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RGS teachers leading the way in education

10th Dec 2020

Rockhampton Grammar School teachers Alana Mikkelsen, Tricia Ruddick and Jason Rooks were this week officially recognised as Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) Lead Teachers, the highest possible career stage.

Mrs Mikkelsen, Mrs Ruddick and Mr Rooks were among 30 independent school teachers from across Queensland who successfully completed an 18-month national certification programme in 2020 to gain HALT (Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers) certification - the two most advanced levels of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

RGS Secondary School teacher, and RGS STEAM Leader, Mrs Alana Mikkelsen, was initially inspired to continue her teaching growth through the RGS Staff Leadership programme – an opportunity which inspired her to pursue STEAM aspirations at RGS.

Mrs Mikkelsen said this ISQ programme was about keeping good teachers in the classroom.

“We love to teach and be in the classroom, with the kids,’’ Mrs Mikkelsen said.

Mrs Mikkelsen also welcomes the opportunity to work with fellow staff to help them excel and grow in their own teaching space and bring their own passion to the classroom.

“Kids see passion and see the love of learning in their teacher. That gets transferred to the students. That is something very powerful in the classroom,’’ Mrs Mikkelsen said.

“We need to keep our good teachers where they belong, which is in the classroom with the kids.”

Mrs Ruddick (Year 5) and Mr Rooks (Year 6) have also taken on leadership opportunities within their own teaching space – both creating programmes to help further assist their fellow teachers while also providing new learning opportunities for their students.

Mrs Ruddick said it was great to be recognised for leadership roles while still being able to stay in the classroom.

“Teaching in the classroom is our passion,’’ Mrs Ruddick said.

Mr Rooks agreed it was not about the title of being a Lead Teacher.

“It’s about being here for the kids,’’ Mr Rooks said.

HALT certification is overseen nationally by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and undertaken locally by certifying authorities including ISQ. Teachers applying for certification undergo a rigorous evaluation process that involves gathering evidence of their teaching practices, classroom observations and peer and student reviews.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said the latest HALT-certified independent school educators were representative of the high calibre of teaching expertise in the sector.

“Teaching is a vocation – it’s the heart’s work of the men and women who choose to lead and inspire learning in classrooms, early learning centres, music rooms, science labs, skill centres and on sporting fields across the state,” Mr Robertson said.

“These HALTs are influencers in the classroom and staffroom. They bring energy, passion and exceptional practice to their schools every day, which benefits their students and colleagues,” he said.

Pictured above: Mrs Alana Mikkelsen, Mr Jason Rooks and Mrs Tricia Ruddick.