By Lani Ritter-Hall

From the PLP Handbook—

Team leaders—

  • lead and motivate their school team, organize meetings, and push action research project development
  • serve as a facilitator and “encourager”
  • engage team members in regular inquiry-oriented professional learning community (PLC) meetings that help to develop teacher professional knowledge

In the PEARLS cohort in New York City

Brian Licata, from St. John’s Lutheran, a 5th to 8th grade math teacher, is one such leader—

He models virtual community participation in the main forums sharing projects his class is doing and inviting others to collaborate with him.

“Anyone interested in joining me in the Stock market Game…ITS FREE!  I copied & pasted the email I received below”

Holiday Greeting around the world–“add your class to the Google maps holiday greetings” (When community members needed assistance to participate, he created a screencast explanation using Jing with step by step instructions.)

My 5th Grade Math is learning how to make surveys and record the results. I am teaching them about Frequency Tables and want them to get some practice. I had them collaborate on making a visual questionnaire (using Voicethread) for 5th graders. We will incorporate Google Forms once I feel they are comfortable with Tallies, and creating graphs. If you can forward this to anyone who teaches 5th grade, 9-10 yr olds, I would really appreciate it.

He participates in main forums contributing, for example, thoughtful questions on the use of facebook.

These are some concerns:

Am I now responsible to monitor and report on everything they do online. Should I be looking through their facebook pages daily for anything that I think is inappropriate?
What about their friends that aren’t in my class or school?
What happens after they leave my class do I unfriend them?
If I don’t look and there is something inappropriate, am I going to be held responsible as a teacher?
Is this interaction between student and teacher socially acceptable? At what grade level does it become socially acceptable? Am I putting myself in danger?

Brian has created an open team room in the virtual community and other members of the cohort have joined to benefit from his sharing and leadership. In his team room, he has at least 10 discussions around the topics of digital storytelling, student driven videos, podcasting, setting up twitter, finding classes to work with, Voicethread and setting up a delicious account and often creates and posts screencasts to assist his team with the tool or skill.

In “Gaining confidence”, one of his discussions, he encourages his team–

Gaining confidence is extremely important in using new tools in the classroom. I notice that I usually have two options, roll it out and the class learns with me at the same time or I need to find a group of teachers to play with.

Either way I still find myself with no skills and don’t want to look foolish. Let’s see if we can work this out here. …We are going to help each other to learn how to use these tools in our classrooms.

Leading and motivating, encouraging and engaging team members, serving as facilitator—helping to grow and sustain both a personal learning team and a community of practice—

I watch for his postings, his screencasts, his team’s participation —so appreciative of the transparency, the modeling, the expertise, the “we” that he brings to the community.

We are going to help each other learn–

The following two tabs change content below.

Lani Ritter Hall

Lani is Community Leader for Powerful Learning Practice. She also serves as the “Newbie Maven”, helping along and nurturing newbies to the PLP experience, as well as facilitator for the Connected Coaches. Lani brings more than 35 years of teaching experiences in urban, sub urban, and independent schools at the middle/secondary level in the U.S and Canada to this work. A national board certified teacher, she and her students began collaborating globally in the late 1980’s. Lani has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for over twenty years and served in a leadership role for the K12Online Conference for 2 years. She is co-author of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age.
Share this: