Highly accomplished teacher and lead teacher
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 7, 30 September 2022, page no. 14
Since highly accomplished teacher (HAT) and lead teacher (LT) were introduced in Queensland, 150 teachers have been certified at either a HAT or LT career stage.
The HAT and LT classifications are the final two career stages in the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)’s Australian Professional Standards for Teaching (APSTs).
According to the standards, HATs are highly effective, skilled classroom practitioners who are knowledgeable and contemporary in their practice. They work with, support, and assist teaching colleagues and contribute to professional learning within the school environment. They have a positive impact on student outcomes.
Lead teachers are recognised and respected as exemplary teachers. They initiate and lead activities/projects across or beyond the school focused on improving outcomes for students. They support colleagues to expand and improve teaching practice.
Before the state election in 2015, the establishment of the HAT and LT classifications formed part of the Labor Party’s “Letting Teachers Teach” policy. This achieved a long-standing QTU claim for professional pay for teachers and provided a genuine choice for classroom teachers who wish to achieve a higher salary, either staying in the classroom or applying for promotion.
It has now been five years since the HAT and LT certifications were piloted, and teachers who were certified back then are now able to renew their certification.
The purpose of certification renewal is to verify a certified teacher’s ongoing performance at the HAT or LT stage. Assessments are made holistically against the professional capabilities, which are drawn from the APSTs.
Applicants for renewal must submit:
- a professional practice written statement
- a professional learning written statement
- a 30 to 35-minute unedited video of their classroom practice
- an overview of their lead initiative from the five-year period (lead applicants only)
- three to five written referee statements.
As a previous assessor, I was fortunate to assess many exemplary portfolios. I have seen firsthand the phenomenal work that teachers do. So, if you are thinking of applying for certification, here are some of my top tips for putting together a submission.
- Play the long game – there are 37 descriptions across three domains to be assessed against.
- Remember, evidence is valid for up to five years.
- Complete the self-assessment tool.
- Speak to your admin team.
- Think ahead and map out what evidence you need over the next two years and how you might get it.
- Complete your annual performance reviews using the APSTs.
The QTU has developed a series of FREE professional development workshops to help you understand and engage with this process. You can access this via https://www.qtu.asn.au/quest/hatltregistration.
More resources can be found on the department’s HAT and LT intranet and the Queensland College of Teachers’ website.
So, if you think this could be for you and are considering applying, why not give it a go?