8.1 Participating in a Professional Community – Relationships with colleagues are characterized by mutual support and cooperation. During my internship, I had the opportunity to participate in the Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings for the Geometry teachers (6 teachers). It was clear from the beginning that I was to be a participant in the weekly meetings and not just an observer. It was an excellent learning experience, as I discovered how what I would have thought was a rather benign topic would actually lead to a respectful, yet heated discussion. On this particular occasion, the debate was whether we should be grading on the rounding of answers to one decimal place, as the test questions state, or if we were to ignore that, as rounding was not the learning target at the time. While we ultimately agreed to disagree, to outcome for me was to reinforce for my students the rules of rounding number during the examples I would do in class.
One of the frequent weekly topics was if there was a practice test available and if not, did anyone have the time to create one. The creation of a practice test is not an easy matter, as there is more to it that just changing the numbers on previous test questions. The writer needs to take into account what the possible outcomes are to make sure the answers do not get too complicated. On top of that, there is the matter of designing and laying out the test as well, which is not an easy feat if you do not have much training with it. I did volunteer to take on the task one week (Week 23 Practice Test). It was not the most pleasant of tasks, but this was a job that every teacher in the group takes responsibility for on occasion, so as a member of the group, I did as well.