Across Australia, a network of inspiring, highly accomplished teachers is shaking up education.
These Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers (or HALTs) are not only using their expertise to impact their own classes of students, but also supporting and influencing their colleagues’ teaching practice to extend their impact across entire schools.
In Queensland, the number of these teaching superstars is on the rise.
Last week, about 100 teachers from the state’s independent school sector – double the number in 2020 – put themselves forward to have their teaching practice and impact evaluated and confirmed through the prestigious national certification program.
Once formally certified, these aspiring HALTs will join the 841 other nationally certified HALTs from across Australia.
“HALT certification makes great teaching visible within schools and affirms the professional expertise and impact of teachers who are leading from their classrooms,” Robertson told The Educator.
“ISQ is engaged in a collaborative research project with the Queensland University of technology to identify the impact of HALTs”.
Robertson sad this nation-first research has shown that the impact and influence of HALTs extends beyond their students, to their colleagues, school and wider community.
“Many play important middle leadership roles in their schools championing and modelling great teaching practice, facilitating networks of informal leadership and providing a critical link between classroom teachers and school leadership teams,” he said.
“They are also inspiring role models for their students, demonstrating that learning is lifelong”.
Robertson said community appreciation for teachers during the many challenges of COVID-19 may have inspired more teachers to apply for the certification.
“Teachers transformed their education programs overnight to keep their students learning and their communities connected during a period of significant disruption and uncertainty,” he said.
“Certification challenges teachers to unpack their methods and approaches and to identify their impact on student learning and their role as middle leaders in their schools.”
AITSL Chief Executive Officer, Mark Grant, congratulated the ISQ for its continued work to support the growth of nationally certified HALTs.
“Queensland is a strong supporter of HALT certification and it is terrific to see about 100 Queensland independent school teachers are investing in their professional growth through embarking on the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher certification process this year,” Grant said.
“ISQ and other certifying authorities across the country are leading the way in ensuring that the expertise and leadership of teaching is harnessed and formally recognised”.