Wow, building the ideal Professional Learning Community (PLC), what a dream. I have been lucky to be part of some great teams. There are some common factors to all of the teams.
In our case it was always “what is best for our students”. Keeping this in mind helped us be more objective and willing to have tough but constructive conversations.
This requires open and honest dialog without agendas. The positive presupposition is everyone is there to do the best they can for the students.
Share the Work
We are all pressed for time and there is always too much to do. Expect everyone to participate and collaborate. No one sits back all of the time and absorbs the greatness. On the other side, no one is the only voice or makes all of the choices for the PLC.
Set up norms and expectations as a team and hold members to those when you are together. It is easy to wander off on distracting topics.
A standard time to meet gives importance to the PLC.
A variety of voices and skills are best to encourage growth. We all have things we do well and activities we enjoy. Allow members to contribute as well as be challenged. Dissent can provide opportunity to improve.
Working with a high-functioning PLC elevates all of the members. PLC’s don’t have to be built from like content, skills, content teams, but they should have a commonality or shared goal.