Expanding Our Impact – HALT Summit 2019

Since 2016, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has hosted the Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALTs) Summit for certified teachers from across Australia to connect, share and develop their expertise as educational leaders.

The focus of the summit is for HALTs to work with national and international leading thinkers to develop skills that equip them to lead and inspire colleagues and collaborate with other Highly Accomplished and Lead teachers.

Almost 200 of Australia’s expert teachers gathered in Darwin from May 22 to 25 for this year’s summit to share their expertise and knowledge for the benefit of Australia’s students.

The summit was hosted by AITSL, with support from the Northern Territory Teacher Regulatory Board and the Northern Territory Department of Education.

For many participants, 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 MC’s Dan Haesler (Cut Through Coaching & Consulting) and Renez Lammon (a HALT from the Northern Territory and Director on the AITSL Board). Special guests included, Dr Lyn Sharratt and Laureate Professor John Hattie, as well as the new CEO of AITSL, Mark Grant.

The theme for this year’s summit was ‘Expanding Our Impact’, with conference attendees challenged by presenters to think about how they can expand their own impact in their systems and sectors.

Day one of the summit started with a welcome from the new AITSL CEO, Mark Grant, who reflected on the history of AITSL and set out his vision and purpose for the HALT network.

Following on, Lyn Sharratt provided a snapshot of her workshops and book entitled CLARITY: What Matters Most in Learning, Teaching & Leading, as well as her work with Catholic Education Western Australia on implementing evidence-based strategies to improve student learning. Her challenge to attendees was clear – who is that student who needs us most and what are we doing for them in our classrooms?

The afternoon provided an opportunity for the HALT’s 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, who talked to the summit’s theme and specifically how HALTs can create a culture of collective efficacy in their schools.

Provocative and incisive, he spoke directly to the cultures of our schools and challenged HALTs to reinterpret the word ‘expert’ within the field of education.

Following this, attendees workshopped some of the challenges in education including creating, supporting and valuing the profession, student success and women in leadership.

The afternoon was wrapped up by state-based discussions on the current and future state of certification.

The summit was concluded by a powerful story from a student from Henbury School in the Northern Territory – a school for students with disabilities.

The student spoke about the journey of learning, her success at school and the impact of teachers in her world. There were very few dry eyes left in the room after her talk.

The HALT Summit is an opportunity to work collaborative with other expert educators nationally in sharing and conversing about teacher expertise and national certification.

Each year the Summit leaves you brimming with new ideas and enthusiasm.

There were many learnings to take back to St Bede’s from Darwin this year, not least the desire to encourage other staff down the path towards higher levels of teacher accreditation.

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