About a decade ago, Ingrid Sealey was contemplating how she could shift her work towards an endeavour that was certain to have a positive impact on society.
Sealey felt that the time she spent working away from her family needed to mean something important in order for it to be worth it.
“I thought, if I’m spending time away from my beautiful young children and family, I want this to be something that I feel is important, that enables me to throw myself into it,” Sealey told the Women’s Agenda podcast, The Crux.
Sealey wanted to be able to tell her children, “this is work that benefits others”, and to know that the impact of her work would be “something bigger than me and our family”.
Sealey comes from a family of educators, so it’s little surprise that the meaningful impact she was drawn to would improve educational outcomes for Australian students.
In 2019, she created a platform, called Teach Well, to ensure any schools wanting to invest in their students with high-impact teaching training would be able to do so.
Now, this entrepreneurial achievement is being recognised on a global scale. As director and founder of Teach Well, Sealey and her team have been crowned first place for the Oceania region for the Cartier Women’s Initiative– a program shining light on the achievements of women impact entrepreneurs and providing them with support to grow their businesses.
All fellows in the program are given tailored mentoring and coaching, visibility, networking opportunities and education courses, but for taking home the top prize, Sealey will also receive a massive USD $100,000 in grant funding to help support Teach Well’s mission to provide more teachers and more opportunities to school’s in Australia.
In recognition of her inspiring work, Sealey joined the other 32 fellows in Paris for the award ceremony and said the whole experience “has been completely surreal”.
“I’ve never been in a room with such a diverse range of experiences and cultures. My 32 other fellows are from all across the globe and they all have incredible social impact,” said Sealey.
“I think the fact that somehow we managed to get first place feels a little bit lucky in this group because I do think anybody in Oceania could have won this category. I feel blessed that it was us. I’m super grateful that it is. It’s just the most amazing group of people amongst the fellows but also amongst the broader Cartier Community that’s here.”
Having won the Cartier award amongst such a strong field of fellows is a testament to Teach Well’s vast impact.
Since their beginning in 2019, Sealey says that more than 80 per cent of participants in their platform have been able to achieve greater progress from students than ever before.
And while the last couple of years have brought on even greater challenges for educators– particularly those in rural communities– with the complexities of Covid-19, Sealey is proud to say she’s seen the Teach Well program support teachers to feel passionate about their work and witness success in their students.
“Across the board in Australia, we’ve had definite morale issues in teaching, and there have been some very difficult circumstances. So, to see teachers feel more empowered and passionate about the work that they’re doing, as well as seeing more learning in their classrooms– I think what gets teachers fired up is knowing that they can get more for their students,” says Sealey.
While the start of Teach Well had a focus on improving student outcomes in Western Australia, Sealey says they’ve since expanded into the ACT and New South Wales and would love to see the evidence-based practices permeate into improving academic outcomes across the nation.
“At the end of the day, I think what we’re looking to see– and to support schools to achieve– is a shift in academic outcomes for students, to help them get more progress and achievement every year than our experienced educators have ever managed to get before.”