Professional Learning Communities and Professional Development Reflection


What Have You Found to Be Effective in the Classroom and Why?
In respect to professional development activities and what I have found to be effective in the classroom, I will be reflecting on my experiences within my professional learning community (PLC) during my student teaching experience.
My student teaching took place at Carey Junior High School in Cheyenne, WY. I taught 8th grade United States History for 16 weeks covering the time period of Antebellum America up to the turn of the century. It was at this time that I was introduced to the concept of the PLC. Our PLC was made up of teachers who taught the core courses needed to pass eighth grade. Those necessary courses were US History, English, Science and Mathematics.
      Our PLC meetings were scheduled once a week and attendance was mandatory. At these meetings, many things were discussed which I came to discover were very helpful for myself in the classroom. For example, at each meeting, each teacher would go over the lesson plan or plans they were planning to teach for the upcoming week. This would give the other teachers a chance to see where collaboration could take place within the other classrooms/subjects. A great example of this type of collaboration that I found to be highly effective in the classroom was in the area of vocabulary. My mentor teacher and myself would come up with a list of vocabulary words that we believed to be potentially challenging. We would give the list to Mr. Hays, the 8th grade English teacher, and he would incorporate them into his lesson plan. This enabled the students to gain prior knowledge of the vocabulary words before they encountered the words and concepts in their History lesson. This type of collaboration took place on numerous occasions. For example, charts and graphs tied into lesson plans that were being taught in Mathematics. Inventions learned about in History were expanded upon in Science class. For example, Andrew...