Collaborate. Collaboratively. Collaboration. What do these terms really mean? As educators, we are asked to collaborate with our colleagues to positively impact student achievement…but do we really know what to do during these collaborative efforts? In the words of Rick DuFour, “the fact that teachers collaborate will do nothing to improve a school. The pertinent questions is not, “Are they collaborating?” but rather, “What are they collaborating about?”
During the past year of implementation of Professional Learning Communities, I had the privilege of being part of a true collaborative experience with the preschool PLC team in Camanche. This team demonstrated the true definition of collaboration by focusing each meeting on the four questions that drive the work of a PLC:
1. What is it we want our students to learn?
2. How will we know if each student has learned it?
3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?
4. How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?
Perhaps the most exciting thing about this team is that it is made up of the preschool teachers at the Camanche Elementary location as well as the preschool teachers at Kids First Academy, the community preschool in Camanche. This team takes pride in providing all future Camanche Elementary kindergarten students with higher levels of academic success because they are collectively engaged in collaboration that is focused on the right work. If this is not validation enough, then please check out the link below to see some incredible preschool student data from the 2015-2016 school year!
When asked what the impact of their PLC has been on them as teachers, the team said, “Uniting our programs with common goals and focus. It has also focused our instruction to align with Iowa Early Learning Standards and Teaching Strategies GOLD standards and objectives. Increasing accountability to ensure quality education in both locations.”
Are you ready to have results like this with your teachers and students? Contact us to see how we can help!
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