Professional Development

Great Teacher Seminar


The Prairie Region Great Teacher seminar is a three-day intensive seminar that provides an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the challenges faced by educators in a range of professional environments. Participants come from colleges, high schools, public and private training environments, but all share the common goal effective classroom performance.

Participants will learn from each other through discussion and exploration of teaching strategies, innovations, problems and solutions.

The theme underlying all seminar activities is the perpetual challenge to identify the characteristics of the “Great Teacher”. This seminar is not limited to the already great; rather, it is designed to attract those who have a desire to be great educators.

The format of the seminar, which is purposely unstructured, evolves from an ongoing assessment of conference participants’ needs. Based on the belief that professional educators learn best from other professional educators, participants will build on each other’s practical ideas through discussion and exploration of teaching strategies, innovations, problems and solutions.

The Great Teacher Seminar was founded in Illinois in 1969 by David Gottshall, a college educator. He was motivated by his desire to be a great teacher. Today, there are seminars throughout North America and beyond. Each follows the same format and provides participants with a unique professional development experience.

Important: Full participation in all the workshops is expected. If you cannot commit fully to the entire seminar, we suggest you attend another year.

Who Should Attend?

This seminar is for those of who are genuinely interested in improving their effectiveness in the classroom, lab or where ever one works with students. Instructors from across all program areas can contribute to and benefit from this unique professional development opportunity. In fact, the success of the seminar is dependent on the diversity of the participants!

Space is limited and so the following criteria will be applied to fill the available space. Participants who:

  • Represent a range of teaching disciplines.
  • Are engaged in, or have completed an adult education program or equivalent.
  • Have not attended the seminar within the last five years.

The Purpose

  • To analyze instructional problems and to find realistic, creative approaches to their solution.
  • To enable educators to venture beyond the limits of their own specializations and environments in search of the universals of teaching.
  • To stimulate the exchange of information and ideas among educators by building communication networks among participants.
  • To promote introspection and self-appraisal by providing a supportive environment in which participants may seriously reflect on the knowledge, skills and personal attributes that influence their professional practice.
  • To celebrate teaching FOR learning.

The Facilitators

A team of skilled facilitators from a variety of disciplines will direct the Great Teacher Seminar. This team models the facilitation practices of David Gottshall, founder of the National Great Teacher movement.

The Site

Elkhorn Resort Spa and Conference Centre is located two-and-a-half hours from Winnipeg adjacent to Riding Mountain National Park and just one hour north of Brandon.

Participants Comments

“This seminar promoted professional growth beyond comparison to other seminars. We were able to be ourselves. We operated on a level playing field and enjoyed a positive atmosphere.”
– Sandy Forrest, ACC

“This was a very positive experience. Learning is UNcomfortable and I was uncomfortable a few times over the week – but I always felt safe and respected.”
– Karlene Cifuentes, RRC Polytech

“This was such a great and refreshing event. Discovering that we all struggle with similar issues is really encouraging and finding solutions together was very inspiring.”
– Jonathan Mitchell, RRC Polytech

“Thank you so much. I feel affirmed and supported to engage meaningfully with students and material in a non-traditional and less formal manner.”
– Colleen Isfeld, RRC Polytech

“This seminar was among the BEST I have ever had the honour of being a part of. I leave humbled, honoured, and emboldened.”
– Connie Wyatt-Anderson, UCN

“Awesome! The best conference ever! Too many things to mention…”minimal rigid structure”…”It’s not worth the jail time”…”may invest in a travelling lamp shade!” Should be renamed the Great Teacher Rejuvenation Retreat!”
– Karen Dyck, ACC

“I loved how our conversations steered the conference. I felt heard. Thank you for the time to reflect and get to know one another.”
– Kelly Barr, UCN

“I am heading back to school feeling very encouraged. I am very grateful!!”
– Pamela McLeod, RRC Polytech