Tools for Schools, November/December 2008, Vol. 12, No. 2
The evolution of a Professional Learning Team
Teachers in your school already may work in school-based teams and committees. Groups of teachers may meet to plan specific school activities, develop the school improvement plan, or help with a special school initiative. Perhaps teachers in your school also plan together as departments.
NSDC tool: The professional learning team decision-making cycle
This tool can be a reference throughout the year to help groups keep the professional learning team process in focus and on track during discussions and activities. Team members need autonomy in making decisions about the direction their team will take. Point out that this cycle illustrates the value of team members’ professional wisdom in selecting and applying appropriate practices.
NSDC tool: Meeting overview checklist
There is no single way to conduct learning team meetings. This list suggests ideas for some activities. Refer to this list periodically for ideas that might have value for your team. Include as many activities as possible throughout the year.
NSDC tool: Appropriate use of learning teams
This activity can get teachers thinking about suitable activities for team meetings and which activities might be better for other types of meetings. Note that these are suggestions. If your situation leads you to prefer a different response than the one listed at the end of these activities, then use your professional wisdom while keeping in mind the purpose of these meetings — to focus on teacher professional learning.