• Dr. Lisa Gonzales

PLC's for Leaders


Professional Learning Communities (PLC's) aren't just for teachers, although as educational leaders, we certainly expect them of our teachers.

Ever been in a PLC? When I was a rookie elementary principal in the San Jose Unified School District, my colleagues and I were all in a PLC.

We called it "Collegial" and met once a month. Topics ranged from classroom instruction to supporting students, coaching teachers to managing the plant. The guidance and support provided in our Collegial meetings helped us survive the day-to-day challenges we faced in a very lonely position, as that of elementary principal generally means there is no other administrator on the same campus. The group helped so many of us manage the isolation we often felt.

One of the most effective approaches I've seen to PLCs for administrators have been in small groups that meet regularly, similar to those I created in a number of prior districts, predicated on the model I learned as a Director at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. In that format, be it book studies or longer term meeting schedules on focused topics, the ability to learn together and reflect with each other was the key. Bringing together leaders with open or pre-assigned topics of their choosing to address real issues was effective.


It was nurturing.


It was positive.


It enabled growth.

Regardless of the size of a district or school, our jobs are difficult. The PLC time has helped the professional and personal growth of each of us.


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