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What Is Professional Learning Community (PLC)?

The Professional Learning Communities of PLC's are present to serve a specific purpose. They aim to improve the experience of learning as well as teaching by communicating and discussing new methods to engage the students in their course. The interview with Mary Shivers has helped in the proper understanding of the implications as well as the results that PLC might lead to for the students and the educators. The focus of the interview was to determine specific answers to frequently asked questions. The strengths that the school has are the result of the determination of the educators. The teachers who are part of the community of professional learning tend to introduce extensive research to identify what their students’ need. They have shifted their focus on three elaborate schemes that can help them evaluate where the school lacks and how it can be improved. Their strength lies in their focus on the development of a collaborative community, their emphasis on enhancing student learning, and finally their attention towards the result of all the new initiatives. These are the strong points that the school has through which they can not only address all the weaknesses but also can engage in productive relationships. The training and communication strategy that involves not just the staff but also the families of the students establish student accountability and increases the performance of the educator as well as the class. However, despite these measures, the student mobility rate for the school is 40-45%, which is quite high. Therefore, educators need to enhance the curriculum so that they can appropriately meet the student needs. This is also the result of the teachers who are often reassigned or they retire, leading to the school losing valuable experts. So, it is significant to understand where the real issue lies and contemplate a self-reflective attitude towards teaching inability or learning inability.

It is rather significant for educators to know how much the students are able to learn under their care. This aspect can not only verify if the methods of teaching are appropriate for a specific class, but can also motivate the teacher to engage in better initiatives. This can be done with the help of formative assessment practices. The teachers need to form an idea about the amount of knowledge that the students are able to comprehend and retain so that they can go on with the course. While the Common Core State Standards or CCSS require certain expectations from the students, the teachers find it challenging to understand the exact terms of CCSS and how they can meet the expectations. Therefore, the teachers need more training not only to understand the notions of CCSS but also to analyze exactly what the students have learned. This, according, to the teachers, cannot be done with the help of a simple multiple-choice assessment. They cannot rely on a single method of formative assessment but has to engage in projects that are based on inquiries and research. In order to know what the students have learned, the teachers have to design grading rubrics and take care of the disciplinary issues present in their classroom. Additionally, they have inquired whether they can visit other schools or class to learn about the implementation of engagement. They need to exchange and compare reports to gain a better perspective of CCSS. The teachers can rely on resources such as the Principal, PLC handbook, members of the grade-level team, District teaching, Institutional Coach, library instructional materials, learning supervisors, Teaching and Learning Framework as well as Teaching Evaluation, and more.

A significant part of the course is the concept of student ownership. Through this concept, the students are required to engage with what they are learning, the methods of learning and the location where they are taught. They also need to acknowledge and focus on where they are at present in their learning course, where the course will take them or what they will learn and how can the gap between these two can be diminished. The school where Mary Shivers work was able to develop a high level of student ownership. It is due to the reviewing and implementation of the Missouri Department of Education Teaching and Learning standards for their teachers. They were able to focus on the growth and development of student learning and align the knowledge with proper instructions. They introduced critical thinking and improved the curriculum to establish a classroom environment that is positive. Along with effective communication, student participation with the course increased, presenting proper insight to the questions asked.

While being engaged with instructional leadership, it is necessary to know when the students learn so that the course can be moved to the next level. Aligning this query with the leadership tasks involves reviewing lesson plans and assessments. This can also be done with the help of the four domains of the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching and Teacher Evaluation. Staring with preparation and planning with the classroom environment, it moves on to the concept of instruction to improve the professional responsibility of the teachers. With the adoption of true professionalism, the teachers will be able to decipher when the learning is complete.

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