Fostering wellbeing in education

Contributors

Eric Jamieson

Eric Jamieson is the expert coach at education charity Australian Schools Plus. He is a former high school principal and ...

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Rochelle Bennett

Rochelle is the Founder of Obsidian. She is passionate about educating and inspiring people to be the absolute best they ...

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Steve Tsiamis

Steve heads up our sales and business development practice. With over 16 years experience in the IT sector, Steve has previously ...

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Fostering wellbeing in education
4th
Jun 2017

Fostering wellbeing in education

Written by: Rochelle Bennett

 

I recently asked some teachers what they care about and what they want to be known for. They all said that teachers want to make a lasting difference in the lives of students by:

  1. Teaching them about the amazing world we live in
  2. Helping them develop the skills to learn throughout their lives
  3. Helping them grow as the individuals that they are

It is then fair to say that teachers are already inspired to find better ways to support students in their pursuit of great marks, attainment and fulfilling careers.

Many teachers want tools to assist them to teach. They are time poor and need data from a range of sources to be tailored for their teaching needs. They need this to happen with the same clarity and efficiency that is expected of them.

For about a century we have seen bureaucracy in education systems that aims to achieve process improvements. The methods and validity of statistics that are rarely studied are favoured above research and innovation in the classroom – but numbers work well on news bites before elections, right?

While schooling our children, my family battled with a teenager that was struggling through high school. I often received phone calls from my son’s teachers to discuss their deep concerns for his wellbeing. While his teachers showed empathy and care, the system focussed on sending my son home with a “yellow card” that was used to record his bad behaviour and detentions. It is interesting that the school had to comply with this procedure even though it didn’t work. Having an early intervention system in place would perhaps have made a difference at the time. Matters escalated and my son was expelled from school. Our family felt “let down” by the education system. Ten years later I am astounded by the fact that I receive at least 3 calls per week from families seeking help for their disengaged and disconnected learners. Even today policy doesn’t address the grassroots issues we observe amongst young Australians.

A compassionate principal at a neighbouring school took a chance on my son and he was re-enrolled. There he struggled equally, but what was remarkable was that the principal sat my son down and asked him in a very humble and sympathetic manner if he actually wanted to be and stay in school. The principal was prepared to put additional support in place to help him. My son unfortunately left school at the age of 16, still very troubled. I realised that my son was having difficulty, primarily due to a lack of engagement and being disconnected from his learning, resulting in feeling stressed.

A series of events took place that year that were pivotal to the birth of Obsidian, a brand that nurtures a culture of engagement, one that empowers others to be the absolute best they can be. I became inspired to support teachers in finding ways to get better outcomes for our students.

I asked myself…

  • How could we ensure that teachers continue to be the inspired leaders they first set out to be?
  • How do we get our student connected to their learning and reduce the no of school drop-outs?
  • How could we help our teachers in raising great and life ready individuals?

I started to dream of an education system that fosters democracy, cultural diversity, academic excellence and wellbeing. A system that promotes graduate qualities that help our teachers and learners to thrive in a complex and rapidly changing world.

In 2016, it started to become a reality when principals began to use our technology to meet and exceed school registration and legislative obligations. It promotes collaboration, supervision and awareness while streamlining policy implementation. It aims to reduce the stress and administrative burden that teachers and executives feel about keeping their schools safe and able to do what matters the most, learning and teaching.

We are very proud to have worked with experts in the sector to develop EduComply as the technology of choice by teachers in 2016. This journey continues in 2017 where our A2E technology platform we have developed will extend so that teachers can streamline their accreditation and professional development tasks. A2E will give teachers the freedom to move between systems following the salaries and conditions they want to achieve. It will empower them in the compliance game that they have to play, but more importantly it will give them sharper tools with which to sculpt futures with kids.

The A2E architecture is positioned to change the way students and teachers engage with learning and teaching. It will put the wellbeing of students and teachers above all else. In the same way as EduComply enables the democratisation of compliance, we will release an app that promotes a holistic approach to education. The end game is to give students their own unique educational voice.

We believe that there has never been a better time to use technology with the same sense of welfare and individual attention that is key to the practice. Clear data about student development will enable personalised learning, giving teachers and students the dignity they both deserve.

Please join us in creating a world of more inspired teachers and excited students who feel valued, visible and connected to learning and teaching.

 

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Our vision is to see a world of more inspired teachers who feel valued for their teaching and student who are connected to their learning. We help teachers to nurturestudent engagement, wellbeing and graduate qualities to thrive in an unknown future.

Please join us in helping our teachers to raise a new generation of students who are life ready.