Since 2016 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has hosted a national summit for Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALT), certifying authorities and others interested in voluntary nationally certified teachers at higher levels.
The focus of the summit is for HALT to work with leading thinkers from Australia and internationally, develop skills that equip them to lead and inspire colleagues, and collaborate with other HALTs.
Almost 200 of Australia’s expert teachers gathered in Darwin from 22-25 May to share expertise and knowledge at the Summit.
The event started with two days of school visits throughout the Northern Territory including regional visits to Katherine, Arnhem Land, Jabiru and various schools in Darwin and surrounds.
The summit itself kicked off on 24 May with MCs Dan Haesler (Cut Through Coaching) and Renez Lammon, HALT from the NT and Director on the board of AITSL. Special guests included Dr Lyn Sharratt and Laureate Professor John Hattie, as well as the new CEO of AITSL Mark Grant.
The theme for the summit was Expanding our Impact and throughout the conference attendees were constantly challenge by presenters as to how they can expand their own impact in their systems and sectors.
Day 1 of the summit started with a welcome from the new AITSL CEO Mark Grant who reflected on the history of AITSL and set out some of his vision and purpose for the HALT network.
Following on, Lyn Sharratt provided a snapshot of Clarity and her work with Catholic Education Western Australia on implementing evidence based strategies to improve student learning.
Her challenge was clear – who is the student who needs us most and what are we doing for them in our classrooms? The afternoon provided an opportunity for the HALTs present to share and learn from each other in the Sharespaces, which showcased an immense range of evidence based initiatives to enhance teacher quality across the country.
The second day of the conference was kicked off by John Hattie on the theme of ‘impact’ and specifically how HALT can create a culture of collective efficacy in their schools.
Provocative and incisive, he spoke directly to the cultures of our schools and challenge HALTs to reinterpret the word ‘expert’ within the field of education. Following this, attendees workshopped some of the challenges in education including creating, support and valuing the profession, student success, and women in leadership.
The afternoon was wrapped up by state-based discussions on the current and future of certification.
The summit was concluded by a powerful story of a student from Henbury, a school for students with disabilities, who spoke of the journey of learning, her success at school, and the impact of teachers in her world. There were very few dry eyes left.
For teachers interested in certification at higher levels, please visit the NESA website for more information.