Professional Learning Communities
PLCs at Holy Cross School:
In Lakeland Catholic Schools and at Holy Cross School we are lucky to have 18 early dismissal Wednesdays set aside for Teacher Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). These PLCs focus on the improvement of your child’s instruction. This early dismissal does not detract from the mandated 950 hours of instruction that students in elementary schools in Alberta are required to complete during the year.
What do teachers do during these PLCs?
- They work on improving instruction for your children.
- Wednesday PLCs time provide teachers with this time to collaborate with colleagues, talk about what is working and implement new professional learning in their classrooms.
- Part of this learning also includes videos of our teachers teaching, so that their practice can be viewed and discussed.
- Peer observations (where from time to time teachers observe colleagues teaching in their classroom) are planned and discussed.
- These videos and observations are used during PLC time to promote improved instructional practice and better learning situations for your children.
- In our Coyote Creed the letter “C” stands for “Community of Learners”. At Holy Cross School both our teachers and students are learning all the time.
- PLCs provide opportunities for all of the above to happen effectively.
A good analogy about improving instruction would be that, just as information techniques and methods in the medical field are always changing so is the education field. We would not want our doctors to be using the same practices and technology from decades gone by, Similarly, teachers can no longer teach in exactly the same manner, as they would have when we were students. Certainly, good teaching is good teaching, however, technology is changing our world and the way students learn. Holy Cross teachers place an importance on ensuring students are engaged and that “learning is the work” for both teachers and students at our school.
I hope that you appreciate that this early dismissal Wednesday time is not about “more time off for teachers”, but rather about improving instruction and improving our world by creating good citizens who can learn how to learn.
This matches well with our school mission statement:
At Holy Cross School …
Our students are preparing for a changing world by:
- Learning to value
- Learning to follow Jesus
- Learning to learn …
We make a difference … for life.