THE PROFESSIONAL AND INDUSTRIAL VOICE OF QUEENSLAND’S TEACHERS AND SCHOOL LEADERS IN STATE SCHOOLS AND TAFE FOR MORE THAN 130 YEARS.

Recordings of QuEST 2021 and 2022 online courses

QuEST short courses 2022

This session explores classroom and school routines and their role in creating positive, calm, safe and inclusive routines/learning environments and minimising off-task behaviours. The presenter focuses on the importance of relationships and encouraging students to take appropriate responsibility for what is happening, both in the management of the class and in their own learning.
The past two years have had a momentous impact on wellbeing of school staff and students. While wellbeing in the workplace is everyone’s business, this course recognises that school leaders hold a unique position that enables them to support and enhance others’ wellbeing at work. Over three sessions, participants will come to understand the breadth and depth of wellbeing science and how they can embed evidence-based strategies at the individual, collective and system levels. Core content includes wellbeing assessment and management, creating a culture of psychological safety, leading with strengths, fostering connections and trust in teams, job crafting, compassionate leadership and more.
This is the second of three sessions supporting school leaders in supporting and enhancing wellbeing of school staff and students. Over these three sessions, participants will come to understand the breadth and depth of wellbeing science and how they can embed evidence-based strategies at the individual, collective and system levels. Core content will include wellbeing assessment and management, creating a culture of psychological safety, leading with strengths, fostering connections and trust in teams, job crafting, compassionate leadership and more.
This is the third of three sessions supporting school leaders in supporting and enhancing wellbeing of school staff and students. Over these three sessions, participants will come to understand the breadth and depth of wellbeing science and how they can embed evidence-based strategies at the individual, collective and system levels. Core content will include wellbeing assessment and management, creating a culture of psychological safety, leading with strengths, fostering connections and trust in teams, job crafting, compassionate leadership and more.
Feelings of anxiety will prevent students from engaging in learning or achieving their potential. These barriers can be frustrating for the teacher and the student and can often lead to the student removing themselves further from the learning community. In this course, the presenter will explore techniques that you can use when you are working with students who suffer from anxiety, helping you to re-engage the students while they deal with their condition. This course will help both classroom teachers and teachers in support roles.
Students with ASD frequently have sensory processing issues, meaning that they have difficulty managing sensory inputs such as sound and touch. In this session, an experienced special education teacher will explore how students with ASD might be impacted by sensory processing issues and how that might manifest in your classroom. There are well-researched approaches that can be implemented in the classroom to assist students to manage these difficulties. The session will include practical examples of teaching techniques, adaptations to the classroom environment and the resources that can be used to assist students and enhance learning for all.
Teachers should be constantly engaged in adjusting their teaching to create meaningful and engaging learning experiences for all students. This is frequently described as differentiation. In this session the presenter identifies the three areas within a teacher’s control where differentiation can be introduced - curriculum planning, your approach to classroom instruction (or teaching strategies) and assessment. All differentiation begins with evidence of student understanding, then recognising the opportunities to differentiate as they arise in the lesson.
Engaging with the curriculum can be difficult for a student when they experience challenges with literacy skills. For students with dyslexia, this is not something that is addressed by simply doing more work. Teachers can create a learning environment and use instructional practices that maximise the learning outcomes for all students, those with and without dyslexia. This session focuses on strategies that a teacher can use to create that positive learning environment. It will also be helpful for education support staff working one to one or with small groups.
This session focuses on inquiry learning as an approach to promote differentiation. Inquiry promotes differentiation of both the process and products of learning as students make decisions about how they work. An inquiry learning approach needs to be carefully designed and the role of the teacher is essential – there must be a strong understanding of student proficiency and clear goals established. Teachers must also know when and how to support and intervene in the inquiry process. The presenter has experience in working in both primary and secondary settings.
Teachers of students at all levels and ages have an obligation to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content and perspectives in the classroom. This session will explore opportunities that are available for teachers to integrate First Nations perspectives into daily teaching routines. This will include resources, people, stories and content that can assist teachers to build student awareness. Building the confidence of teachers will lead to more inclusive learning environments for all.
It is rare for a kindergarten child to be disengaged, but common among adolescents. What happens in those intervening years and what is within the control of a teacher when responding to disengaged students? This session will explore some of the common manifestations of disengaged students and then suggest different approaches, within the control of the teacher, that can be used to re-engage those students. The key, as with so many behavioural issues, are preventative strategies and then restorative approaches once things have gone awry.
In this session, the presenter will explore techniques to manage challenging behaviour using calm and assertive dialogue rather than reactive and aggressive responses. It is important to understand the foundations of these techniques, so the presenter will also outline the principles behind developing classrooms built on healthy relationships that minimise challenging behaviours. No teacher looks for a crisis, but the best teachers are prepared with strategies if it happens.
This session supports secondary teachers in their approach to classroom management, including practical ideas to create healthy expectations, establish productive learning relationships and focus on the teacher’s role in achieving this. The presenter focuses on encouraging students to take appropriate responsibility for what is happening, both in the management of the class and in their own learning.
Students who have experienced trauma will have disrupted learning patterns. These students benefit from a trauma informed approach to teaching. This session will focus on supporting teachers to implement strategies that will help manage the behaviours that result from trauma and bring a focus back on to learning. Understanding the principles of trauma aware teaching can lead to healthier engagement with individual students.
Greater awareness of mental health conditions in society has increased the importance of teachers and education staff being able to recognise and understand the various issues that students may be facing and how to deal with these issues when they occur. In this session, the presenter will unpack and explore the different aspects of mental health that may manifest within a school environment and discuss appropriate guidelines around how to be a first responder and provide effective and helpful support. It is a course for leaders, teachers and education support staff.

QuEST long courses 2022

There are many pathways to progress toward a leadership position in schools, and while each comes with unique expectations, there are some common factors to these leadership roles. This program is designed for teachers who are aspiring to, or have just been appointed to, their first leadership role. The presenter will cover the transition from teacher to leader, ideas for building a team culture, and setting goals for yourself and the team you are leading.
It is important that school leaders create environments where teachers engage in professional conversations about their core work, identify common approaches, celebrate success, and identify areas for improvement, as well as understand when and why a particular practice is more effective. This session includes a range of approaches to instructional practice and skills for building a team of teachers committed to constant improvement.
Psychological safety exists when individuals or groups feel free/safe to take risks, raise problems, disagree, ask questions, and admit mistakes. This course will explore what psychological safety is, how it can benefit those working in schools, and how leaders of schools can create cultures of psychological safety. This leadership course will be especially helpful for new and emerging leaders who may have to have challenging conversations with more experienced colleagues in the team they are leading.
This leadership course is an opportunity for you to establish yourself as an innovative leader. The focus is on “servant leadership”, a well-researched term that is not yet widely used in schools. This program invites you to explore what you can do to get the best from your team and how you can lead in a way that builds the skills, knowledge and capabilities of others? This holistic approach is based on ethics, relationships and responding to the rational and emotional in yourself and others.
When teachers understand students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds, their gender identities, and the significant experiences that have shaped them (e.g. trauma, disability or a learning disorder), they can shape an inclusive environment that promotes high quality learning opportunities for all. It is a complex task, but there are simple weekly and daily routines that you can implement in your teaching practice that both build your knowledge of students and create a respectful classroom environment. In this session, the presenter will explore the different routines and practices teachers can use to create a more inclusive classroom culture for all students.
How as a school leader do we know if the professional learning we are supporting is making a difference? In this session, the presenter will explore research on professional learning and development and pose questions and criteria you can take back to your school to challenge your own practices. There will be opportunities for discussion, exploration and questions throughout the session.
The Australian Curriculum includes a “education for sustainability” cross-curriculum priority. This workshop will support teachers to develop the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living. You will be provided with resources and teaching approaches that will support you to confidently teach this important cross-curriculum priority.

QuEST full day courses 2022

This course will support teachers to increase their learning about the major learning disabilities and to broaden their teaching strategies to support these students. In this full day program, one of Australia’s leading teachers on working with students with learning disabilities will outline issues experienced by students with learning disabilities, including self-regulation, sensory processing, behavioural issues, and knowledge acquisition. This is a practical, classroom focused course. The teaching strategies are tried and tested. There will be opportunities to develop and share resources, programs and behaviour plans during the session.
This presentation will support you to think beyond the lesson plan and engage effectively with First Nations pedagogical approaches. The 8-ways pedagogy is “a culturally safe point of entry for teachers to begin engaging with Aboriginal knowledge and cross-cultural dialogue in the community”. This course will increase your understanding and knowledge and provide practical examples for the classroom. You will also be given some ideas of where to find additional professional reading and teaching resources to support you.
The collection of data is something that all teachers do, but interpreting data accurately and leading colleagues through the narrative that data presents can be challenging. This full day session will establish the importance of using meaningful data to analyse impact and leading a team to use data more effectively. The course will cover both effective use of data across a cohort of students and approaches that you can use with a team of colleagues to identify helpful data and how that data can be used across a cohort of students, whether for an age group or across a curriculum area.
This session brings together the teaching strategy of metacognition with the emerging research on neuroscience. Metacognition teaches students about their own thinking and their own learning, and thereby promotes greater control over their own learning. Participants will be better placed to support all students to become independent learners, from those who have experienced trauma through to gifted students. This full day session draws on practical experience and includes substantial discussion, exploration and question time. The aim for the session is that you will leave with new resources and/or an implementation plan for your classroom.
This session is for teachers in middle leadership roles in schools or who aspire to these roles. Teachers in these roles need to work effectively with their colleagues to build skills and knowledge, model effective teaching practices and respond when things do not go right. In this session, one of Australia’s leading classroom management specialists will take you through his “seven steps to success” for creating an environment where students can learn and thrive. An effective classroom environment does not happen by accident or magic. Middle leaders are uniquely positioned to support teachers on this journey.

Classroom Management Series 2021

Classroom and behaviour management are complex challenges – rarely does a school day unfold the way it was planned. This session will look at classroom and school routines and their role in creating positive, safe and inclusive learning environments and minimising off-task behaviours. Despite disruptions routines can encourage calm and safe learning environments. The presenter will focus on the importance of relationships and encouraging students to take appropriate responsibility for what is happening both in the management of the class and in their own learning.
The classroom is a dynamic environment that can range in volume. Creating a calm environment can help ensure that students are able to interact positively and stay focussed on the learning task at hand. In this session the presenter will explore how to use students' strengths to drive learning and engagement and how to work while creating a calm and supportive learning environment. Creating a calm environment enables the teacher to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for all children in the classroom.
Despite our best intentions students can often choose behaviours that have a negative impact on the classroom environment and those within it. As such educators need a tool kit of things to think, say and do to address these behaviours firmly and fairly, so that relationships are maintained, and expectations reinforced. This session will support teachers in their approach to classroom management including practical tools to create healthy expectations, establish productive learning relationships and focus on the teacher’s role in achieving this.
The complexity of creating a safe and supportive learning environment for students is socially and emotionally demanding of teachers. Recognising the triggers that can escalate and create disruptive situations will help lead to the creation of productive environments. The focus of this session is in recognising the warning signs and intervening before behaviour escalates and becomes very disruptive. Gaining an understanding of strategies to deescalate, manage challenging behaviour, and redirect undesirable behaviour will allow students to remain engaged with their learning.
Teaching is about relationships. When we build strong and effective relationships with students, they feel safer and are enabled to take chances in their own learning. Having a good rapport also creates more connection to the class and can lead to a happier environment that increases engagement. This session will explore techniques that you can use with your students to build rapport and create a safe and engaging learning environment.

Classroom Practice Series 2021

Formative assessment and continuous assessment of student learning can be perceived as time consuming when it is seen as an added on task. However, when it is done well and with careful planning it will lead to more effective teaching and improved student outcomes. Strategies for remote learning put into place during COVID-19 lockdowns also provide useful adjustments to incorporate into mainstream classroom practices. This session will explore techniques to streamline assessment processes, including student self-assessment, peer assessment and in-class observations which can increase efficiency and time management to ensure assessments are effective and engaging.

Knowledge of Student Series 2021

"Developing boundaries for your professional workload is essential skill to become an effective teacher whilst still enjoying a social and family life. This session will: 1. Invite you to reflect on how you use your time and to identify areas where you can achieve a better balance. 2. Invite you to examine the practices in your school - e.g. does the available support enable you to manage your workload? 3. Encourage you to be active in managing workload expectations at an industry level by working collectively When workload management is considered at these three levels, you can develop the practices you need to remain an effective teacher, living a balanced life
Teachers invest a lot of personal energy into their work. It is important for all teachers look after themselves and realise that self-care isn’t selfish. This session will discuss easy ways to build self care practices into daily life such as mindfulness and expressing gratitude which can help increase your ability to regulate emotions, and can decrease stress, anxiety and depression. These techniques can then be introduced into your classroom and support your students to develop mindfulness and gratitude. This session is a must for all teachers following the complex year we experienced with COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.

Know Your Students Series 2021

Positive Mental health is a critical component to developing student’s wellbeing. Teachers have been asked to broaden their practice to include student wellbeing as part of the teacher and learning in class. In the current COVID19 normal environment schools need to be aware of the wellbeing not only of students but also ourselves and our colleagues. This session will identify strategies that you can implement in your classroom with students, as well as ideas for looking after yourself and your colleagues. Having ideas ready to implement will help you understand your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you.
Students across primary and secondary settings often have strong views on teaching, learning and the day to day school experience. When these perspectives are acknowledged and integrated into the functioning of the classroom students can take ownership with improvements in learning outcomes, engagement and wellbeing. Providing students with the opportunity to guide their learning can also increase a sense of ownership and connection to the classroom. This session will explore the concept of student voice and agency in the classroom, and opportunities for all teachers to connect with student voice and increase student agency.
As students of today regularly interact on the internet on a variety of social platforms. The effects of trauma can manifest in different, unexpected ways and show up at surprising and often inconvenient times. Supporting students who have experienced trauma appropriately requires a special approach and attention to the detail of decisions made in how to handle situations. This session will focus on supporting teachers to understand the different types of trauma experienced by students and to identify effective strategies that will help manage the resulting behaviours.
Schools are essential community hubs that bring people together from a wide range of demographics. Interactions often reflect the issues that are occurring in the wider community. There has been an increase in the scrutiny of examples of toxic masculinity throughout society and still remains an issue that underlies some behaviours that teachers have to face. As teachers we have a responsibility to engage in this conversation and then take steps in our schools to respond appropriately. This session will open that conversation and suggest some steps that teachers can take in response to expressions of toxic masculinity.
Over the last few years there has been an increase in numbers of students who are suffering from anxiety and depression in today’s classrooms. These issues often create a barrier for students to learn or achieve their full potential. These barriers can be frustrating for the teacher and the student and can often lead to the student further isolating from the school community. In this session we will explore techniques that you can use when you are working with students who suffer from anxiety and depression, helping you to reengage the students while they address their health concerns.
Classroom practice that encourages and responds to student’s feedback creates more opportunities to engage students in their learning. This also creates a sense of ownership and responsibility in the work they engage with. This session will explore techniques for implementing student feedback strategies in the classroom and identify how responding to this feedback can improve professional practice. Incorporating these strategies into classroom practice can help to create a positive climate for learning which encourages all students to engage in and drive their own learning.
With increased awareness of mental health disorders in society it can be tricky to recognise and understand the various issues that people may be facing and how to deal with these issues when they occur. In this session we will unpack and explore different aspects of mental health that may be faced within a school environment and discuss appropriate guidelines around how to be a first responder and to provide effective and helpful support.

Leadership Series 2021

This session will support new leaders in their approach to managing challenging conversations that occur within the school community. The presenter will focus on practical conflict resolution skills to manage these challenging conversations.
An essential skill for leaders in education settings, at the heart of our work as teachers, is the ability to lead instructional practice. This session will summarise key approaches of instructional practice, enable you to reflect on your own teaching practice and explore skill development with your team.
In accepting the idea of leadership as narrative you are asked to think about how your own narrative connects with the narrative of others in your team. Leadership as a narrative assumes that we are dealing with the whole person who has their own story, with all of its detail and complexity. The people we seek to lead are not just teachers and not just employees; they are a whole person with a narrative, and for whom work is only part of that narrative. In this session the presenter will offer participants a series of reflection and practical activities to use in their leadership role.
To lead and understand others we must first understand and be able to lead ourselves. This session will focus on how your internal triggers, your thinking habits, your typical reactions and your brain all help or hinder your daily experience. This session will equip you to be more mindful of your thinking habits and tendencies and how these impact your daily experience. You will consider your colleagues and your interactions in a whole new way and better understand the responses, reactions and behaviours of others, through knowing yourself more deeply.

Student Engagement Series 2021

Teachers of students at all levels and ages have an obligation to include Aboriginal content and perspectives in the classroom. This session will explore opportunities that are available for teachers to integrate Aboriginal content into daily teaching routines. This will include resources, people, stories and content that can assist teachers to build student awareness. Building the confidence of teachers in using Aboriginal content will lead to more inclusive learning environments for all.
Catering for students effectively means providing learning opportunities and support for their current achievement level. When teachers and students understand the subtleties of Indigenous relationships and communication styles then learning becomes a partnership and creates engagement. This session is designed as an introduction to further develop teacher's understanding of protocols that influence curriculum and teaching and learning approaches for indigenous education and inclusion in mainstream schools.

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