5 Benefits of Professional Learning Communities
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5 Benefits of Professional Learning Communities

Cody Caudill
Jun 24, 2024

What’s the best way to run a school or district? Depending on your students, educators, and goals, everyone’s answer could be different. One thing we know for sure is that there are many benefits of professional learning communities for educators at every level in a faculty or staff. 

In this article, we’re reviewing the top five benefits of working as a PLC to improve your teaching practices and setting and achieving your students’ learning goals.

  1. Improve education inside and outside the classroom

  2. Build stronger bonds with other educators

  3. Increase confidence in your skills and methods

  4. Create time for reflection

  5. Stay current with new research and tools


1. Improve education inside and outside the classroom

PLCs include educators of all ranks, from teachers to administrators. In many traditional education frameworks, administrators have the most power. They’re responsible for things like choosing the curriculum and materials or setting policies and benchmarks in collaboration with the state. This top-down approach leaves out an important piece of the puzzle: What teachers see in the day-to-day classroom while working with students.

In PLCs, teachers are key stakeholders in these decisions. They’re invited to share best practices and brainstorm new ideas to drive student achievement. When teachers are part of the decision-making process, they feel they have more ownership of their students’ learning. They can see the direct impact of their work and suggestions inside and outside the classroom. 

2. Build stronger bonds with other educators

It’s easy to become siloed in a school or district. You may only talk to or collaborate with people you work with every day. But what about other educators in different departments or other buildings in your district? They likely have valuable insights to share.

PLCs thrive on collaboration from the larger school and district community. They give educators a reason to talk with people outside their normal circles and share ideas. The more professional learning communities meet and collaborate the more comfortable members become with each other. For example, teachers on special assignment (TOSAs) often work across school sites to continue to break down silos in districts. They often play a role in supporting PLC work, especially collaboration.

Finding commonalities during these meetings creates stronger bonds, which leads to better connections throughout the PLC.

3. Increase confidence in your skills and methods

When you collaborate with others and have access to high-quality education research and tools, you may feel more confident in your abilities and the choices you make in the classroom. With more confidence comes the motivation to participate in PLC group discussions, the knowledge of methods and tools to use with your students, and the ability to adjust instruction in real time to better align with your desired learning outcomes.

4. Create time for reflection

PLC culture encourages educators to think about what they teach, how they teach it, what students learn, and how they can improve the process. Educators need time to reflect on the data they collect to make those decisions. PLCs create time and space for reflection on an individual and collaborative level.

Before a PLC gathering, think about what worked and what didn’t work in your classroom. Bring those findings to the group and reflect on patterns and correlations across different classrooms or school buildings.

5. Stay current with new research and tools

PLC members believe that the best way to improve student learning is with continuous teacher education that’s part of their everyday jobs. They often read research studies or test and evaluate new educational materials and tools during their classes or prep periods to stay current on the latest trends.

To get this information they may subscribe to education newsletters, follow education companies or influencers on social media, or interact with other groups of like-minded people who share resources and ideas. Other ways to keep up with research and new tools include attending educator events, listening to podcasts, or hosting meaningful PD opportunities within your school or district.

Use Formative with your professional learning community

Speaking of tools, when PLCs rely on the right data-tracking and collaboration tools they see the most impactful results. Streamlined, all-in-one tools allow your professional learning community to be more efficient and actionable when experimenting and setting best practices.

Formative gives you the data-collection tools you need for a results-oriented PLC. It allows for easy collaboration and helps you become action-oriented with lesson delivery, assessment, and data analysis all in one place. Formative also provides evidence for effective practice and a space for PLCs to reflect on that effectiveness. Other great features of Formative that help boost your PLC goals include:

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