National recognition for Tasmanian Teachers

29/11/2022 TRB Staff

Pictured left to right: Minister for Education, Children and Young People Roger Jaensch, Kendal King (Lead Teacher, Triabunna District School), Ruth Degrassi (Lead Teacher, Hobart College), Casey-Rae Mullen (Highly Accomplished Teacher, The Friends’ School), Carmel McGee (Lead Teacher, Riverside Primary), Timothy Brown (Lead Teacher, Launceston Church Grammar School), Bronwyn House (Highly Accomplished Teacher, Circular Head Christian School), Ann Moxham (Registrar, Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania).
Not pictured: Satwinder Kaur (Highly Accomplished Teacher, Claremont College).

For the first time, seven Tasmanian classroom teachers have achieved national certification at the highest stages of practice under the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, as part of the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALT) Tasmanian pilot.

Tasmanian Minister for Education, Children and Young People Roger Jaensch dubbed them “the magnificent seven” at a formal presentation held at the Wrest Point Boardwalk Gallery yesterday.

They will now join the national Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Network, sharing best-practice teaching with other certified teachers from all around Australia.

Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher certification has gradually rolled out across Australia, with a Tasmanian pilot launching in 2021 comprised of experienced teachers drawn from all across Tasmania, and all Tasmanian education sectors. The process is designed to recognise quality teaching and provide professional growth and leadership pathways where teachers can continue to excel in the classroom, where they have the greatest impact on student outcomes. The benefits are far-reaching and include elevating the teaching profession and positively influencing teachers, parents and carers, school leaders, and, most importantly, students.

These seven teachers have achieved an incredible feat. They have completed certification in just 14 months, when the average time nationally is 18 months to three years, while also undertaking a Graduate Certificate of Education with the University of Tasmania, a unique feature of the Tasmanian HALT pilot designed to complement the certification process.

The certification process sees teachers reflect deeply on their practice against seven Standards and 37 Standard Descriptors of the Highly Accomplished, or Lead career stage, and present evidence of their impact on students and colleagues. Their submissions are assessed in three stages by independent, nationally accredited assessors, culminating in a day of on-site observation.

Special thanks also go to the 27 senior educators who became certified assessors in 2021, without whom certification would not be possible, and the schools and principals who supported teachers as applicants and assessors.

“The Board and its office congratulate these certified HALTs, the HALT assessors, and all involved in making the pilot a success,” Teachers Registration Board Registrar, Ann Moxham, said.

“As the body that registers teachers in Tasmania, that has the mandate to promote the teaching profession and develop and improve teaching standards, we are delighted to have had a role in pioneering this initiative in Tasmania and ensuring that teachers in Tasmania are recognised on par with the best teachers anywhere in Australia.”

Pictured below being presented with her certificate by Deputy Secretary for Education Jodee Wilson (right) is assessor Denise Foggo (centre) accompanied by Lynne McDougall, Director of Inclusion and Diversity Services (right), all from the Department for Education, Children and Young People.

Senior education professionals with full registration as a teacher have completed the national Assessor Training Program – a minimum of 50 hours of professional learning which equips them to make rigorous, evidence-based judgements on a teacher’s practice, against a consistent standard (the Highly Accomplished and Lead stages of the Teacher Standards).

“The Board and its office congratulate these certified HALTs, the HALT assessors, and all involved in making the pilot a success.”

As the jurisdictional certifying authority for Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers in Tasmania, the Teachers Registration Board’s responsibilities include delivering the national Assessor Training Program in Tasmania and then certifying assessors, nominating two trained external assessors to assess each evidence module submitted by a teacher working towards national certification, ensuring that teacher’s evidence submissions are ready for to undergo the assessment process, and verifying that assessors have followed the national process before certifying their recommendation.

While the current cohort of teachers continues working towards becoming certified, the pilot is now also entering an evaluation phase to refine the certification model, materials, and supports to suit the Tasmanian education sector, which will include broad consultation with participants.

Delivery of the Tasmanian HALT pilot is guided by a cross-sectoral steering committee comprised of senior representatives from the Department for Education, Children and Young People., Catholic Education Tasmania, Independent Schools Tasmania, Christian Education Tasmania, and the Teachers Registration Board.

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