A new book released by Relational Schools focuses on what great teachers really do, and finds that great practice - and great learning - is driven by relationships

Time to Teach: Time to Reach - Expert Teachers Give Voice to the Power of Relational Teaching is authored by Nat Damon, a US-born educator living in London.

Nat, who has enjoyed a successful 25-year career as a teacher and school leader in a number of well-respected schools in the US, spent the past two years interviewing teachers in the United States, England, and further afield. Focusing his interviews on professionals with 10 or more years’ experience, he asked his contributors to set content aside and focus on the question, “what do you really do?”

Time to Teach: Time to Reach explores the answers to that question by presenting teacher voices and examples of practice that define why relationships lie at the heart of essential teaching, and how learning is cognitively, emotionally, and socially driven.

Time to Teach: Time to Reach is aimed at both new and experienced teachers, and supports the work that often gets unacknowledged in this age of data, performativity, and quantifiable measurement. Excellent teaching cannot be recognised through student assessment outcomes alone. Rather, excellent teachers are defined by the power of their student relationships.

Written primarily for the US market, though of relevance for teachers everywhere, Time to Teach: Time to Reach has been written with parents of school-aged children in mind too, particularly those who are looking to develop their understanding of what the very best teachers do, so that they can better align with the school during the course of the school year.

Time to Teach: Time to Reach will be available on Amazon UK and US on 7 May, 2018.

About Nat Damon

As the son of a teacher and having grown up in a family of educators, Mr. Nat Damon is a 25-year educator currently living in London, England as a writer and educational consultant.

Throughout his career, Nat worked as a teacher and administrator at K-12 schools in Boston, MA and Los Angeles, CA. He has worked at the foundational level of two new independent schools in Los Angeles. He has also served on the board of a series of successful charter schools in Los Angeles, CA.

Currently, Nat facilitates seminars on building and maintaining positive school culture, social-emotional learning, and technology integration in the US and UK. He is involved with Relational Schools Foundation in Cambridge, UK, as a consultant.

When not working with schools, Nat can likely be found in the mountains or on the water: skiing, sailing, hiking and always learning.

About the Relational Schools Foundation

Research shows that having a range of close relationships is beneficial to physical and mental health. For young people, experiencing better relationships between those around them, and also between themselves and others, results in better mental health and behaviour, lower rates of absence, bullying and disengagement, and improved progress and attainment. Schools themselves benefit as organisations from being more relational in their practice, seeing more engaged and motivated employees, better staff retention, and - critically - the achievement of aims that relate to student progress and achievement. Our vision is to improve society by strengthening the quality of relationships between people, starting in schools.

We work with schools and other organisations to better understand the impact of current practice on relationships, and to explore how to best drive change so that relationships flourish, and the benefits are realised.

We do this through a programme of relational research, using qualitative and quantitative tools to measure the quality of student-to-student, teacher-to-student, teacher-to-teacher, parent-to-teacher, and school-to-school relationships, and to identify how this correlates with other outcomes.

Through this work, we seek to:

  • FORM new knowledge and generate evidence about the positive impact of more relational schools for young people, their communities, and wider society, thereby promoting an understanding of the importance of relational health
  • INFORM and support positive and evidence-based change in the way schools are organised and how they conduct their practice with respect to teaching, learning, leadership and management, thereby improving the relational health of everyone in them
  • REFORM the way system-level organisations and authorities conduct their business of policy and regulation, changing practice for good by promoting influential evidence and building a ‘movement’ of relational change-makers.

Book events:

  • 20-28 May in Los Angeles
  • 30-3 June in Connecticut
  • 4-6 June in Boston
  • 15-30 June in London and Cambridge, UK