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A. Organizing time and resources for professional learning communities

There are many ways to organize teachers’ professional learning communities (PLC’s) to support induction: 1) mentor teachers can work together to develop and improve their mentoring practices; 2) beginning teachers can meet together to share ideas, insights and challenges; 3) mentor and beginning teachers can meet together to examine and improve their teaching and their students’ learning. Further, while PLC’s draw upon and develop teachers’ own knowledge and expertise, external facilitators can often provide the critical support teachers need to investigate and enrich their learning, beliefs, knowledge and practices.

However you decide to organize teachers’ PLC’s in your school, you will need to allocate resources to support and sustain these communities. In particular, you will need to find ways to organize time so that teachers can engage in the type of collaborative work and learning essential to supporting and retaining beginning teachers. Rethinking the allocation of teaching staff is also important. The teaching staff constitutes the core resource of all schools. Finding ways to allocate teachers’ assignments and responsibilities to make time for staff to work together is essential to establishing and sustaining strong induction programs. The following tools provide information and examples of how you can allocate teaching staff and time to support teachers’ PLC’s and work with a teachers’ union to support and sustain strong induction programs:

Allocating staff to support PLC’s

Finding time to support PLC’s

Using time to sustain PLC’s

Working with teacher unions to support PLC’s