I’ll never forget the Head of Middle School’s words that afternoon in July. “These kids are on their way out,” she said. “If we don’t do something drastic, they’ll have to leave the school.”
Her words hung heavy. As a teacher, you want the best for your students and will do anything to ensure it.
My dear colleague, Damian Hill and I met in the staff room, determined not to fail.
One thing was clear: sitting in a classroom all day wasn’t working. Our students needed to feel inspired again. But we couldn’t do it alone. If we wanted to help these kids, we had to break down silo mentality and get every teacher on board.
Enter ‘The Somerton Man’: one of Australia’s most intriguing unsolved murder cases. The case had baffled investigators for decades, but what if our students gave it a crack? What if they took their learning to the real world?
Over the next term, students used their Maths, Science and English skills to unravel the puzzle. They decoded clues, interviewed investigators and created their own theories on what took place that fateful day in 1948.
What happened next was life changing. Not only did their grades skyrocket, but so did their attitude to learning. They were inspired and hungry to succeed. Behaviour incident numbers declined, and attendance rates lifted dramatically.
That was the real turning point. I realised we’d succeeded not because of what we did, but how we did it.
Instead of working alone, we’d formed a community. We’d created momentum and excitement and a renewed love of learning. We’d shared ideas, combined knowledge and harnessed the power of true collaboration.
Between us, we’d changed the direction of 20 kids’ lives - for good.
This is what Aleda was founded on.
Since then, the methods used in ‘The Somerton Man’ have empowered over 5000 educators to work more collaboratively to improve learning for kids. They inspired my lifetime mate, Luke Darcy, to co-found the team and introduce our work to the AFL. It literally changed the game for countless footy teams. It is also having a profound impact in the corporate world today.
When we put aside our titles and see the leader in every person, when we focus on how we can support each other instead of what we can do to win, and when we foster a culture of collaboration, we can inspire each other to achieve extraordinary things.
There are four parts to the work we do: research, collaboration, observation and coaching.
Our Learning Environment Survey is all about collecting measurable data on your learning environment, to understand it better and identify areas of growth. An expert LeadLearn consultant will work with you onsite to administer and analyse your results.
The LeadLearn Cycle focuses on collaborating and reflecting in a safe, familiar and welcoming environment – your own workplace. Our consultant will facilitate an open and collaborative session between peers, to help analyse feedback and make an informed decision about where to focus your energy moving forward.
Coaching, feedback and planning
Observation of interventions
Analysis of results, collaboration and interventions
Learning environment survey
Through the observation process, you will implement everything you have decided upon in the Collaborate and Learn session. We’ll help you to identify focus areas and interventions that can positively impact your learning environment; testing, measuring and refining as we go to ensure success.
Our coaching model is about walking shoulder to shoulder with you through the LeadLearn Cycle. By encouraging and challenging you throughout the process, we’ll help you to learn and grow into a more self-reflective leader.
The Aleda philosophy is one we live by.
Our core beliefs are an integral part of the work we do.
In order to do the work that we do, we need to understand the high performance environment. We take a disciplined approach to all coaching conversations, and focus on process. We’re solutions based, not reactive. We work hard to be aware of biases, and resist mentoring.
Great leaders show gratefulness to those they lead. We’re innovative and we follow through with our ideas – head in the sky, feet on the ground. Integrity is core to who we are, and we’re always looking for ways to improve. Our role is to simplify and focus on what matters. We’re authentic in our mission to support people however we can.
To be an effective educator, we need to create the right conditions for learning. We take part in our own professional learning, and we stay informed of new and emerging research in education. We know how to make an impact and run workshops tailored to our audience. We value collaboration, clarity and involvement.
Before we can lead others we must first lead ourselves. Being well and developing our levels of resilience are integral to being the best version of ourselves, at work and in our personal lives. We understand that life will always present challenges, but we know when we actively develop positive lifestyle habits to care for our wellbeing, we are better equipped to cope in difficult and challenging times, feel good and live life to the fullest.