This session has been completed.

You Are the Strategy: Relationship-Based Teaching

Facilitator(s): David Tranter
Date:November 20, 2018
Time:9:00 am – 3:30 pm
(includes lunch, which is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment)
Location: Edmonton (DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel West Edmonton)
16615 109 Avenue NW
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Course code: 19-MH-367

Target Audience

Teachers, School and System Leaders, Trustees

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About this learning opportunity

Today, the future that students face is uncertain. There is no clear “blueprint” for later success in life. We know only that the world is changing rapidly, and that our students will need to manage mounds of information and solve new and complex problems. In response, many teachers have shifted their practice toward a 21st Century Approach. They have loosened the reigns of control, joined students at their side, and have rolled up their sleeves to create deeper and more meaningful learning.

However, these academic reforms have revealed many non-academic challenges. As learning becomes more student-focused, the complex nature of each student becomes increasingly apparent. Students are no longer simply empty vessels to be filled, they are full-fledged human beings with unique needs, independent minds, and challenging personal lives.

When teachers make learning visible, not only is the inner intellectual world of each student revealed, their emotional worlds are also laid bare. As students enter into the uncertain and expansive space that is the process of discovery, they are exposed, vulnerable, and prone to feeling unsafe. And when they are invited to bring their whole self to the learning process, it should be no surprise that they bring their anxieties, defenses, and emotional struggles.

Modern teaching, in order for it to be successful, needs to be more than a shift in instructional technique. Deep learning requires deep relationships. Teachers need to truly know and understand their students. Students need to feel genuinely safe, along with a strong sense of belonging. Teachers have to be able to recognize the early signs of emotional struggle and provide effective support. All of this requires a fundamental shift in how teachers approach the learning process. Relationships must move from a marginal consideration in education, to one of its central features.

This session will introduce Relationship-Based Teaching. It will examine its essential connection to modern educational methods, and the critical role it plays in supporting student success in all of its forms. It will also demonstrate how relationships form the basis for effectively promoting student mental health and well-being. The essential elements of what it truly means to be relationship-based will be addressed, along with practical examples of how educators can incorporate the approach into their classrooms, schools, and organization as a whole.

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #1: Fostering Effective Relationships
  • #3: Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
  • #4: Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

About the facilitator(s)

Dr. David Tranter has been teaching and working in mental health, well-being, and education for over 30 years. As a researcher and professor, he works widely with educators to support students at all grade levels to reach their highest potential. He is a dynamic, thought-provoking, and entertaining speaker, who has challenged educators across the country to think differently about their role, and to understand the needs of students on a deeper level. He is the co-creator of the Relationship-Based Approach to Education, a pedagogical framework that promotes both student well-being and academic achievement. His book, “The Third Path”, published by Nelson Education is now available. More information about his work can be found at

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