This blog post marks day one of the 30 day blog challenge for teachers, hosted by the Te@chThought Online Community. Since I have already written about my goals for the new school year (some of them rather silly organizational tasks), let me tell you about my PGP (Professional Growth Plan) goals for the year.

This year the Arkansas Department of Education adopted a program called Bloomboard to help schools organize and better implement TESS (Teacher Evaluation and Support System). Have you heard of it?
This is my Bloomboard Dashboard.

Screen shot 2014-09-01 at 8.41.06 AM

You can see that my two main goals for growth this year are:

1. Design opportunities for student self-assessment, and

2. Demonstrate better knowledge of my students.

In my opinion, these two things go hand-in-hand, but the two together cover a lot of pedagogical ground, especially as far as TESS is concerned.

The reason that I chose these goals is because my focus this year is on tracking students’ proficiency in the target language (Spanish) through ePortfolios. A key component in tracking proficiency is self-assessment and reflection. As students enter artifacts into their ePortfolios and then self-assess, I will learn more about them personally and I will learn more about what I need to do to help them progress. I am really excited about this journey towards knowing my students deeply! This also happens to be the first of the five core propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Last week, my students spent two days building their ePortfolios on Google Sites. It is a great platform, because it works so well in conjunction with Google Drive, allowing students to upload documents and link them to their ePortfolios. They can also set the site to “private”, and share it just with me (I make this mandatory). This is my template that students copy from and paste into their newly created and formated ePortfolios: VBHS WLAN ePortfolio Homepage.

I’ve already learned so much about my students through this process; who is excellent with technology, who has NO clue :), who listens well, who does not listen well, who needs me to hold their hand through every step, and who is very independent and likes to through in their own creative twists. I have learned all of this, and this isn’t even an insight that I foresaw before beginning this journey!

What about you, have you set your professional goals for the year?
Have you tried ePortfolios? If so, I would love your input on the process!

Buena suerte,

Profe C