to find a book review page http://www.solution-tree.com/Public/Media.aspx?ShowDetail=true&ProductID=BKF281 here I found a digital discussion with the author that had questions and comments from other teachers, I was hooked here at my desk I was watching a topical discussion between teachers from different schools, of various experience and issues. http://voicethread.com/#q.b474267.i2584380

It was captivating, the comments and questions held true to many of the same questions that had raised in my mind during the learning in this course, especially that technology has changed so much in the last 10 years what is happening to the longer term teachers and also the smaller, rural and remote schools? From the discussion it became apparent that struggles occur in all schools with staff division and differing principles and values about teaching. Although the book is centred on changing a toxic school culture to a positive one, it raises many point that I am sure we can all relate to in any workplace situation - the culture of change resistence?

I have really been struggling as to why you would want to be linked into every person on the planet but the light bulb moment has been that your professional network can start small - firstly your school colleagues (or university students depending on when you start), who work together to better their teaching delivery and share resources and findings - and as you explore the possibilities along the way you will add to your network like minded people who work in your area and have expertise and resources that can help you. So you build up a bank of resources that you use and expand on, define and refine to the current class you are teaching. I think I may have got it!

I am off to the CQU library to see if they have a copy of the book - Transforming School Culture - How to overcome Staff Division author Anthony Mohammad (2009) Sorry but I still love to hold and read a book!

Regards Elizabeth

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