PLC Likes and Dislikes

A quick list of what I like about the PLC process:

  • student learning becomes the focus;
  • teachers share data and ideas;
  • teams are clearly defined;
  • teachers focus on the established standards;
  • no one can opt out;
  • teams are autonomous and make own agendas;
  • teachers will have to discuss how grading should be done; and
  • products are used to measure team progress (not minutes and agendas).

A quick list of what I don’t like about the PLC process:

  • schools/teams with trust issues start way behind the curve;
  • principals will want their items placed somewhere (extra meetings maybe);
  • the state standards are below my department’s standards;
  • teachers may lessen the rigor to focus solely on the standards;
  • teachers’ data may be asked for by others for purposes other than collaboration;
  • PLCs by themselves will not solve all of our problems; and
  • a solid and immediate intervention system must accompany PLCs.

However, I really appreciated a few points brought up by the PLC panel during the Seattle conference:

  • “Having teachers enter data is a waste of teacher time.”
  • Administrators guaranteed to return data to teams within 24 hours of turning in assessments.
  • If the collaboration did not center on student learning, it needed to be eliminated from the conversation.
  • Teacher data would not be used as a part of any sort of evaluative process.
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6 thoughts on “PLC Likes and Dislikes

  1. Nuss

    “Teacher data would not be used as a part of any sort of evaluative process.”

    This is so key. It must be assured that transparency will not come back to bite people. I think this is why a lot of teachers don’t collaborate — they’re afraid someone will make a judgment about their ability as a teacher. Trust is paramount.

    Reply
  2. drpezz Post author

    Trust was a word seldom mentioned at the conference but implied in all that was discussed. I’m not sure why the presenters didn’t just come out say, “Trust is of paramount importance” or the like. The cynical side of me thinks that the trust component is needed by both teachers and administrators, but by the administrators most of all, and that’s why it wasn’t stated (to not be pointed with the idea). The panelists mentioned every time how they made promises first and stuck to them to foster building-wide or district-wide trust.

    Reply
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  4. mrs t

    Our school had PLCs and I loved it. However, at the District level, it was decided that we would no longer be utilizing the PLC model, instead we would be using High Schools That Work. I hate it when we HAVE something that works and someone else decides that something else will work better.

    Reply
  5. drpezz Post author

    No, not really. Our products were the evidence of our work. As we finished each portion of the process (norms, Power Standards, etc.), we submitted them.

    Reply

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