It is young days for AITSL’s HALT network but in a short three years the impact of the network is really starting to show.
The concept of the HALT certification is centred on the development of expert teachers, their delivery of high quality practice and expanding their influence beyond the classroom across the schoolyard through to Australia’s education system.
And of course, the more HALTs there are in schools across the country, the better off Australia’s students and teaching will be.
At this year's annual HALT Summit, the number of participants rose by about 25% from the previous year as more than 200 certified HALT’s gathered in Canberra for the Annual Summit. It's a rigorous process to become certified and one worth crowing about when the summit - if you'll excuse the pun - is reached.
In fact, the current census of HALTs is already revealing that national certification is one of the best professional learning experiences they have ever been through. If you are thinking about being a HALT or just want to know a little more about it, go to https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/understand-certification-and-halt-status/join-halt .
The HALT educators who were invited to the recent two-day summit were inspired by each other's views and the two acclaimed international keynote speakers who took the stage.
On day one, CEO and President of the US National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Peggy Brookins shared her valuable insights from a country that’s also making big strides to recognise high achieving educators and cross-fertilise their expertise.
The action on day two was highlighted by an address from renowned University of Auckland Professor Viviane Robinson.
Distinguished Prof Robinson put a provocative question to attendees: Why in education do we think that change is equivalent to improvement?
It triggered another passionate session from the HALT experts in the crowd who revelled in the opportunity to share their ideas and perspectives.
In fact, positive feedback from attendees lit up social media during the event, with their flood of Twitter posts pushing the summit into the top five trending topics of the day across Australia. Now that's a lot of buzz.
If more proof were needed of the excitement and value the HALT Summit gives to educators, it came swiftly afterward in the form of direct HALT feedback to AITSL.
Much of the overwhelmingly positive feedback received centred on how rare and important it is for expert educators to meet each other face-to-face, so they can share their knowledge and form deeper connections that benefit everyone involved.
So whether it's for professional development or the betterment of your colleagues or school, remember the big winners when more teachers earn HALT status are the students we are all here to nurture and bring out their best.