A professional learning community for teachers is taking shape over the summer months in Pemberton Township, New Jersey.

Soft SkillsTeachers and administrators have been gathering in the township high school during the summer break to launch the new program. “It’s a focus on learning, not on teaching,” said Superintendent Tony Trongone.

According to Trongome, the goal of the community is to enable teachers and principals to become better educators.  This will in turn benefit students.

In each building, each grade level will have two teams as part of the professional learning community which will help assess how the students are doing.  Teachers will assess which strategies are working. If a class has difficulty with a lesson, but other classes in the grade do not, the teacher can then turn to the team and ask advice.

“It’s called collective inquiry,” Trongone said. “It’s when we see your data and my data, and your kids did a lot better, what did you do differently? It’s that simple, and it’s that complicated.”

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