And that got me thinking - could we have that kind of discourse in our school? Other people have PLCs - why couldn't I start one? Our school is kind of a dichotomy right now - about half to 2/3rds of our staff has 25 years or more experience and will be retiring in the next 5 years or so (especially because the retirement years and age will be changing in Ohio). There is a smaller group of teachers with less than 20 years experience (and I am one of the ones closest to 20) and we are getting more and more younger teachers. The culture of our school is rather negative still and our superintendent is trying to move us forward but in my opinion, that's rather hard when most people don't want to change or try anything new because they have the preconceived notion that what they are doing is fine and any new "edujargon" is just the phase of the moment and it will go away. I hate this culture and I have the tendency to stay to myself so that I don't get poisoned by the negativity.
So, I talked to my biology teacher friend about it. He's working on his masters and he shared with me he was looking at something similar. He's all for it and we're starting to generate ideas. I talked to the Social Studies teacher (same one mentioned at the beginning) and he's in. He also shared about not liking the negativity, so I know now I am not the only one who feels this way. We have 2 English teachers retiring at the end of this year, so next school year we will have two (hopefully younger) new English teachers and maybe we can bring in one or both.
After giving you all this background - here are my questions I am working through:
- How many people is the "right size" for a PLC?
- What do you discuss? Do you do book studies, lesson reviews, just share ideas?
- How often do you meet?
- How do you keep people coming when it's not manditory?
- Do you set "ground rules?" What ground rules do you have?