I had some interest on Twitter (where I am so much more active!) about the performance goals I had to write for work. Essentially, the term is our district's way of saying SLO's (student learning objectives) that can be personalized to oneself.
Because these goals are sorta-kinda related to SLOs, I tried to find some OT related SLOs as a starting point. This wikispace has some example OT SLOs, the only ones that I could find on the internet. If you will peruse, you will notice they are EXTREMELY DETAILED, which from my understanding, SLOs have to be. Redundant even. I didn't get the message that our goals could be significantly less detailed, so I think I've overshot on my goals a bit. Such it is.
With my caseload, my kids have a wide range of ages and abilities. So I couldn't think of (in the time allotted) a good measure of student performance that would have a large group to pull from. My largest group of students are those in the regional certificated classrooms. For many reasons, including that I am evaluated as a teacher though I have not trained as a teacher, I wanted to spend more time in these classrooms learning special education techniques, dynamics, and observing the skills of the teachers and students in action. So I set a goal to observe for 1 hour each week, bringing myself to each classroom at least twice for 30 minutes in the course of the year. (I know this does not seem like a lot of time, but my schedule is packed and it is actually difficult to even get that amount of time.) I adapted a teaching reflection sheet that I found to keep a record of insights and questions.
My second goal involves our district's technology focus. There is a push to expand our technological reach and impact. I made a twitter account for our department and sent out an initial survey on usage of social media for professional development. Analyzing these responses (weighted on a Likert scale), I identified a few questions to focus on for growth (specifically, those that had a lot of room to grow). I have prepared a presentation and will be working with our team on getting started. We have a range of users, from the very tech-savvy to those who do not use social media at all. It will be interesting to see how well I differentiate instruction to the group! It is also interesting to sort of feel like a social media manager and be trying to figure out how to do that job. I hope that we will be able to meet on branding and find some great ways for us to grow as team.
So those are the (measured) targets I am working toward this year, in addition to working with my students, interfacing with teachers and parents, and several other irons in the fire! I don't feel as compelled to have true SLO goals since all my kids are working toward IEP goals that have to be constantly measured and reported quarterly anyway. I have probably over-thought and over-measured these and they may need to be adjusted at midyear. But it is nice to have some concrete personal goals. This also helps me narrow down my focus, which long time readers will recognize as a major challenge for me!!
Do you have to write SLOs or a similar type of goal as a school-based OT? Do you have to write performance goals in a different setting, such as a hospital. Please let me know below, it would be great to dialog about this!