Bernie Barras is a National Board Certified Teacher with 34 years of teaching and coaching experience at the elementary, high school, and university level. She is coauthor of the book, School Violence Build an Arsenal of Prevention. She served as a consultant to the Louisiana Department of Education to help develop the cd "Safe Haven" which is a blueprint for establishing a safe school environment and is used by schools across the country to prevent violence and eliminate bullying. Bernie was voted the 2007 Elementary Teacher of the Year. While coaching at Princeton University, she developed the "team" concept of bullying prevention which encourages teachers to use a group approach to helping victims. She developed and successfully implemented a program for teachers to anonymously serve as mentors for troubled students. This program is shared with every audience.
Ms. Barras has given presentations to administrators, teachers, parents, police officers, and students across the country. She draws from her many years of teaching to provide solutions to authentic bullying situations including cyber bullying and sexting. Her unique storytelling ability keeps the audience engrossed and engaged throughout her presentation. A major premise of her presentation is, "if you see something, say something".
After interviewing hundreds of teachers, Ms. Barras believes that the reason teachers don't help victims of bullying is that they don't know what to say. A vital part of her presentation includes both what teachers should and should not say to the victim, the bully, and bystanders. She conveys the message that every teacher and every student has something to contribute.
We can all look back and remember a presentation we attended where the speaker had a great sense of humor, kept our attention with an interesting delivery, and left us with valuable information that we could use in the classroom right away. That's Bernie Barras. When the audience leaves, they feel like they have received a very special gift.
"What To Do About Bullies - How Teachers Can Help"
Specific situations of bullying in the classroom, cyber bullying, and sexting are addressed. Teachers are provided with what works and what doesn't work. They are given "quick hitter" responses to use when they cannot stop teaching to deal with an issue. Teachers are presented a variety of scenarios to help empower students to take up for themselves in a peaceful manner. They are given ways to search for the secondary rewards that bullies are seeking. The bully, the victim, and the bystander each have a role to play in the solution of the problem.
"What To Do About Bullies - How Students Can Help"
Students are both the solution and the source of the problem of bullying. Victims are given tools to empower them to take up for themselves. Students are encouraged to use "quick hitter" responses, move away from the bully, and then seek help from adults. Both the victims and the bystanders are given specific ways to help deal with bullies. Cyber bullying and sexting are addressed and students will learn the importance of having bystanders report anonymously. Students are encouraged to use a group approach toward the bully and report problems to a trusted adult. The primary message is, "if you see something, say something".
"Welcome Back - Let's Start This School Year With An Attitude"
Teachers will laugh and cry at this presentation. They will be encouraged to bring all the best and most unique qualities of their knowledge and personalities into the classroom. With the utmost in Southern hospitality and humor, Bernie will get teachers excited about the amazing task of changing the lives of their students. Her question to teacher is, "What will you make this year?" Her answer is, "You will make a difference". Teachers will walk away from this presentation with a renewed sense of their importance and their value