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An Innovageous Approach to Professional Learning Communities

You are not alone if your school integrates Professional Learning Communities into the professional development schedules for educators! But is this time well spent? Does it have a purpose? Are there actionable steps that impact student growth? Do you monitor the progress and impacts of these steps? For many schools, the answers to these questions vary, or there are no answers at all. As a result, educators are left feeling as if this time is not important and a waste of their time.

At Innovageous, we work with schools to develop and plan for PLCs. We build the capacity of PLC facilitators so they can guide engaging, actionable discussions that lead to impactful instruction and student learning. We work collaboratively with leaders to develop a vision and identify the intended outcomes of the PLC. We place intentional focus on building clarity around the purpose of PLCs, promoting community among PLC participants and facilitators, and developing clear protocols and guidance for school-wide coherence. Our Innovageous work in PLCs across schools, enables us to build useful tools for all schools to use, such as this list of Innovageous Roles in Professional Learning Communities that build community and shared ownership amongst PLC members.

While building clarity, community, and coherence is part of our PLC process across schools, we recognize that the goals of PLCs differ from school to school based on specific educator and student needs. To meet these unique needs, Innovageous builds customized mini-cycles for action to meet each school’s intended outcomes, resulting in structured and collaborative PLC conversations. Through these conversations, educators walk away with new ideas and actionable steps to make a meaningful impact in the classroom. Our mini-cycles for action take place over three to five PLC meetings, and are designed to outline the process and a collaborative agenda for participants. Each mini-cycle for action is hyper-focused on intentional conversations and actions that have to do with various types of assessment data, student engagement, core learning strategies, and learning from one another.

The final part of the Innovageous PLC process is to explore evidence of impact and celebrate the successes of individuals and the group! PLC participants share evidence of implementation, artifacts of student learning, and data of student growth, so we can ensure PLCs make a difference in teacher instruction and student learning. By engaging in acknowledgements and gratitude, we can identify team members and collective efforts in ensuring PLC success.

If your school is looking to kick start or re-invigorate your PLCs, we’re here to collaborate!

Before we get started, make sure you explore these questions:

1. Explore the why…

  • What does your school hope to achieve from implementing PLCs?

  • What do your students need in order to be successful in school and in life?

2. Identify the when…

  • When will PLCs take place?

  • How much dedicated time will educators spend in PLCs?

3. Build the how…

  • What process will educators go through?

  • Who will facilitate PLC meetings?

  • How will you integrate celebrating success?

PLCs are just one of the systems within schools and organizations we support in building capacity and implementation. We work collaboratively with leaders to develop systems such as technology integration, discipline response, instructional coaching, professional learning, and more. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can collaborate to build systems and programs that meet the needs of your school community!


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