(April 30, 2010) Professional learning communities give teachers the opportunity to come together as professionals to share what they are doing and improve as teachers. They give and receive support to each other as peers. Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, describes how IDRA combined this process as part of a planned variation of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a highly-successful dropout prevention program. Participating content teachers actively mentored three students weekly throughout the year. As a result, there was a transformation of adults and improved student achievement. Aurelio is interviewed by Christie Goodman, APR, IDRA’s communications manager. Send comments to
or fill out form online at www.idra.org/Podcasts. Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available.
* Aurelio explains the importance of "valuing" students as assets rather than deficits.
* Aurelio talks about the planned variation of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program that was used in a
South Texas school district. It featured a professional learning community that modeled a process of dialogue and included additional planning meetings and quarterly retreats for the teachers.
* Aurelio recounts an IDRA study in Dallas which found that students are more likely to graduate from high school if they have at least one adult (teacher, counselor, etc.) who understands their full story and can advocate for them.
* Aurelio discusses "circles of influence" and how turning around challenging student helps creates a better teaching and learning environment for everyone. Similarly, the professional learning communities can pull up a weak teacher and allow them to encourage each other and solve problems together.
Listen to every episode!
To ensure you don't miss a single episode of IDRA Classnotes, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, (download iTunes free if you don’t have it) or sign up to receive an e-mail alert as soon as a new show is published.