Trainer Spotlight: Kate Barbaro
April 25, 2022
Q: How long have you been an Ukeru trainer?
I’ve been an Ukeru trainer for five years with Millcreek Township School District in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Q: What population do you work with? What inspired you to get into this field?
I primarily work with special education students in grades K-8. Some of the classroom programs I supervise include Autistic Support and Emotional Support classrooms, and seven full-time Emotional Support classrooms K-12 that service our students who live in the Residential Treatment Facility within our district bounds. I was inspired into this field because I love kids and have a gift of teaching them. Along my path, I have had mentors who saw this in me and who were highly supportive and enabling of my work in this field.
Q: What part of Ukeru do you enjoy teaching the most and why?
I enjoy teaching how trauma physically changes the brain. I think that this part of the training is so interesting and really is an “ah-ha” moment for staff when we are teaching it. This part of Ukeru really sets the groundwork for what Ukeru is all about: having an understanding of and concern for the “why” behind behavior.
Q: What would you say to someone who is unsure about using Ukeru?
Even if there is only a chance this works, don’t we have an obligation to fully give it a try? Don’t we have an obligation to try something better, something that doesn’t involve putting our hands on kids and risking re-traumatization, injury, and potential death? BTW- it works! Just look at our data!
Q: What advice or tip would you give to a new Ukeru trainer?
Practice presenting a lot before your first training. Eventually it becomes second nature.
Q: How has Ukeru impacted your life?
It has given me a different lens to view behavior that I carry with me in all of my thoughts and interactions with others in my life.
Q: What is your favorite quote or a motto that you like to live by?
Favorite Quote: “A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a child.” (last word changed from “boy”)
Q: What three words would you use to describe Ukeru?
Caring, Comforting, Safety-inspired