The Art of Building Effective Professional Learning Communities
Jun 05, 2015
When promoting educational leadership within your school, where do you even begin? This is a question that all educational leaders will ask themselves often when attempting to create program quality to promote school missions, philosophies, and shared visions.
Even when a personal vision to improve a school community is beautiful and inviting in one’s mind, what is the first step? What will it look and feel like to take such a risk? Is there even a chance of making a difference? When teachers enter the education field, many are asked what motivated them to enter this area of concentration. Most will say ‘to make a difference’, or ‘make a change in a young person’s life’. It’s a wonderfully simple and motivating response, but one that many are not prepared to put into motion when placed in an already established learning community. It is a daunting task alone and requires fully understanding the school culture already in place before beginning. The logical next step would be to create some kind of team effort; hence, the professional learning community, to truly lead to change.
Our generation has been tasked with bridging the gaps of traditional learning styles and multiple forms of communication. One way to deplete that gap is to systematically design a communication approach that will identify and support those varied styles and promote a forum for positive change. Successful learning communities should be teacher driven and primarily have a focus on ensuring that all children are learning. The responsibility of the learning community is to understand and implement best practices that nurture the characteristics and strategies that assist students in reaching elevated academic achievements.
Teachers must consistently communicate and assess these strategies, making necessary modifications to continually achieve and scaffold learning across all levels. Through this successful collaboration among teachers, it is quickly understood that it is inefficient for teachers to continue working in isolation. It will be clear that teachers will have a greater impact on student learning when given opportunities to work collectively for student achievement. Once this basis for analysis is achieved, educators will begin to naturally branch out to promote student success, working towards school improvement through a focus on assessing results obtained by hard work, collaboration and commitment to one common goal – student success.
At World Academy, we continually work to connect pedagogical practice and theory with disciplinary and content area knowledge. We provide specific educational communities, which afford teachers the opportunity to be trained and empowered to improve student learning through fostering transformative teaching methodologies in an effort to encourage institutional focus on providing a well-rounded education to all students.