As Professional Learning Communities get under way here at North Berwick, I can see how a school leader might be drawn to the dark side. It goes something like this: Start teaching . . . "School leaders are idiots. They think that top-down direction will improve schools, but what teachers really need is the space and time to collaborate and enquire into their own practice. Teachers are not the problem - teachers are the solution" . . . Get promoted . . . Implement a programme in school that sets aside time for teachers to collaborate and enquire into their own practice . . . Some teachers think the programme is a waste of time. They think that another idiot leader is trying to change the school through a top-down intervention . . . "What is wrong with these teachers? They are a real problem." I will strive to avoid falling into this trap!
Showing posts from September, 2014
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I imagine some colleagues thinking something along these lines about being in a PLC: Seriously Robert, I do buy into the whole improvement thing, but if you want me to get better as a teacher, why don't you just observe me, then tell me something that I could improve? I'd be up for it. Why do I have to spend hours attending PLC meetings, observing, coaching, being observed and being coached? It just seems like a huge waste of time, when we all know that we are desperately time-poor as teachers. I would respond as follows: There are many reasons why I think it is better to be in a PLC than to follow your suggestion, even though PLCs take more time. 1. Being told to make a change to one's practice rarely leads to a permanent change in practice. I wish this were not true, but all the research I have seen indicates that it is. And not just for other people - it is true for you and me! 2. PLCs improve the capacity of participants to drive their own improvement.