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Empowering Teachers, Empowering Students

18 March 2024 | Posted in Learning and Teaching

Empowering Teachers, Empowering Students

Rebecca Lucey

By Rebecca Lucey


St Benedict's Catholic School, Shaw

Empowering Teachers, Empowering Students: The Benefits of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in the Classroom

When teachers grow and continue to learn both professionally and personally, so do your children in their classroom. This is evident as teachers progress through the different career stages that are outlined by the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching. From being welcomed into the profession or sometimes thrown in the deep end as a Graduate Teacher, classroom teachers also have the opportunity to apply to be recognised as Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers within the school. 

These stages allow teachers to continue to flourish in the classroom for many years to come and use their experience and knowledge to support teachers and students throughout their learning journey. This allows quality teachers to remain in a classroom and to continue to support other teachers to improve the wellbeing and academic outcomes of students at their school. 

Having Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALT) within our Diocese provides many benefits firstly and and always foremostly to our students. Teachers who are recognised with this certification contribute to their colleagues' learning and often take on extra roles and responsibilities that guide, mentor, advise and lead colleagues about how to best support, encourage and engage students in their learning and wellbeing. Using their own knowledge and skills that they have acquired and demonstrated from their years teaching in classrooms, HALT’s are required to model, support and work with other teachers to help create safe, nurturing and positive learning environments. This means, the impact of a Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher has a far greater impact than just the students in their own classroom, but often positively impacting numerous cohorts, year levels and even providing whole school initiatives and programs that benefit the students.

The HALT process is completed in two separate stages. The first stage requires teachers to collect evidence from within their previous five years of teaching, that demonstrates how they have met the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. This evidence can include, evidence of student achievement, documents on how the teacher has supported learners in the classroom, students work samples as well as meeting notes that have been initiated and led by the applicant and resources that have been created to support colleagues. This data collection stage can take several years to complete as there are 37 different areas that need to be addressed by the applicant’s evidence. This portfolio of work is then submitted to the Queensland College of Teachers who is the governing body that teachers must be registered with to be reviewed and assessed by three independent assessors. If successful at Stage One, the teacher will have the opportunity to complete Stage Two which involves the teacher recording and submitting a series of teaching lessons in the classroom, that is once again reviewed and assessed as either meeting the Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers stage or not yet meeting the requirements. 

Around 1200 teachers Australia wide have been recognised with this nationally certification. Last year, the Townsville Catholic Education Diocese supported me to successfully complete and be recognised as a Highly Accomplished Teacher.

Becoming a Highly Accomplished Teacher has allowed me to reflect on my own teaching and become more aware of the positive impacts teachers have on students every day. 

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