A teachers’ gathering to collaborate and build teaching teams across a district is having a positive impact on reducing isolation among teachers in specialized subjects and building professional learning communities.

Teachers' Gathering to Collaborate and Build Teaching TeamsWhen she needs to ask a question of another music teacher, Jodi Jones has no one else to ask at Elysian School in Billings.  “You are on an island,” she said.

She was one of a group of Elysian teachers who met with colleagues from other district schools about forming professional learning communities (PLCs), a means of collaboration bridging those islands.

The groups could become a model for Billings teachers, as the schools have been meeting for two years. County meetings allow teachers to work with peers in different districts, supporting each other with common goals.

“(Teachers) wanted a commitment to that, that it wasn’t a flash in the pan,” said Blue Creek superintendent Cathy Rude.

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