A Clearinghouse for Martensdale-St. Marys Community Schools Professional Development

Monday, September 20, 2010

Whatever It Takes Introduction

Good afternoon!

I hope this finds you well and excited to begin our study of Richard DuFour's Whatever It Takes and the theory and practice of professional learning communities (PLCs).

As explained in your professional development calendar for the school year, your task today is to read the introduction to the text and post your team learning on this forum. That way PLCs across the district can read and respond to your thoughts, answer questions, and engage each other in dialogue. For your post today, please respond to the following questions, taken from the study guide for Whatever It Takes:

1. Consider the brief review of the characteristics of a Professional Learning
Community offered in the introduction. Educators who have considered
this description of a PLC never express opposition to these
characteristics; yet they typically struggle when attempting to create
these conditions in their schools. What are the barriers and obstacles that
make it difficult for educators to implement a PLC in their schools? How
have some schools been able to overcome these barriers and become

2. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future contends
that “communities of learning must no longer be considered utopian; they
must become the building blocks that establish a new foundation for
America’s schools.” Is it possible that schools operating as PLCs could
become the norm rather than the exception? If so, what are promising
strategies for bringing about this transformation?

3. In the introduction, the authors claim that schools should respond to
students who experience difficulty in learning with systematic, timely,
and directive interventions that ensure students receive additional time
and support for learning. Would most educators oppose this proposal? Do
you? Why or why not?

We are all looking forward to your responses and continuing our work beyond the walls of our classrooms.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Professional Development Day 1 (Secondary)

To begin our use of this forum, please respond to the following questions using discussion with your PLC members:

How has the 1:1 laptop initiative changed your classroom?

How are students adapting to the change?

What successes have you experienced?

What challenges are you facing?

What would you like to be doing in your classroom that you aren’t doing yet? How might your PLC help you with this?

This will allow teachers from across the district to read, respond to, and ask questions posed in your groups. We are all looking forward to your responses and team learning experiences.