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Members take charge of their profession at SLO training

IFT members from locals around the state took the initiative – and took charge of the teaching profession – this month at a new union-sponsored professional development training, “Making SLOs Work for You: Moving Beyond Compliance.”
The inclusion of student growth measures is a critical component of educator evaluations under the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA), and many districts are using, or plan to use, a process where teachers select an assessment and set learning goals. Sometimes, this is called the Student Learning Objective (SLO) process. The new two-day training from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is designed to help teachers gain an in-depth understanding of this process and to develop one for their own use that will improve student learning.
Participants at the workshop held in Westmont, Ill. also developed strategies to advocate for their students and their professions, and received helpful tools for engaging members in the process. Armed with expert knowledge and supports, these educated members can now train their union colleagues on how to take charge of their profession as they undertake the process for measuring student growth and advocate together in their locals and councils for improved student learning.
It’s clear this program will make a real difference for teachers and their students. Here’s what some participants had to say:
“The Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) training provided by the IFT helped me feel empowered as a teacher.  I feel more comfortable selecting the factors that will be used to determine student growth, and more empowered to use the data collected in my classroom to drive conversations with my administrators and advocate for myself during professional evaluations.”

- Traci Hartigan, Valley View Council of AFT Local 604 (Joliet)
“This training has empowered me to see SLOs in a new way. I now feel confident that I can use my knowledge of my students and my teaching to show my evaluator clear evidence of what’s happening in my classroom through the SLO process. I would highly recommend this training to everyone!”

- Amber Owens, Champaign Federation of Teachers, Local 1925
Additional SLO trainings are being planned for the fall in Westmont, Fairview Heights, and Quincy. Watch your inbox for updates, and visit the IFT website for information about other union leadership and professional development opportunities.



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