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make your day dance

Thanks to my Professional Learning Community: you & you & you…

December 21st, 2011 · 3 Comments · Tags: ··

Teaching as a dance specialist in a public school can be an uneasy fit. Dance isn’t your usual content area, with various curricula to choose from and years of practice in the public schools. Even in states where dance educators have a solid foothold (of which mine isn’t one), there aren’t many of us. And in any given school, there’s probably only one. Yet as part of the full-time scene, dance educators have many requirements in common with teachers of other content areas: writing goals based on student achievement, assessing and giving grades for students, participating in professional development…

This year, as part of my district’s contractual stance on professional development, I’m required to be part of a Professional Learning Community (PLC), meeting on a regular basis to share data-driven reflections and discussions with like-minded educators in order to raise student achievement. So I facilitate a Dance PLC within the district. However, since I’m the only full-time dance specialist in the district, this PLC doesn’t meet often enough to fulfill my contract.

Happily, I have a principal who’s willing to accept the fact that I cast a wide net in my search for a Professional Learning Community. The folks & organizations that I consider part of my professional development network probably don’t even know they’re members of my personal PLC.  Nonetheless, I’d like to note & thank some of these folks from across the country who are willing to engage in cyber dialogue about dance education!* THANK YOU IF YOU’RE ONE! And please feel free to let me know other links to add to my network.

Dance Educators Association of Washington: these folks are spread thinly, but near at hand, and we’re all dealing with the context of Washington State. I get to meet with them face-to-face occasionally.

K-12 Members Online Forum, National Dance Education Organization: dance educators who are willing to share their vast variety of experiences from across the nation.

Dance and Disability Online Forum, National Dance Education Organization: ditto above, but with experience in teaching special needs students like my students with Autism.

Malke Rosenfeld & Math in Your Feet: a resident dance artist who actively pursues & blogs about the intersection of dance with math, while editing the ALT/space website for Teaching Artists Journal.

ALT/space & Teaching Artists Journal: a coalition of arts educators who work at & blog about the intersection between art & the public schools, sharing their perplexions, discomforts, victories & stories online.

*This isn’t an exhaustive link of blogs I follow when I have the time. You’ll find those in my links list. This is a short list of places/people I go to, to ask a question, collaborate on ideas, or be inspired. Again, if you have suggestions, it’s not a closed list!

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Math In Your Feet

    […] RSS ← Thanks to my Professional Learning Community: you & you & you… […]

  • Katie Johnson

    Everything you are doing resonates with me. I do Brain Dance every day and TRY to include as many movements as possible in reading “instruction” time. Love the idea of the PLC out of the building. I’ll try it!

  • megrm

    Thanks for stopping by! What with the snow, we’re all having a bit of time to catch up on correspondence & Internetworking, eh? More time for PLCing. Have you seen the blog site ABCs of Reading I just found it today & it’s great! I may get around to doing a post on it tomorrow…