About this course: One focus of the course is to help you develop strong relationships with families to enable them to support children’s learning. Positive relationships with your students enable you not only to teach them but also to get to know them as individuals. Positive relationships with colleagues and school leaders are necessary to help the school improve. This course is part of the Foundations of Teaching for Learning program which is designed to assist people who are currently teaching but have had no formal teacher education improve their understanding of their role and work as a teacher. This set of courses will enhance your knowledge and understanding about learning and teaching and what makes a teacher a professional. Practical activities are provided to assist you in using what you have learned to improve your teaching practice. While these are optional, it is strongly recommended that you undertake them if at all possible. Of particular importance is a guide to the development of a portfolio to help you organize and document your thinking about what you have learned. In addition, you may be able to use the portfolio to access other opportunities in the future. Announcement for all learners: Course instructor Tony Townsend will be actively participating on the course discussion forums for six weeks from Monday 14 September. Announcement for US based teachers: Coursera and its partners are proud to offer eligible teachers in the US free Course Certificates for this course and other high-quality teacher professional development courses, through the Connected effort announced by President Obama. To participate in this opportunity, US district leaders simply need to approve Coursera teacher professional development by completing a brief form at: www.coursera.org/tpd. US Teachers interested in this opportunity are also encouraged to follow the link to learn more and www.coursera.org/tpd. Once a district’s form has been verified, the district leader will be notified and teachers in the district will receive access to free verified certificates for Coursera professional development. Coursera and the Commonwealth Education Trust thank educators for the hard work they do every day and hope this opportunity will assist US teachers to continue developing their craft in a meaningful and flexible way.