(Newswire.net -- February 18, 2015) Singapore, Singapore -- Joshua Curnett, an English teacher at Singapore American School, was recently featured as a guest author on Solution Tree, a website dedicated to the effective implementation and management of PLCs (Professional Learning Communities). His article, Finding Meaning in Texts, discusses his own experiences and struggles with working collaboratively and some of the published works that have inspired him as an instructor. Curnett provides insight and an honest perspective into the challenges teachers face when striving to provide the best educational experience possible to their students.
As a teacher at Singapore American School, Curnett understands firsthand the importance and benefit of working collaboratively as part of a team within a PLC. He states that he’s been “fortunate to be a part of PLC schools for more than 10 years… (and that) this experience has changed me as an educator.” His own conviction continues to be reinforced with research confirming the value of teacher collaboration based on student assessment data.
In his article Curnett shares how he is always finding new ideas about collaboration and success, even when he isn’t actively seeking them out. He is an advocate of PLCs and the benefits they provide to those they serve - the students - regardless of whatever challenges the participating individuals may have to overcome in the process. He credits working as part of a PLC in making him a “much, much better teacher,” which in turn provides his students with an enriched learning experience and academic success.
However Curnett does admit to the challenges involved and that he used to be opposed to the idea of collaboration when he first learned of PLCs in the early 2000s. He shares his struggles with what collaboration requires, citing works by Dr. George Sheehan and Daniel James Brown (Running and Being, and The Boys in the Boat, respectively). While his experience is proof of the benefit of a collaborative environment he confides that it is still “much more challenging for me to work with my colleagues than to work alone”, even after nearly 20 years of teaching. What can be the most challenging aspect of a PLC is the ability of those within it to come together and work effectively; their success depend(s) on our ability to successfully collaborate, learn from each other, and trust each other.” Something that must be put into practice, not simply talked about.
Curnett finishes his article with some encouraging advice for other educators: “You are doing very important work.” He also quotes Sheehan and Brown once again, addressing the importance of bringing individuals together for the purpose of a greater good, despite the challenges. With his passion for education Curnett demonstrates the importance of a quality educator in the lives of his students, his confessions about the challenges he has encountered a testament to his dedication to those he teaches.
Professional learning community (PLC)
An ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.
- All Things PLC
Learning Tree and AllThingsPLC is dedicated to the successful implementation of the PLC process, which it describes as “a continuous, never-ending process of conducting schooling that has a profound impact on the structure and culture of the school and the assumptions and practices of the professionals within it”.
Image & quotes from AllThingsPLC.info
About Singapore American School
Singapore American School (SAS) is an independent, non-profit, coeducational, college preparatory day school offering an American curriculum with an international perspective for students in preschool through grade 12. SAS has the largest Advanced Placement program outside of the United States, is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the U.S., and offers the American High School Diploma at the senior level. Established in 1956, the school primarily serves the American and international expatriate