As educators, we are faced with a myriad of challenges and changes on a daily basis. We believe that by working collaboratively on important issues of teaching and learning, rather than in isolation, we can better meet the diverse needs of students who have not been well served in our schools. The challenge is to translate our private expertise, knowledge, and experience into public, organizational knowledge for the benefit of each of our students.
In order to make collaboration and public practice the routine way we work together to improve student learning, we need leaders who can support the practice of working as a learning community. Leaders who know how to support teachers to work together to deepen knowledge of subject matter, examine instructional practice with a critical eye, and consider issues of organizational change that support more equitable classrooms and schools.
Research and common sense tells us that when educators are able to seek and share learning and then act on what they learn, students benefit. Schools across the country are implementing professional learning communities with mixed results. Often the intentions are there, but many PLC’s are missing the deliberate structures and tools that make effective learning possible and make PLC’s safe and productive places to share and receive critical feedback.
We consider this work to be integral to the transformation of schools. OCEE can support your collaborative efforts around:
- Effective staff collaboration, across cultural and role differences, on behalf of student learning
- Structures and processes that support continuous learning and improvement (e.g., Critical Friends, Data-based Inquiry, Reflection Protocols)
- Professional development plans aligned with available resources and instructional goals
- Training in responsive facilitation/facilitative leadership
- Team building aligned with goals and outcomes