PLC: Plan, Design & Support
Region 17 ESC, 2022-2023 School Year
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) & the Lesson Study Program
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are ongoing processes 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. (Solution Tree, https://www.allthingsplc.info/about)
Specialists at Region 17 want to support our districts in creating intentional PLC times on their campuses through the Lesson Study program. Specialists will support districts in planning for a common PLC time, designing weekly collaborative PLC meetings focused on a problem of practice, and supporting teachers as they work together to create meaningful student learning.
Before we dive into how we can support PLCs on your campus through the Lesson Study program, let us introduce ourselves.
Haley Maldonado: My experience in education has led me down many rewarding paths; from elementary teacher, reading recovery coach, school counselor, high school assistant principal, elementary principal, to the ESC. Each different position I have held has taught me something valuable about the field of education and I am excited to bring use to those experiences to help support those participating in lesson study.
Stacy Bender: For 21 years, I have taught high school science and math in various parts of Texas, my most recent assignment at Abernathy High School where I taught biology, anatomy & physiology and microbiology. I am looking forward to using my own experiences and knowledge to support teachers in their classrooms through the Lesson Study program.
Lesson Study Format
The Lesson Study Program is intended to improve teaching and learning in the classroom through teacher-directed, collaborative action and research.
There are five phases within the program, and it will take approximately 6-10 weeks to complete one cycle. Here are the five different phases:
- Examine & Identify
- Review & Plan
- Teach & Observe
- Reflect & Revise
- Share and Network
Lesson Study coaches and LEA facilitators will work with teachers to complete 2-4 cycles per year, depending on teacher and student needs.
Lesson Study and State Initiatives
Lesson Study facilitators and coaches provide weekly, tailored professional development to support the implementation of certain statewide initiatives, such as HQIM, Texas Instructional Leaders, or Reading Academies. Teachers meet during their common planning time or PLC time and receive just in time supports. For example, with HQIM implementation, we support teachers at lesson plan, module, and assessment internalization using TEA protocols as well as analyzing assessment data.
Here are some helpful links to support those initiatives through Lesson Study.
TEA has also published several crosswalk documents that show how Lesson Study can support administrators and teachers in applying various TEA initiatives. These crosswalk documents serve to demonstrate how Texas Lesson Study can support districts and schools in understanding the main components of these programs and the potential for Lesson Study to support them in improving teacher effectiveness.
Lesson Study Overview
Why Lesson Study?
- Lesson Study teachers see student achievement gains on STAAR.
- Teachers in Texas Lesson Study reported higher levels of confidence in teaching abilities, feeling like a respected professional, and expertise in the content area taught as well as many other attributes that enhance school culture.
- Teachers in Texas Lesson Study reported higher levels of confidence in crafting good questions, using a variety of assessment strategies, providing alternate examples to alleviate confusion, and implementing alternative strategies in the classroom.
- Lesson Study participants are more likely than other teachers to stay teaching within a district, likely due to higher job satisfaction.
- Lesson Study enables Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to become high-functioning.