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Parents Do Make a Difference






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Keynote Addresses to Inspire Change


“You had everyone glued to what you were saying.”
-Kenneth Dragseth, Ph.D., Superintendent, Edina Public Schools

“I have never seen an audience rise to their feet in a standing ovation as I saw them do at the session I attended. Thank you for the contribution you have made to New Zealand educators.”
-Nola L. Hambleton, President, New Zealand Principals’ Federation

“Although the audience consisted of over 1000 participants in each session, Dr. Borba had the ability to speak to each individual. Her well-organized, informative and motivating talk touched everyone.”
-Edward Gonwa, Assistant Regional Superintendent, Illinois




Building Students’ Moral Intelligence: Our Last, Best Hope

Our students’ character is in trouble and scores of disturbing indicators prove it including the steady rise of anxiety, bullying, apathy, depression, aggression, and substance abuse, as well as the sharp decline in respect, civility, personal accountability, and honesty. In all our efforts to boost achievement and reduce negative behaviors, the one element we've overlooked is our students' moral intelligence: the learned capacity to decipher right from wrong, choose what's right, and then behave morally. This inspiring keynote, based on Dr. Borba’s award-winning book, Building Moral Intelligence, shares research confirming that character can be learned, provides a framework for teaching it, and shows simple no-cost ways integrate moral intelligence builders into existing content as well as school-wide. Heart-warming stories affirm just how influential educators can be and confirms they may well be the last, best hope for many students. An inspiring and timely address filled with uplifting stories and proven, practical solutions for turning today’s “Crisis of Youth Character” around so we do produce Quality 21st Century students.


Teachers DO Make the Difference: The Five Teaching Keys to Unlock Students’ Potential

Today’s educators must continue to hear why they are so crucial in the lives of their students. This is an increasingly difficult time, and our students demand much from us! This motivating and inspiring keynote explains why educators do have the power to turn around their students’ lives and help them reach their potential as learners. Inspiring stories and real-life examples of teachers who are making differences help remind educators that they are door openers to their students’ future. Five critical teaching keys that maximize student success, character, and self-worth are addressed: Touch, Expectations, Atmosphere, Content, and Hope, as well as practical, no-cost ways to infuse them into daily existing content and best teaching practices.


Educating for Hearts and Minds: Teaching the Other ABCs That Cultivate Habits of Heart and Reduce the Cycle of Youth Violence

More and more of our students are becoming victims of bullying, insensitivity, and disruptive behaviors. But research clearly shows that violence and cruelty are learned and biology is not destiny. The seeds of compassion can be cultivated and aggressive attitudes can be changed. This motivating keynote explains why teachers not only do have the power to transform students’ character and behavior, but how to do so by teaching the critical ABCs that create positive moral change: Attitudes, Beliefs and Character. Inspiring stories of educators and showcase classroom and school examples show how to apply these essential ABCs. Ways to teach eight proven teaching practices (“Habits of Heart”) that reduce bullying and activate empathy are provided. Best yet, participants leave with practical ideas and field-tested strategies that can be weave easily into existing content to mobilize students’ hearts, break the cycle of youth violence and create moral learning communities that all our students deserve.


Raising Our Girls to Be Confident, Compassionate and Morally Courageous

Of course we want our daughters to grow to be strong and confident, but statistics are showing a troubling different picture: Low self-esteem. Anorexia. Suicide. Depression. Sexual abuse. Bulimia. In fact, one of the most concerning trends reveals that today’s girls are also becoming meaner and more physically aggressive. In this thought-provoking session, you’ll hear not only a shattering array of statistics that prove all is not well with our girls’ emotional health, but also the reasons why. But more important you’ll learn what we can do about it. You’ll hear uplifting stories of parents, educators and organizations creating positive change for girls. In addition, you’ll learn essential skills we can teach that will help girls cope with rejection, navigate the vicious social jungle, deal with cyber-bullying and vicious gossip, handle peer pressure, develop authentic self-esteem as well as remobilize their empathy. Doing so is the best way to help our girls become confident, compassionate and morally courageous young women.


Self-Esteem: The Same in Any Language

Basic principles of authentic esteem building transcend race, culture, age, and gender. This inspiring address emphasizes five critical building blocks of self-esteem that dramatically impact children’s achievement, behavior, and inner-motivation. This inspiring keynote features motivational stories of those who have made a significant impact on our most at-risk and troubled youth and real examples of practical yet powerful ways they touched those children’s lives. This address has been given in Hong Kong, England, Malaysia, New Zealand, Vancouver, Helsinki, Toronto, and American cities from coast to coast, as well as in Maori villages, Hutterite colonies, and First Nation reservations. It’s been delivered to caregivers and advisors of foster care children, student council leaders, incarcerated youth, emotionally handicapped and learning disabled, as well as gifted and talented children. But the message is the always the same: Children everywhere have the same basic feelings and needs: Security, Selfhood, Affiliation, Mission, and Competence based on Dr. Borba’s Esteem Builders© framework used by over one and half million students worldwide. It’s up to us to ensure that those needs are provided so our youth do have a safer and more hopeful future.



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Michele Borba, Ed.D.