Last night at Customs House, our very own Physics teacher, Clinton Jackson, joined 41 other Queensland teachers receiving the most advanced level of professional standards for teachers: Lead Teacher.

This brings the total number of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers (HALTs) working in Queensland independent schools to 150, to date. They join more than 1,050 certified teachers out of the 300,000 nationwide.

As Head of Science and Secondary Coordinator of Senior Learning and Teaching at Brisbane Adventist College, Mr Jackson was evaluated by Independent Schools Queensland for the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) as someone who develops bold concepts that build and sustain momentum in how educators think, teach and lead.

Teaching runs in Mr Jackson’s blood. His mother, grandmother, multiple cousins and second cousins are teachers. He even predicts that his eldest daughter, just entering Prep in 2023, may choose to become a teacher.

Now with 17 years of experience in the classroom, and more recently leading the learning and teaching for Senior teachers, he is conscious of the high stakes of education when it comes to students. The research involved in pursuing Lead Teacher certification over the past couple of years has allowed him to focus on gaining a better understanding of student development, including linguistic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and accumulating knowledge about the best environments for learning. Guiding students and teachers through the change in Queensland Education from Ops to an ATAR system, which coincided with the difficulty level of teaching and learning exacerbated by online learning and Covid, was an unforeseen test.

“The stringent accreditation process has an accelerating influence on Clinton’s teaching practices and his leadership in learning,” says Mr Dever, Deputy Principal of Secondary.

Part of this process has involved Mr Jackson working with other teachers and academics from the University of Queensland to develop innovative teaching and learning strategies. Late last year, he shared details of an innovative project he was managing at BAC in meetings for Queensland education leaders. The project helps students better understand their learning progress.

“There’s an enormous amount of rigorous intellectual, social, and emotional work done by teachers every single day,” he points out. “Teaching is a complex, challenging (and very rewarding) activity. It draws from many different pieces of knowledge and relies on many different skill sets. This has been a good opportunity for me to reflect on and extend my professional practice and share it with other teachers in our professional learning community.”

This certification has required many hours of additional work outside of the usual responsibilities of teaching and the typical workday. Mrs Sonja Jackson, a social worker for children and young people and daughter of teachers herself, recognises the benefit of Clinton’s study for their own children. “It’s wonderful to see teachers encouraged to grow in their practices,” she says.

College principal Mr Charleson, who joined Clinton’s family at the ceremony last night, says: “We're grateful for Mr Jackson’s hard work and dedication. He makes us very proud.”

Clinton Jackson receiving Lead Teacher certification
CEO of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Chris Mountford evaluates Clinton Jackson as a Lead Teacher.