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What is the role of district and school visions, missions, and goals in relation to this standard?
The role of district and school visions, missions and goals in relation to the learning communities’ standard is to ensure that every student, through a collaborative effort of the teachers and the district, will learn. Teachers would take responsibility for not only their classes, but other classes in the school and evaluate the methods that were being used. They would then formulate interdisciplinary methods to assist with student learning outcomes. If they were not effective, they would try to find other ways in which to enable their students to learn. This would result in a better learning facility for students (Bequette, 2009).
What factors and/or structures at the district and school levels support continuous learning and development, collaboration, and shared purpose of learning communities?
The factors and/or structures care the collaboration of the teachers who help the students. The teachers are able to liaise with each other about learning outcomes and issues that may plague the students. At the district level, these teachers are encouraged to promote learning and development for the students. attend team meetings of the Coordinating Council of the school and meet with the Curriculum and Assessment and Personnel committees. They also have faculty meetings on a monthly basis. These ongoing meetings would see to the professional development of the goals of the school and focus on putting external standards and internal assessment practices in line with the curricula (Morrissey, 2000).
What inhibits them?
Some teachers are not prepared to successfully teach students and are not equipped with the skills to provide a challenge by providing intellectual tasks. In addition to that, principals are often unaware of how to assist teachers in addressing their learning requirements without the help of the group or team.
What kinds of teams are administrators and teachers assigned to? Administrators and teachers are assigned to interdisciplinary teams that form their own lesson plans, counsel students and reach out to their families.
What are some of the current strengths and weaknesses of each team?
The teams’ strengths lie in the method in which they formulate and administer the lessons. Working together can have a positive impact on some students, as well as the resolving of conflicts among peers. The weaknesses include a culture of interdependence for some students. The goal of getting improved teaching practices would be non-existent without the collaboration of other teachers. Micro-politics and conflicts may exist or arise.
What professional development is provided and what is needed to support principals as leaders in the development of the necessary knowledge and skills outlined in this standard?
In terms of professional development, funds are set aside for teachers to attend sessions for staff development nine days of each year. When these teachers are out on school days, then substitute teachers are assigned to their classes. They are provided with consultants and speakers from outside the school district. Principals need to be equipped with ongoing learning facilities and capabilities, in order for them to be seen as leaders of learning. In doing so, others will want to pursue courses as well.
How is teacher leadership nurtured, developed, and utilized in the schools and district?
Are there additional ways it could be tapped to advance student learning?
What have been some positive results and challenges of working with electronic tools to support leadership?
Some of the positive are the relaying of information to students and teachers through websites, phones and even the social media an encouraging collaboration with these methods. Some of the disadvantages of those tools are the distraction they sometimes provide and the different barriers that are presented with them.
Who are potential advocates for staff development? What information and help do they need covering this information
The potential advocates for staff development are the principals, the school board and the district, as well as the families of the students who would like to see their children encouraged to improve their educational standards. The information that is needed for this process is the different ways in which they can develop themselves, the courses that are available and the financial resources that are provided to them by the school and the district.
Bequette, M. (2009). Collaborative action research: Developing professional learning communities. Sci. Ed., n/a-n/a. doi:10.1002/sce.20363
Morrissey, M. (2000). Professional Learning Communities: An Ongoing Exploration (1st ed., pp. 1-45). Texas: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. Retrieved from http://www.allthingsplc.info/files/uploads/plc-ongoing.pdf
Mullen, C., & Schunk, D. (2010). A View of Professional Learning Communities Through Three Frames: Leadership, organization, and culture. Mcgill Journal Of Education, 45(2), 185. doi:10.7202/045603ar
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