Now the winds of change are blowing forth a new movement in education that is bringing what is being called a change in culture. It is called Professional Learning Communities or PLC's.
So what is PLC's all about? Here is a short passage from the website All Thing PLC™.
I recently spent a day hearing all about how wonderful this will be.
There was even a segment on "addressing resistance". There's just one problem….these are all the things that a good teacher does. Things like:
- focus on learning, not on teaching.
- review data to determine where to focus.
- collaborate with team members that teach the same content and grade level.
- create assessments together.
- share ideas and learn from one another.
Don't we do this already? But PLC's take it a step further. It adds structure and expects teachers to march to the same tune. In fact, if one teacher plays the tune better than you, perhaps she'll teach your students for that objective and vice versa. Can you hear that noise? That is more of your valuable time being sucked away from you.
Meet the brain-trust that wrote, and now markets, Professional Learning Communities at Work:
I have a newsflash for them and for all their kool-aid drinkers…
THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET TO SAVE EDUCATION AND WE ARE TIRED OF HEARING THAT EVERYTHING IS THE TEACHERS' FAULT!
So, I have a dream (forgive me, MLK).
I have a dream that teachers would be valued as educational experts, just like we value lawyers as law experts or doctors as medical experts.
I have a dream that education academics and researchers would get in the trenches and walk a marathon in a teacher's shoes before they put pen to paper to write their books.
I have a dream that we can teach with freedom from the interference of bureaucracy and the nonsense of mandates like PLC's and any other cookie-cutter program that won't mean a hill-of-beans five years from now.
I have a dream that the money spent on these snake-oil, sales people peddling "I'll fix your schools" promises that are as empty as the U. S. Treasury would be spent on ways to support our children's learning.
I have a dream that the powers-to-be realize that education is a people-business, that every child is unique, and there is so much about a child's life that is out of a teacher's control.
I have a dream that we can cut through mountains of red tape when a child needs help now….not nine months from now.
I have a dream that common sense would rule in the halls of education and that no administrator was stuck toeing the line for rules and laws that do not serve the children.
I have a dream that I can greet my little students, close my classroom door, and do my job because I am a capable, professional educator that cares more about my kids than anyone who stands high and mighty on a stage with a powerpoint telling me how to do my job.
Yes, I have a dream.