For the past few months, my current school has instituted PLC’s as a way to get a handle on what people are teaching and to organize the curriculum across the grades. A fantastic idea, and there are many places where this has been enormously successful. Just ask my wife. At her school they do this and they do it very well.
What is most surprising is that I have taught there for the past 4 years with no official district oriented curriculum. NO ONE KNOW WHAT I AM DOING IN THE CLASSROOM. Not that I am doing anything inappropriate, but if anyone from the district were pressed to justify what their theater arts teacher does all day – they would be unable to provide an answer. Well, maybe they could make a good educated guess. Or you could at least BS your way through an answer, but to REALLY be able to describe what I do? No one in the school even knows what I do with the students.
I find this funny. Only because the school that I am going to has to take a different approach to the way that they manage curriculum simply because of the nature of the school.
If you have teachers coming in and out of your school approximately every two years, you have to know what they are going to be doing. If you didn’t know what was going on – could you imagine the time, effort, frustration, and complete chaos that would ensue as new teachers (every two years) had to recreate the curriculum from scratch?
Why doesn’t my current district follow this model? Who knows. Mostly because teachers are not mobile in the American school system. If you can get in a district you stay there as long as you can. Racking up the seniority.
Don’t get me wrong, seniority is not bad at all. It has protected me more than once. I’m just saying.
Could be because there is so much other schtuff going on, that creating a system of accountability at the classroom level may not be top of the list. Who knows.
So. PLC’s. Yup creating from scratch. Spending time, with little follow through. No clear idea of how it will all be used. No real oversight.
Gotta love it.