It is important to talk with other educators on issues that relate to children, their families, community at large and personal professional growth in the field of early childhood education. One such way is through professional learning community (PLC). This may be a challenging act for some pre-k teachers due to being the only classroom onsite but there is hope to be an active PLC member.
Here are suggestions toward becoming an active PLC member next school year.
1. Talk with local early childhood association to start PLC meetings once a month on topics of interest by participants (attend). Moving to the active role you can present on various topics (name on agenda), create email listserv to send out announcements of upcoming meetings/events. For every meeting have an agenda, sign-in sheet and other needed materials for attendees.
2. Join (attend) online social media outlets such as early childhood education blog and Face Book PLC for early childhood educators. Moving toward being an active member you must post information through comments and/or questions then post replies to attendees to read. It is important to understand you must be posting/responding (active) and not just reviewing posted information. Also, your posted information should be clear concise to grow the readers professionally. In addition, you must participate in at least 3 to 4 times per month to gain the concept of actively participating in a PLC.
3. You can take the leadership role by obtaining neighboring early childhood sites email addresses and compile introductory letter to start a PLC at central location (secure first) to accommodate attendee’s on-site meetings. In the introductory letter introduce yourself, purpose/goal of meeting, date, time and your contact information. At the first meeting other protocol information can be shared for future ones and meeting at least once a month with an agenda, sign-in sheet, and other needed materials per attendee.
4. Another alternative is to start an on-site PLC with colleagues. Survey colleagues on different topics of interest to be discussed. Research information to present and/or facilitator to share on requested topics. As part of the conversation at the first meeting select date/time for the gathering at least once a month with an agenda, sign-in sheet and other needed materials per attendee.
As you seek out more productive ways to be an active participant in PLC hopefully the above ideas will assist in bringing you together with like-minded early childhood educators at PLC meetings. It is a great means to know you are not alone in your thoughts and actions to work with children, their families, colleagues, community at large and your own professional growth and development in early childhood education. Let’s talk!