Relationship-based Teaching: Supporting Stressed Young Children

Relationships with caring adults provide context for the growth and learning of young children. In this course, gain an understanding of how to support challenging children and their peers in preschool, child care, and early intervention settings.

Upcoming sessions

  • Register for Spring 2019 (February 18 to April 22, 2019). Register by February 11. Early bird rate if you register by December 15!

What to expect

  • Understand how relationship history and trauma impact development.
  • Explore ways to address specific challenges in the classroom, such as aggression, dissociation, and withdrawal.
  • Learn how to use “reflective teaching” and “reflective collaboration” to better understand young children and offer appropriate interventions.
  • Use case studies and team processing for problem solving.

Who should register

  • Early childhood educators
  • Special education educators
  • Others who are working with challenging children in preschool, child care, and early intervention settings

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps. It also is approved by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) for their members (ICEA accepts a maximum of 24 clock hours per course).

Meet the instructors

Headshot of Julie NelsonJulie Nelson

Julie Nelson has more than 20 years of experience as a therapeutic preschool teacher in the Families Together Program at Lifetrack Resources. She earned a master’s certificate/level II in child abuse prevention studies from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in psychology from St. Olaf College. Nelson is the author of two children’s books: Families change: A book for children experiencing termination of parental rights and Kids need to be safe: A book for children entering foster care (Free Spirit Press).

Jill Barrow

Jill Barrow, M.A., is licensed in early childhood special education. She has many years of experience working with highly at-risk children in a therapeutic preschool setting. Barrow is currently an early childhood special education teacher with St. Paul Public Schools.


  • Earn 42 clock hours
  • Early bird rate for spring 2019 if you register by December 15: $395
  • $435 registration fee plus required textbook

Required textbook

Koplow, L. (Ed.)(2007)(second edition). Unsmiling faces: How preschools can heal. New York: Teachers College Press.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation before Day 1 of the session: Full refund less $35 administrative fee
  • Cancellation Day 1 Week 1 through Day 1 Week 2: 75% refund less $35 administrative fee
  • Cancellation Day 2 Week 2 forward: No refund will be provided.

To cancel, send an email to Karen Anderson at