Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 348

The best + are always re-evaluating what the "C" stands for in their PLC.      

What does the "C" stand for in your #PLC?

Is it "Community"





The most correct answer is that it has probably been all of these and more at some point in your career.

And, most likely, it will continue to change as you grow.

What is most important, however, is that your PLC be true to what you need and what others need from you, and as such, if your current PLC has a different "C" (or "P" or "L," for that matter) than works for you, then you can either attempt to change it or find another PLC to belong to.

Here's a quick example from my own learning to illustrate.

I've been an avid Twitter user for about three years, and in that time, I've been able to grow my network, but I'm still the type of leader and learner who seems to learn best when I can engage in deep thinking and action-taking with people face-to-face.  So, my PLC has been, and is mostly, composed of those who I can imagine myself getting together with over a cup of coffee or a beer to make plans and push each other to take positive action in collaborative way.

Over the last year in particular, I've noticed my PLC changing (and part of it is likely me changing as well).  I've noticed a lot more competition and less true collaboration, even from some folks who had previously been very open and collaborative.  I've also noticed (and this really hasn't changed, it's probably just from me being more engaged in this kind of thinking) that many Twitter chats exist to allow us to talk, but don't hold us accountable for truly making anything better.  And, there are so many chats looking to eke out a niche, that nobody seems to speak the same "language."

(And, oh yeah, I'm just as guilty in this area as everyone else.  I co-facilitate an educational chat that does, in fact, have a very small niche, and we don't hold each other accountable for making positive change as much as we should.)

Anyway, this past summer, I started to wonder if there was a way to cultivate a different (or additional) PLC that would push me, and those I learn and lead with, to be more accountable.  So, I joined a Voxer group with a number of like-minded thinkers, and have helped to build a PLC where the "C" stands for "collaboration" and "change," two "Cs" that fit me well and allow me to get the most from my collaborators and give them the most I can.

What do you say about your PLC?  What does it say about you?  Are you comfortable with what each of your letters stand for?  If not, what will you do about it?

And more importantly: How can you make your PLC as much about what you can give others, as what they can give you?


  1. Fred, this is good, honest straight-talk. I'm experiencing a similar current reality as well. I've always viewed varied media as tools, so whether we are talking about the phone, email, Twitter, GHO, or Voxer, it's never about the what we're using, but really, why we're using it. I believe in collaboration and in bringing together as well as getting together with people who are dedicated - to making one another make the learning experience better - for kids. Something I continually invite others with whom I work to do is be open - to an experience and how it can impact our thinking and our work, together. And j continue to remind myself to lead in this same manner, as a learner, first.

    Great reflection, Fred. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Dennis. I'm always trying to figure out social media. It allows us to do so much, but we also have to remember what it isn't so good at doing. For me, that has been in getting me to take action. Like others, I let words fly during Twitter chats, but I often lack follow-through. Part of this is because I often don't have the time to truly process the convo; Twitter talk moves so fast, it's a wonder how anyone can keep up. But the other part is simply me. I need to learn and lead "with" others and be in somewhat "close proximity" as we do so. I need more than a tweet or vox to keep me going. I need a phone call, a face-to-face meeting, a coffee/beer break. As much as I'm a virtual learner/leader, I've learned I'm even more of an "in-the-flesh" one; I need those "live" connections to push me farthest.

      My worry tied to this post is that I'm seeing some who used to be very similar in their schemas (and who were incredibly helpful to me to keep me going), change to a much more virtual, less collaborative (and more competitive) model. This would be fine if it was all about their learning, and it is reasonable for all of us to change our styles of learning and leading as we grow personally and professionally. But it seems to me (and again, I could be totally off) like it is all about self-promotion, and name-dropping, as it's much easier to promote yourself incessantly if you don't have to do it face-to-face. :).

      We all make choices in our learning and leading. If we can live with the choices we make, then chances are, we've made choices that are "right."
      I feel pretty good about what works and doesn't work for me with regard to social media. I guess as long as others feel the same, who am I to judge. :)