It Only Takes One Seed: Growing a Community of Practice

dandelion-2266558_1920Image Via Pixabay

Dandelions.  A homeowner’s nightmare, yet something full of possibility in the eyes of a child. Let me explain.   These yellow and vibrant plants can be found together in groups that eventually evolve into the form of puffy, white balls.  Throughout times in my childhood, my friends and I would scour the neighborhood, local park, or even schoolyard for these plants.  Seeing that ball of puff just beckoning to be blown would stop us in our tracks.  What we didn’t necessarily realize at the time is that each time we blew a dandelion puff, we were creating moments of spreading influence multiple directions. Each seed held the possibility of growing its own group of yellow dandelions and embarking on a cycle of growth.

At Noble Crossing, we are our own group of dandelions.  Each school year, through our collaborative work and actions, we grow new seeds full of purpose and possibility.  We have provided opportunities for continual growth through learning strands, inquiry teams, and most recently, personalized professional learning.  These opportunities have represented seeds of investment and passion from our teachers and staff as we have sought to continuously outgrow our best teaching.  Our dandelions depict the seeds needed to grow a community of practice.
“A community of practice is a group of people who share a common passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, Communities of Practice: 2015). 

Even if we have not necessarily been referencing our work at Noble Crossing as a community of practice, it has already been growing through our actions and collaborative work each school year.  Now that we have planted our seeds, this year our community of practice language has been brought to the forefront, and we are ready to spread our influence.  However, we continue to be mindful of the fact that this is OUR community of practice. Together, we have the opportunity to grow our community of practice at Noble Crossing.  What does it look like, sound like, and feel like? I invite you to continue to follow our Noble Crossing story as year one unfolds as an official community of practice.  We will share our community of practice action steps taken through our entry points, the rallying of others, and the advocation of its success ultimately for the benefit of our students and teachers as we continue to foster a learner-centered culture.

For now, this Noble Crossing community of practice story comes to a pause, yet much like a dandelion spreads its seeds, our CLC posts will continue to share the stories of how communities of practice have already spread their influence.  From spreading the fire with building leaders to the growing and kneading of a second-year community of practice, the synergizing of all of our communities of practice will truly lead to transformational practice.  

Until next time, 
Instructional Coach, Noble Crossing Elementary 

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