You are a professional learning community teacher and leader. In this decade, what does that mean exactly? It means you pursue personal mastery—learning to expand your personal knowledge and skill capacity in order to lead and influence others toward a vision of “right things.” It means you design and develop a shared vision—learning to create images and pictures of the future and guiding practices for how to get there. It means you design a culture of service and sharing for team learning—as you develop the team’s capacity and ability to become greater than the sum of individual team member’s talents. It means you understand and embrace the implications of an accountability and celebration system—a way of turning that shared vision into action and ensuring all stakeholders in the school culture understand the interrelated nature of the effect their individual actions on the system as a whole. In short, PLC teachers and leaders pursue the tenets established by Peter Senge and his colleagues in 1990, as the core elements of learning organization work in The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization. At the time, Senge was concerned the organizational theory described in the book would become a fad. More than twenty years later the book, revised in 2006, continues to provide the solid foundation for and fundamental insight into your work as a professional learning community leader.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
What does it mean to be a PLC Leader?
Last week, I had the pleasure to meet and work with the excellent faculty at Oak Ridge High School in Tennessee. The following is an excerpt of our work together that day as we explored the question of what does it mean to work in and live within a Professional Learning Community. How to do what is described below will be a focus of future blog posts.
So, why do you work to become an effective professional learning community leader? You work as a PLC teacher and leader in the hope that you can make something really great, difficult and worthwhile, happen in your area of district or school program leadership. You go to work every day in hopes of an optimal work experience. You go to work every day in hopes of being stretched to the outer limits of your skills and talents, but not so far stretched that you break from the stretch and strain of that daily work. You go to work for the experience of teaching and learning that has you performing at the peak of your talents and ability. PLC leaders and teachers go to work in the hopes of being fully engaged, fully energized, fully connected and fully joyful.