Building Resiliency in Schools

building resiliency in schools training

Goals of the Program:

Over the past 30 years there have been 62 mass shootings. In 2012 alone, there were 7 so the increase in violence, even without taking into account terror attacks, is outstanding with more than 10% of the attacks occurring in 2012. What will future years bring?

To guide professionals and parents in building both resilience and preparedness within the system while strengthening their own coping abilities during periods of prolonged stress by:

  • Developing awareness among the staff of how stress affects them in their daily lives and what personal resources contribute to their wellbeing.
  • Mastering skills designed to work with students in the classroom, children in non-classroom situations, and peers or supervisees, on building resilience. Participants are introduced to relaxation techniques, activities that encourage expressing emotions, examining fears, talking about meaning and hope, thereby building a range of coping resources that they can bring into the work environment.
  • Screening and identifying those in need of professional intervention and helping to form a treatment framework within which to work.

Instructional objectives

1. Assessment and development of program

Because each environment is unique with its own sets of challenges and strengths, we believe that it is important to assess and design a program that suits the specific needs of the client. To that end, meeting senior administration and educators, and setting up a leading team to support the process is integral to the success of the program.

2. Teacher training:

Teacher training programs consist of four extended workshop sessions, accompanied by four sessions of "classroom applications." Workshops all include a psycho education unit, a unit on developing personal resilience skills and a unit on developing classroom resilience skills.

Creative modalities are incorporated into the workshops which are run in groups of up to fifteen participants to allow full participation and learning. The major topics to be covered in the four workshop sessions are as follows:

Session Topic Psychoeduction


Self awareness and self-regulation in the wake of trauma Understanding the trauma-stress continuum
Two Discovering emotions – developing a vocabulary for feelings Childhood fears – identifying at risk children in the classroom
Three Expanding Coping Resources Resilience – what is it? How do we make it grow?
Four Hope and Meaning Post traumatic growth and beyond

Classroom Application Sessions:

These sessions will serve as companions to the workshop, and allow for on-site group supervision of teachers as they begin to apply skills learned in workshop sessions in the classroom. These informal group supervision sessions will be led by workshop facilitators.

3. Parent Intervention

Parent interventions are designed with the school administration, and are tailored to the needs of the parent body. Possibilities include one-time events such as public lecture, or a workshop series focusing on resilience building.

Summary of Instructor Qualifications

National School Resilience Project - Since 2002 we have provided resilience building training for thousands of teachers and early childhood educators in Israeli schools and preschools nationwide. Based on the BRI model, this program rests on two major components: resilience-capacity building and screening/treatment intervention.

Post Disaster - Community Based Resilience Building

We have implemented psychosocial outreach projects for schools, communities, children and families affected by natural and manmade disasters through teaming with and training members of local organizations in locations such as Haiti and Mississippi.

Resilience Building in the Workplace – This program offers guidance to professionals in building resilience and preparedness within their work environment while concurrently strengthening their own coping ability through use of the BRI model. We have worked with government agencies and private sector industry to help develop programs tailor made to employer/employee needs.

Resilience Building with First Responders – Hundreds of police officers from high-stress units (such as bomb disposal units and forensic police), firefighters and paramedics have participated in specially designed resilience building programs addressing the unique needs of this community.

Resilience in Ethiopian Communities – This program teams with ICTPs Ethiopian Jewish Community Services Unit to develop resilience models for the Ethiopian community, and assists in the planning and implementation of resilience-building workshops.

Holocaust Educators Training Programs –We have trained holocaust educators to identify their own psychological reactions to their subject material, develop awareness and skills to cope with distress, and implement resilience techniques in the classroom.

Some of the Organizations and Communities we have worked with:

  • Yad Vashem – Holocaust Memorial
  • Israel Police
  • Magen David Adom (MADA) – Red Shield of David (Israeli EMT units)
  • Israel Firefighters
  • Israel Municipality of Nahariya
  • Israel Municipality of Acco
  • Israel Municipality of Rahat
  • Israel Ministry of Education
  • Israel Ministry of Treasury
  • Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Israel Ministry of Housing
  • Biloxi, MS Board of Education
  • Centre d'Psychotrauma d'Haiti – URAMEL