At C.A. Gray, our professional communities are structured like an umbrella. We have the whole staff community in which we share/learn about best practices regarding teaching and learning. Under the larger umbrella, we are organized into smaller 'communities' in our various departments. Each one of those departments works as a collaborative team with collective responsibility. They work and learn together.
We are blessed at Gray to have many of the structures and supports in place to take advantage of the opportunity to work productively in professional learning communities. Some of those Include:
- common departmental planning time that occurs daily within the school day
- each department often includes a gifted instruction specialist, special education teachers who see through a differentiation lens, and CP teachers with a variety of strengths/gifts
- an established mission that we as a staff believe in
- an established norm of common units and common assessments within a course (with on-going examination of our practices and revision as needed)
- a school schedule with first period as an additional planning for department heads to work with their department members (class visits, being an co-laborer in working with students, department head coverage of a class so that a teacher can do a peer observation within his/her own department
- a school schedule that allows for larger community meetings (professional learning trainings) during planning within the school day which reduces after school trainings
- additional learning opportunities made available at no cost to the teacher through our RESA (other trainings and endorsements to which a cost is attached that are offered through RESA are often much more affordable than those at other agencies; RESA also offers some online opportunities which help teachers manage their time more flexibly)
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