(Newswire.net -- June 3, 2015) Singapore , Singapore -- Curnett has come a long way. Initially skeptical of the Professional Learning Community program when it first entered Singapore American School in the early 2000s, Curnett is now a true believer. "Then I saw the light," Curnett wrote in a post for Solution Tree's "All Things PLC" blog.
To illustrate his transformation, Curnett described his teaching experience before PLC, and after. Mid-school-year Curnett described feeling "overwhelmed, like I do in February. Every February." And while he and a fellow teacher did their best to start the school year with a plan for standards-based assessments, their efforts seemed get lost in the bustle of the school year. Without a clear plan, Curnett said he would "Jackson Pollock" his way to the end of the year, "having my students follow my every brush fling toward their eventual abdication of my classroom." "It was that simple. Flick. Splat. Connect the dots. Flick. Splat. Connect the dots." This worked well in some ways, Curnett said, because it was easy and there was no accountability.”
"My administrators saw somewhat-well-behaved, somewhat-happy students in my room and called it a success," Curnett wrote. "It didn't matter if I was teaching them how to parse iambic pentameter or read a graphic novel, apply cinematographic terms to film or write haiku about their grandmas. I could do whatever I felt comfortable doing. As long as it looked like English class and sounded like English class, I was on terra firma."
Even so, Curnett said he had misgivings."I remember having a sinking feeling," Curnett wrote. "What if what I think students should be learning is not really what they should be learning?" Enter the Professional Learning Community.
Curnett recalls a bit of contention initially between the PLC professionals and the "English Department radicals." "We probably appeared to her like a bunch of Beat poets sitting around in berets and striped shirts, smoking Gitanes while playing the bongos. It is no surprise that we didn't like her ideas one bit."
The administrators "humored" Curnett, he said, and made him first a PLC team leader and later the department chair.
Curnett said he finally understands the PLC strategy which focuses on a well-defined, standards-based curriculum. He learned about equity and the purpose of standards. Describing a later PLC-format meeting with his coworker, Curnett presents a scenario where "discussion is invigorating."
A product of Solution Tree, the PLC program delivers professional development to schools and districts around the world. Empowering K–12 educators to raise student achievement, Solution Tree offers a wide range of services and product offerings including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos, and online workshops and courses.
More than 25,000 educators participated in Solution Tree hosted events last year. "By the time we wrap it up, I'm as happy as I've felt in a few weeks as a teacher, feeling clear and confident and ready for what the day might bring," Curnett said. "This is not how it used to feel when I 'Jackson Pollock-ed' to June. If I'm honest, it used to feel like, 'I sure hope I'm doing this the right way.' I had no way of knowing for sure. Now I do."
For more information, visit websites for Singapore American School at sas.edu.sg or Solution Tree at www.solution-tree.com
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 communities of Singapore.
Singapore American School40 Woodlands Street 41
Singapore , Singapore 738547