Workshops & Speaking

Dr. Borba’s Speaking Engagements

Join Over 1,000,000 Teachers & Parents for a Session with Dr. Borba

• Character Education • Parenting • Resilience Building

• Creating Moral Learning Communities

• Bully-Proofing • Reaching At-Risk Youth • Building Moral Intelligence

• Violence Prevention • School Safety • Social and Emotional Learning

 Michele is an in-demand speaker who offers keynote addresses and workshops for parents, educators, clinicians, corporations, and youth workers and has presented to over one million participants worldwide. Her programs are MicheleBorba_4research-based and focus on providing practical and immediately usable strategies. Renowned for her down-to-earth, warm speaking style, Michele delivers solid content with cutting edge insight that provides a roadmap for raising socially and morally responsible children and teens, creating safe and caring schools and communities, and stopping bullying and cycle of youth violence.

Participants have included school districts, church groups, foster care, national and international organizations, mental health groups, Character Education partnerships, corporations, Fortune 500 companies, state legislatures, universities, foreign ministries, and parent groups in 45 states as well as North America, Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. Organizations who have contracted her speaking services include the US Pentagon, Boys and Girls Club of America, Association of California School Administrators, National Center for Youth Dropouts, All Detergent, Scholastic, Johnson and Johnson, Walmart, 3M, International La Leche League, American School Counselors Association, Operation Respect, Junior League, Parents’ magazine editorial staff, Finland Ministry of Education, American Program Bureau, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Alpha Delta Kappa International, New Zealand Principals’ Federation, Power Within, Girl Scouts of America, Learning Annex, as well as hundreds of schools, districts and parent organizations across North America.

Presentations range from sixty-minutes keynotes to thirty-minute, full day or weeklong workshops and trainings.

Dr. Borba’s sessions are always customized to fit your audience needs, and are guaranteed to change the way you deal with kids.


If you are interested in booking a speaking engagement please contact Michele via this Contact Form. [Click Here]




Building Students’ Moral Intelligence: Our Last, Best Hope

IMG_2082Our 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.


Educators DO Make the Difference: Five 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 your daily existing content and teaching practices. The result: our students leave us with hearts as well as minds in a caring atmosphere and educators realize we are the keys to unlocking their potential and making differences!


Turning Cruelty Into Compassion – The Proven, Practical Ways Educators Are Making a Lasting Difference

Something is changing in our youth: a trouble prevalence of peer abuse that is increasing and starting at younger ages. Some studies find that one in three students now report being bullied on school campuses; horrific cyberbullying incidents plague them outside our school walls. We know it is virtually impossible for students to thrive in school when they don’t feel safe. States pass anti-bullying laws; schools implement zero-bullying policies; pediatricians post warnings; communities host Stop Bullying Days. But in all our endeavors, me may be overlooking what research says is the most effect bullying-reducing solution: mobilizing the compassion of student bystanders.


What Really Works to Stop Bullying:  The Essential 6 R’s of Bully-Proofing

BORBA_4The best way to reduce bullying is not with a packaged program but with homegrown, data-driven efforts by a staff that applies only proven practices. This session provides you with what your site needs to stop bullying: a research-driven framework and solution-based strategies for ending peer cruelty and mobilizing student compassion. You will learn the 6 Proven Essential R’s that reduce bullying, and view actual examples of how many schools from Taipei to Colombia to Army Bases and across the US are implementing those practices. Specific tools to help the bully, the bullied as well as bystanders will be taught and dozens of no-cost examples to reduce the cycle of youth violence are offered. In addition this sessions shows how to create an emotionally safe and violence-free learning climate identify “hot-spot” zones where bullying breeds and reduce it; set up reporting options to reduce threats; bully-proof students to reduce the likelihood of victimization; enlist bystander support and teach them how to report and respond to bullying. Best yet, none of the strategies cost a dime! Here is your best hope to reduce bullying based on proven, solid research.


10 Key Character Habits for Nurturing Students Hearts and Minds

The best way to nurture character is not through a poster contest or an isolated lesson but weaving it into curriculum content. This quick-paced address explains new research that children’s success is made up of habits that are teachable! Best yet, the habits of success are also the habits of solid character. Learn the ten habits that cutting-edge research finds are correlated to our children’s success (like Grit, Self-Control, Perspective Taking, Problem Solving, Empathy) as well as dozens of examples to integrate them into daily teaching practices and the common core. Participants leave with practical ideas and field-tested strategies that can be weave easily into existing content to mobilize students’ hearts and minds!


The 12 Crucial Keys for School Safety

From school shootings to horrific stories of bullying, the issue of school safety has been front-page news. Suggested solutions have run the gamut from bulletproof white boards and backpacks to arming teachers, but we know that this complex problem requires evidence-based solutions. Dr. Borba provides 12 crucial keys that create safer schools, emotional security for staff and students and skills students need to mobilize peers as bystanders, report threats, control anger and use restorative justice. These keys are culled from evidence-based research and Dr. Borba’s work in youth violence on what really can reduce the likelihood of a school shooting, youth violence or peer cruelty. Participants will leave with a wealth of strategies that are our best hope for school safety. The framework for breaking the cycle of youth violence are based on Dr. Borba’s “Proposal to End School Violence” she wrote for the State of California which was signed into law (SB1667).


4Rs for Reaching Our At-Risk Students

Good character education programs work for about 85 percent of our student population, but what about the remaining 15 percent? The truth is for many of our more vulnerable students, their best hope for learning the attitudes and habits of strong character and moral intelligence is on our campuses. Traditional character building approaches often fail to create positive change. Learn Dr. Borba’s Four Critical R’s of Character Education (Relationships, Reduce Risks, Replace Risk, and Real Contribution) that will help reach our more at-risk students. You’ll also learn dozens of simple, no-cost ways North American schools have implemented these ideas and achieved success. In all, dozens of strategies for K-12 students, special needs, alternative education as well as gifted education will be shared.


CHARACTER MATTERS! Boosting Student Respect, Rigor, and Responsibility

IMG_0176Do you want your students to be more responsible, compassionate, and respectful? How about use self-control, make wiser choices, and be more accountable for their actions? Then this workshop is designed for you. Based on Dr. Borba’s award-winning book, Building Moral Intelligence, this session provides simple and proven ways to cultivate this vastly neglected intelligence. You’ll learn the seven essential virtues that boost humanity and help students act right: Empathy, Conscience, Self-control, Respect, Kindness, Tolerance and Fairness as well as realistic ways to enhance them. You leave this session equipped with dozens of practical strategies that can easily be implemented into any program, teaching practices, or subject content. With Michele’s down to earth approach, your staff will leave with proactive ideas to use the very next day in their classrooms and existing lesson plans. Most ideas take no more than a few minutes, and are based on what research shows will enhance moral knowing, feeling, and acting. More important: these strategies are guaranteed to make big differences in increasing your students’ pro-social behavior and character.


Sessions for Parents, Caregivers and Youth Organizers


Raising Successful, Self-Reliant, Less Stressed Kids Who Bounce Back and Thrive!

Did you know that our children’s generation is found to be the smartest and most educated ever, but also the most stressed-out? It may be that we haven’t taught our kids resilience: those skills that help youth cope, handle defeat, bounce back from setback and learn to live independently. In this thought-provoking session, you’ll learn which skills really matter in raising productive, successful kids. You’ll hear simple ways to help kids and teens learn to manage time and stress as well as dozens of practical ideas to boost self-reliance, resilience and confidence. Best yet, you’ll learn what your own kids say they wish parents would do to help them succeed. An inspiring session that will teach you hands-on tools to help you parent for raising successful, self-reliant, and less-pressured kids. These traits are ones that help our children survive, thrive, and become more self-reliant. It’s an hour you don’t want to miss.


Parenting for Character: Raising Socially Responsible Kids Who Do the Right Thing

What really matters in raising a productive, responsible child? How do we really help kids stand up to peer pressure and defy those temptations? What are best ways to help children become compassionate, respectful and do the right thing without us? Join Dr. Borba for an inspiring session that will teach you how to parent for character. You’ll learn proven strategies that boost empathy, conscience, and self-control, discipline techniques that stretch your child’s conscience so he wants to act right, and essential character-building skills that will help your child say no, solve problems more amicably, think before acting, and consider the needs of others. Based on Dr. Borba’s best-selling book, Building Moral Intelligence (chosen by Amazon as a “Top Ten Parenting Book of the Year” and by Publishers’ Weekly as among the “Most Noteworthy Publications of 2001”), you’ll leave not only inspired but also provided with the powerful tools you need to build your child’s moral intelligence and leave a lasting legacy on his or her life.


“Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me!” How to Help Your Child Survive the Social Jungle and Come Out on Top

Rejection. Peer Pressure. Bullies. Cyberspace gossip. Bad friends. Insensitivity. Cliques. The social jungle is plain vicious these days. Is it any wonder that friendship problems are among parents top concerns? The latest research also tells us friendships are far more significant in our kids’ happiness, self-esteem, and well being than we ever thought. But if any parent thinks they are powerless over their kid’s social lives, they better think again. Friendship skills can be taught, and this session will help you learn the essential skills (such as dealing with teasing, handling peer pressure, resolving conflicts, confronting bullies, and bouncing back from rejection) that all kids need not only here and now, but also for the rest of their lives. What’s more, you’ll learn exactly what to do to help your child survive the social jungle, bounce back from rejection, avoid bad friends, and find and make new friends. Based on Dr. Borba’s best-selling book, Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The Top 25 Friendship Problems and How to Solve Them, this session is filled with practical, research-based strategies you can use instantly use at home to boost your child’s social competence.


Parents DO Make A Difference!: Tools for Constructing Good Behavior, Strong Character and Resilience in Children and Teens

SpeechWe all want the best for our children, but what are the traits that really matter in raising caring, successful and happy kids?  This session helps parents understand the traits that best determine academic and personal success (Positive Self-Esteem, Communicating, Cultivating Strengths, Teamwork, Problem-Solving, Goal-Setting, Perseverance and Caring), and recognize that they are all teachable. Dr. Borba will provide the building blocks to help improve a child’s behavior, self-esteem, character, attitude and resilience in school and at home. You will leave with fresh ideas and practical strategies that will change the way you parent. Examples from parents who used these ideas successfully and practical, instant ways to nurture the traits that matter most in our children’s lives will be shared with heart-warming stories and easy-to-implement techniques.  Based on Dr. Borba’s best-selling book Parents Do Make A Difference and The Big Book of Parenting Solutions here is how to raise our kids to have solid character, strong minds and caring hearts!


No More Misbehavin’:  Discipline That Really Works!

Here is the answer to parents’ most pressing concern: “How do I get my kid to want to behave—and do so without yelling, spanking, and nightly melt downs?” Based on Dr. Borba’s best-selling book, No More Misbehavin’: 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Solve Them, you’ll learn the real secrets of successful discipline that actually will stop misbehavior. You will also learn the most common discipline mistakes, identify your own discipline strengths (and weaknesses), and understand consequences that really do change kids’ behavior. This session offers solutions to the most common behavior problems that drive parents crazy: Tantrums, Homework Battles, Tattling, Doesn’t Listen, Arguing, and Yelling, and a simple three-step strategy that boosts discouraged children’s self-esteem. Dr. Borba will also help you develop a behavior makeover personally tailored to your child’s so there really is no more misbehavin’ at your house!


Ongoing Training for School Teams and Trainers

Using Dr. Borba’s Model to Build Safe, Moral Learning Communities and Implement Social, Emotional Learning and Character Education

Dr. Borba can work with your whole staff training team or trainer teams a set number of days during the year of over a period of time. Possible components to a three-year staff development package are described below though content may vary per site based on specific needs and goals of each organization, school, or community.

Each site and organizational unit ideally should have a designated trainer team that consists of at least three educators and an administrator (a whole staff, parents, students, counselors, business members may also be included). Dr. Borba can also train designated staff members from each building site or organization to become your lead trainers who then conduct their own ongoing staff development sessions for your staff.


Phase I:  Building Moral Intelligence: Beginning Steps to Implementation

  • Identifying and turning your beliefs into your school’s moral intelligence vision
  • Creating a student code of conduct based on your selected core virtues
  • Understanding how moral intelligence influences’ student reasoning and behavior
  • Simple daily teaching rituals or practices that influence students’ character
  • Setting clear school-wide expectations based on chosen virtues and beliefs
  • The Moral Core: Empathy, Conscience and Self-Control
  • Four simple ways to initiate a Monthly Character Theme
  • The TEACH Strategy to boost your beliefs and values and influence student character
  • Four R’s of Teaching Conscience:  Ways to enhance student conscience
  • Teaching respect using showcase examples from schools
  • Simple ways to integrate moral intelligence virtues into your classroom content
  • What a Moral Intelligence program IS and IS not. Where are you?
  • 10 keys to effective character programs: which have you covered?
  • Identifying and reaching your at-risk population: Connectors that work
  • How to expose students to moral role models using the Donut Lesson Planner
  • How to teach a virtue and reap behavior change
  • Five steps to teach any character trait and boost student success and character
  • Creating a team plan for your school, classroom, district, organization or community


Phase II: Option A: Creating Moral Learning Communities

  • Weaving One Minute Lessons through all content and curriculum
  • 7 ways to take character education and social emotional learning up a notch
  • How to use an 8-Square Character Theme Planner to teach any virtue
  • The “CHANGE” Behavior Strategy that aims for specific and lasting behavior
  • Developing a proactive remedy for the virtue that lies dormant with your stakeholders
  • How to get your school touchstones off the poster and into the hearts of your students
  • Giving students a voice and boosting civic learning engagement
  • How to get more parents on board and reinforce your school efforts at home
  • Ways to create a data-driven, grass-roots character building program:
  • Instilling moral discipline practices and restitution
  • Integrating children’s literature and novels into character and the common core


Phase III: Integrating Moral IQ Into Students’ Minds, Hearts, and Behavior

  • Best teaching practices that boost achievement and moral intelligence
  • Socratic teaching, class meetings and discussion practices that stretch moral thinking,
  • Using moral dilemmas to stretch moral reasoning based on Kohlberg/Gilligan model
  • Teaching “Habits of Heart”: Proven teaching practices that cultivate student empathy
  • Ways to boost student accountability and responsibility
  • School discipline policies that stretch students’ character and improve behavior;
  • Implementing restitution and restorative justice practices
  • 6 components for achieving a sustained impact on our students’ character
  • How to teach students new character habits to create real change on behavior
  • An Eight-Square Character Theme Planner to use for any character trait
  • How to get students involved in relevant social activities and civic engagement
  • Ways to infuse character education across content


Building Moral Intelligence School-wide: For School Administrators

This workshop is designed to build capacity for the development of caring and respect school environments. Administrators and teacher teams will learn to apply their knowledge by developing classroom and school-wide implementation plans.


Breaking the Cycle of Youth Violence: What Really Works!

Aggression is learned — but so too is peacefulness. This session offers specific techniques for breaking the cycle of violence that plagues our youth. Participants will learn the four steps to “Violentization,” the warning signs for troubled youth as well as the critical conditions that create emotionally safe climates. Participants will also learn how to break the cycle of youth violence with positive behavior interventions, reframe violent self-images, cultivate empathy in desensitized youth, and replace aggressive behaviors with healthier alternatives. You will also learn ways to help students resolve everyday conflicts, to stay calmer and handle anger in healthier ways, and defuse hostility. This session is especially designed for youth helpers who deal with “high need” students.


The Five Building Blocks of Resilience and Self-Esteem

This “hands-on” workshop is designed to help teachers recognize simple yet powerful ways to strengthen their classroom environment to enhance students’ self-esteem and in the process improve their students’ behavior, character, resilience, and achievement. The workshop provides strategies for identifying low esteem students and a model for esteem-building based on the five building blocks in Dr. Borba’s best-selling book, Esteem Builders which is used by over one and half millions students worldwide: Security, Selfhood, Affiliation, Mission and Competence. Dozens of proven techniques and activities for esteem building will be demonstrated and displayed.


Parent Self-Esteem Training for Special Needs and At Risk Youth

This training is designed specifically for foster parents, social workers, probation officers, and child advocates helping them positively influence the lives of foster children and at-risk youth. Participants will learn a framework for empowering youth as well as dozens of proven and practical techniques for helping troubled children experience greater success and self-worth and gain a renewed sense of hope. All techniques are based on the latest research on childhood trauma, self-esteem, resilience, and violence prevention. The ideas are simple, but powerful—and they work!


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.