I write this after having the chance to see the inside of Busch Stadium for the first time. So awesome! I love live Major League Baseball for the atmosphere alone. I’m a Cubs fan, so going into St. Louis territory was a type of sacrilege, but so worth it because it is a beautiful stadium. The tickets were provided at a reduced rate through the PLC training, so I want to publicly thank Solution Tree for making that possible!
Now, today’s training: Wow!
We started off with Richard DuFour challenging us to to “soar or settle” in his keynote address. Again, much of what he said makes perfect sense to me, if only because there so much common sense involved. Why shouldn’t we commit to each other that we’ll teach a guaranteed and viable curriculum, one that lays out to the students what they’ll be learning? If research says that common formative assessments are the best way of raising student achievement, then why aren’t we using them?? And if those assessment lead us to better instructional practices, why not? I’ll tell you why not, because we have many teachers who are stuck in that “king of the kingdom”, “shut my door and teach” mind set. Heck, I would love nothing more to just teach, but it’s not about me. It never has been. That’s one of the “ah ha” moments, that while I’m a good, sometimes great teacher, it’s not about the teaching, it’s about student learning and how I help ALL student learn.
The other two sessions that I went to dealt with elementary PLCs, how to schedule, how to set up, and ways of making sure they are done. We need to have a product, something that will show more then lip service is being paid to this concept. As a team member and I sat down, we realized that we in fact are further along then we give ourselves credit for. Our district has taken several full inservice days and created a schedule where we get out of school early two hours early every other Wednesday. Now, admittedly, we are a K-12 staff in a small district, so this type of schedule is more easily created, but yet it is a huge step in this process, one we didn’t realize just how huge until we started talking to other districts.
Finally, we sat down as an elementary team with our administrator. This again where my heart starts to race because we talk about how I’ll be leading a new grades 2 – 5 PLC team. I’ll need to talk with her, just let her know how uncomfortable I do feel with this. Along with team assignments, we looked at scheduling, and for the first time, our schedule as been planned out for us (kind of). We’ll see how the tweeking making things look, but overall, it’s a good schedule to find time to fully impliement the RTI process, along with being able to efficiently use some of our other teachers (Title, ELP, Spec Ed).
And like I said, we spent the night watching baseball and fireworks! 🙂
All in all, this was another outstanding day of PLC training. Tomorrow we finish up and head back in the afternoon. As one of our teammates said to me: “I wish school started next week so we could start this!!”
So do I and that’s the exciting part!