I didn’t go to school to become an educator. Teaching was never a dream of mine when I was a kid. Yet here I am, celebrating twenty years in the field of adult education.
I love what I do!
That moment of seeing my audience make their own connections in learning, discovering for themselves what they believe and how they feel about what matters most to them, never gets old for me. And there’s nothing like being up and in front of an audience (of 20 or 200) when it all starts to flow and I slip into “the zone.” The level of engagement that can happen between an effective educator and their audience is a powerful thing to experience.
Through my work as a Health Educator, I’ve mentored new and veteran educators as they move through their on-boarding process. It’s challenging to be attentive to all the details that make for effective teaching and facilitating. Mentoring someone calls upon my ability to provide constructive feedback that remains supportive enough to help educators uncover their personal strengths and become strong and engaging educators.
I’m also available to partner with organizations and corporations to bring my classes to your members or employees. Providing opportunities for parenting education on-site can strengthen and support those who are expecting or are new in their parenting journey which translates to a more engaged and happy team. Contact me directly to discuss scheduling a class that will fit the needs of your organization or corporation.
After years of teaching, mentoring, presenting at local, national and international conferences, facilitating groups and writing on my blog and for outside publications, I’ve honed these skills to help countless educators become better at their jobs, and claimed my voice as a thought leader in the field of Maternal-Fetal Health. I’m available to work with professionals in a variety of ways:
Whether you’re a veteran or new to the field of adult education, I can help you become a more effective and engaging educator. Mentoring others in adult education is one of my favorite professional roles and I have several happy “customers” who can testify to how my work with them has been beneficial.
One client said:
“I came to childbirth education with a lot of experience with childbirth and very little with education. I had been attending births for ten years, first as a doula, then as a midwife, when I began my work as an educator.
While one-on-one teaching is a fundamental part of midwifery care, I had no formal training and very little experience in comprehensive group teaching. Barb was an amazing mentor that helped me learn how to adapt my skill set to teaching large childbirth classes.
First, she leads by example. She teaches hilarious, dynamic, engaging classes. She then creates clear expectations and goals for your teaching, and then provides very specific and clear feedback, both things you have done well, and things that could have been more effective. Barb helps you to identify and tap into your strong suits and create your own teaching style.
Because Barb is such a fun and effective educator, it can be tempting to simply copy her verbatim. However, she helps you to learn that you are at your best as an educator when you are your authentic self.
I highly recommend Barb as a resource to new educators looking to hone their teaching skills and find their voice in the classroom. She is a joy to be around and a fabulous mentor.”
~Stephanie Elliott, CPM, IBCLC
I began my fast paced journey to becoming a certified childbirth educator in January, 2016. One of my first steps was to observe as many childbirth educators as possible. Honestly, I felt like the all the stars aligned for me when I first observed Barb teaching a weekend childbirth preparation class.
She was extremely knowledgeable, engaging, relatable, and so fun! Also, she shared that she actually began teaching before having any children of her own (this was something we had in common)!
Little did I know at the time, Barb would soon mentor me through the training process with TWO different education programs. How lucky was I? I was confident that I was learning from one of the best! I was given the opportunity to observe Barb teach a full 4-week childbirth series, co-teach alongside her for another 4 weeks, and she evaluated me during my first weekend class on my own.
My experience with Barb during the mentoring process was everything I needed it to be. I was very green and had no previous experience teaching so nerves were high! She created a supportive and encouraging environment throughout the entire process. She was available to answer questions, address my fears, or offer much needed advice.
She is truly passionate about her work as a mentor and it shows, even during some of those late night debriefs after a class. I appreciated the amount of time that was spent with me prepping ahead of time and the immediate feedback that was given, both positive and constructive.
Barb always goes the extra mile as an educator so not only did she teach me how to “teach” others but she showed me what it looked like to really support the families we serve. After the mentoring process was complete, I felt confident in my abilities to educate expectant couples in our community.
As an educator, I know that I will always be a “work in progress” and I am certain that I would not be the educator that I am today if I had any other mentor. Thank you, Barb Buckner-Suarez!
~Janette Silberman BS, ICCE
If you have educators or professionals that teach or give presentations, I can work with your group presenting researched and time-tested techniques to create messages that are engaging, “sticky,” and designed to increase learning and impact.
“Your presentation motivated me to try harder to engage the participants in my classes.”
“Excellent training and application for all health and human resource educators attending. Really well done!”
“Inspiring, genuine, witty, insightful, passionate!”
I’ve spoken at local, national and international conferences on many topics in the field of Maternal-Fetal Health Education and Adult Education Theories. I’ve also been honored to work with Labor & Delivery nurses in group trainings on how to support a woman in birth — physically and emotionally. I love speaking and presenting on these topics and am available to present to your group, large or small. A few examples of the presentations available:
Make ‘Em Laugh: How to Add Humor to Your Teaching
How to use appropriate humor to encourage engagement and retention with adult learners.
Teach to Reach: The Six Rules of Engagement
Tools for going beyond humor that include the top six ways to keep an audience interested, engaged and learning, no matter what your topic.
Birth Plans — Helpful or Harmful?
Today’s Birth Plans might be doing more harm than good. How do we work with our brains to stop planning and start participating in order to have the most positive and satisfying birth experience possible?
“I had the opportunity to listen to Barb presenting at last year’s ICEA conference in Denver. What a treat!! She was enthusiastic and passionate about her subject, but at the same time was clear and evidence based. I loved how she was so open and friendly. As current president of the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) I was especially glad to find her and invite her to share her wisdom and skills with us in our work of improving birth options for families. What a great young woman.”
~Sandra Bardsley, President APPPAH
Facilitation requires a separate skill set centered around the creation of a safe and welcoming space so attendees can share and express freely within the group setting. Very different from my work as an educator, I’ve come to love this role and enjoy the results which can happen through the combined wisdom of all who are present.
I write a blog , and my work has been featured in Literary Mama, Red Tricycle, Just Be Parenting, Birth Issues, NW Parents Magazine, and PDX Parent Magazine. I’m currently working on a book about the subjects that I am so passionate about: pregnancy, birth and parenting. Check back often for updates on this project or to request a submission for your publication.
I’m happy to tailor a specific message to your group, and also available to do one-on-one mentoring programs to help individual educators and professionals reach their highest potential.
Working with me can ensure that your message has greater reach and bigger impact. Be the most effective educator you can be!
“Barb was a fantastic mentor through the childbirth educator onboarding process. Her feedback was always thorough and constructive. I left each session with a greater understanding of my new profession and my audience.
Barb helped me to grow as an educator, not only with her technical knowledge but also with the support she provided me during, and after, my training period. I am most certainly a better educator today because of the time I was able to spend with Barb!”