Martha Pero, Professional Development Chair
What a year we have had with the news of the new OTES (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System), the SLOs (Student Learning Objectives) and the SGMs (Student Growth Measures). The OFLA Professional Development Committee has researched this information and has presented 11 workshops helping over 400 foreign language teachers make sense of our state legislature. We look at this as a silver lining for our members. Since we must align the SLOs with the state standards, our hope is that we will become one of the leaders in the nation with proficiency-based assessments. We are not advocating “throwing out” grammar and vocabulary. We are suggesting that there is more than knowing how to conjugate 100 verbs in 17 tenses. We believe that our students need to strive for presentational, interpersonal and interpretive proficiency. I have to say that in Hudson we have been piloting a more proficiency-based type of assessing this year, and the results have been awesome. Students have been cooperative and are enjoying showing off their skills!
There is currently a level one SLO now on the ODE site that has been vetted by an ODE committee. We are also proud to say there is a new website oflaslo.weebly.com that has examples, explanations and a wealth of information. Please go to the site and peruse.
As a result of the workshops already presented, we have invited Arnold Bleicher, an ACTFL presenter, to provide us with a two-day workshop on what proficiency looks like and how to write assessments. We are excited to host him and take the next step in Ohio to move our students toward proficiency. We will then have ten attendees present workshops throughout the state in the near future. Check the OFLA site to see when one will be in your area.
These are scary yet exciting times! I don’t believe that we need to be frightened of the SLOs. We will be able to show growth easily with proficiency. I am confident that we have some of the best teachers in the nation in Ohio and if we collaborate and help each other out, we will prevail! Thank you to all who have contributed.