Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC) – Teacher Advisor Guide and Questions

Connecting the Dots

Heather Rootsaert – Teacher and Department Head, Mother Margaret Mary Catholic High School
Edmonton Catholic Schools

What would schools look like or feel like without student engagement and a sense of community? Heather will explore how students, staff, parents and community members need to feel valued and a part of their school if we expect all these stakeholders to give back and be involved. How do we ensure this is part of the high school experience available to all of our students?


Learning for the 21st century requires that teachers do more than aim for the middle. It requires that teachers meet individual students’ needs, whatever they are. It also requires that students find a way to learn as individuals. How can teachers and their students make such a leap?

Relationships – The Foundation of Education

Ed Polhill – Principal, George McDougall High School
Rocky View Schools

Relationships are the foundation of everything we do in education. Ed will focus on how he has come to this conclusion in both his personal and professional life and why he believes that relationships are critical to engagement, connectedness and, ultimately, learning.

Student Led Conferences

Students, parents and teachers from William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler are taking advantage of student-led conferences by using the opportunity to understand the benefits of self-direction and the value of students having a more active role in their own learning.

Teacher Advisor

Five years ago, when we started the High School Flexibility project,” says Norb Baharally of William E. Hay Composite High School in Stettler, “we conducted a survey with our students and asked them if they had a significant relationship with a teacher in the school. Fifty-two percent indicated they were neutral or disagreed with this. We decided that personalization and building relationships would be a pillar upon which we would build our flexibility program.

Teacher Advisor Program

At James Fowler High School in Calgary, “We believe that students who have relationships with an adult in the building will improve student achievement and personal growth throughout their time at high school,” says Principal Keith Johnson.

Teacher Advisory

Laurie Johnston-Drebert
Bert Church High School
Airdrie, AB
Grades 9-12, 930 Students, Phase 3

Research is clear that students are more deeply engaged in schools that focus their work on developing meaningful relationships. This conversation will explore the use of Teacher Advisory as a strategy to enhance relationships in high school while also addressing the importance of networking and mentorship in MFWHSR.

Teacher Advisory System

As in other pilot projects for high school flexibility enhancement, Mother Margaret Mary High School’s Flex Program is paired with a school-wide Teacher Advisory System. At the present time, each teacher advisor (TA) is responsible for 20 multi-grade (Grades 9-11) students for the four years of their time at the school. The TA and students meet every Thursday for 50 minutes.

Wm. E. Hay Teacher Advisor Guidelines

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