Arden’s Director of Teaching and Learning (Secondary School), Mr Joshua Harnwell, is one of only 59 NSW teachers recently recognised by Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) as being a Lead Teacher, along with 92 other teachers who have achieved Highly Accomplished Teacher status. He was one of only a handful of educational leaders from independent schools in NSW to have been recognised at this highest level.
Mr Graham Anderson, Arden’s Principal said: “We commend Joshua Harnwell on his achievement as a Lead Teacher. His commitment to striving for professional excellence and passion for enhancing our teachers’ professional learning is benefitting the entire Arden community. Our vision at Arden is to cultivate a thriving learning community, where students are offered a well-rounded education where they are well known, well cared for and well taught. While we have always done this, awards such as Joshua’s recognise that we are pursuing this vision with fresh intent, professionalism and great passion.”
Mr Harnwell shared: “I was really excited to hear that BOSTES was seeking to recognise expertise in teaching as opposed to simply experience as determined by years on the job. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers are an amazing set of words to explain the basis of great teaching. By reflecting on all areas of teaching practice, I identified some areas of significant expertise and some areas that I could further improve in. Overall, this process makes me a better teacher, mentor and leader as I work broadly across the School.”
The application process was rigorous and involved Mr Harnwell gathering evidence to demonstrate that he is currently and continuing to perform at the standards for Lead Teacher in four areas: an exceptional knowledge of their subject; modelling of highly effective, evidence based teaching strategies; informal or formal leadership roles and outcomes within and beyond their school; and successfully initiating opportunities for parents to engage in their children’s learning.
Sharing some of his achievements at Arden, Mr Harnwell commented: “I have lead the initiative of Growing Arden Teachers, which involves individual teachers developing a goal to further develop an area of their teaching, recognising that we are all continually developing our teaching practice. In addition, I have designed and implemented GROW teams, where staff from different subject areas come together to engage in collaborative conversations around teaching practice, to share expertise.”
Mr Harnwell concluded: “Having gone through the accreditation process positions me well to assist and encourage other staff in their accreditation. This systematic analysis of one’s own teaching is essential to continue to improve teaching and learning and work for the best student outcomes possible.”