Ohio is a place of change….at least educationally. So much change that it is mind boggling at times. Three changes are affecting classroom teachers in my building directly. The New Learning Standards (what I teach and when I teach it), the Next Generation of Assessments (how students are evaluated as a measure of overall school effectiveness), and the Teacher Evaluation system (my effectiveness measured via observations and the growth my students achieve and then boiled down to a one word rating). Plus new school rating report cards, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, and changed in Early Childhood Education standards. And in Career Tech our school board structure will be shifting. Yep, all that AT ONCE….spinning, spinning, confusing, and dizzying.
And, some things did not go away. New teachers participate in a four year residency program in addition to this. Ohio Graduation Tests and the Next Generation of Assessments will happen simultaneously for awhile. Individualized Education Plans will still be written and implemented. And on, and on.
This handy chart from ODE offers a quick look at what is happening when.
Well, it is time to do it. Time to jump in. Time to take the plunge. Time to blog professionally. I have been actively blogging for two years on a personal blog (arlaallen.com), but now it is time to add a professional blog. I am guessing the blog will be more a repository or curation of all the amazing material I find about teaching, learning, and technology. I also hope to provide an easy way for my colleagues to find information they need when they need it.
I have been busy this summer. I have volunteered to teach administrators, support staff, and teachers how to use Google Apps effectively to do their jobs more effectively. In June, I completed the three-day training to become an OTES Certified Assessor. OTES stands for Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. This system of evaluation will be required in my building beginning next year.
I also was accepted to be part of the Ohio Department of Education Network of Leaders. Our job is to become knowledgeable about the New Learning Standards in Ohio and the Next Generation of Assessments and then go forth and train others. It is exciting to be more closely in contact with ODE.