2013 Thinking and Learning Conference – Day Two Materials

The following links will connect participants to the resources for the breakout sessions that I’m delivering on Day Two of the Hawker Brownlow Teaching and Learning Conference:

Why This, Why Now, Why Bother?

Often, the greatest challenge to building a highly functioning Professional Learning Community is convincing classroom teachers – who have often spent their entire careers watching new initiatives come and go with little commitment – to believe that collaboration is something more than “just another program our principal is making us try”. In this presentation, full-time classroom teacher Bill Ferriter speaks from the heart about the deep and meaningful impact that Professional Learning Communities have had on his own practice. He tackles three key questions that sceptics on any staff are bound to ask – Why this? Why now? Why Bother? He offers tangible suggestions about the fundamental steps that any school needs to take in order to ensure that their own PLCs succeed.

We’re Meeting.  Now What?

For many teachers, professional learning team meetings can be nothing short of overwhelming! Not used to making collective decisions, teams struggle to organise their work together and begin to question the benefit of a school’s decision to restructure as a Professional Learning Community. In this session, Bill explores the kinds of actions that learning teams take to make their meetings successful.

Structuring Meaningful Professional Learning Teams for EVERY Teacher

The PLC concept resonates with most educators, but making collaborative learning work in small schools or for singleton teachers can be challenging. In this session, participants will explore three different models for creating meaningful professional learning teams for singletons and teachers in small schools: The creation of vertical teams studying skills that cross content areas, designing class loads that allow teachers to teach the same subjects and using electronic tools to pair teachers with peers working in the same subject area. The session will also focus on how leaders can facilitate and support PLCs.

Hope these materials help all y’all in your work!