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Professional learning communities

Research indicates that engaging beginning teachers in collaborative work around issues of teaching and learning can be one of the most powerful components of a strong induction program. Beginning teachers who had opportunities in the school day to work with colleagues on curricular and instructional issues on a consistent basis were significantly more likely to continue teaching than those who did not. Engaging in collaborative work had a more positive impact on teacher retention than did mentoring alone.

This part provides principals and teachers with tools to create and sustain professional learning communities in their schools that support teachers' and students’ learning. Teachers’ professional learning communities can:

  • support new teachers’ on-going reflection and critical assessment of their teaching and their students’ learning;
  • provide mentor teachers with the support, knowledge and on-going critical reflection that they need to help beginning teachers become effective teachers; and
  • provide principals the tools to support and nurture teacher learning and leadership focused on student learning and school improvement.

We have provided resources for creating beginning teacher learning communities and communities for mentor teachers. We also have provided tools that can be used by communities that include both beginning teachers and mentors. These tools can be used in learning communities with other colleagues, as well. Use the resources to create the learning communities that work best for your teachers, students and school.

Strategies

A. Organizing time and resources

B. Beginning teacher groups

C. Mentor teacher groups

D. Learning together