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The Response-Able Educator Newsletter 25
November 20, 2003


Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able teacher and developing Response-Able students.



My mission is to inspire, encourage and uplift the spirits of educators so they can in turn inspire, encourage, and uplift the spirits of their students.





1. Quote [back to top]


"All children deserve a high-quality education, not classrooms transformed into test-prep centers. In most states, the law will make scores on standardized reading and math tests the sole measure of student progress. Test proponents claim these exams measure what is most important, but any realistic assessment of state tests reveals that much of what is important is not tested and much of what is tested is not of major importance."

----Monty Neill, Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing


2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]


Who are your students' heroes? What if your job is to help each of your students become his or her own hero? What would you have to do to become that heroic?


3. Fact[back to top]


More than 1.5 million U.S. high school students - or 48 percent of students who are members of groups - are subject to hazing each year. Nearly all are subjected to humiliation.

Alfred University study


4. Violence Poster [back to top]


A prominently displayed framed poster spotted in the hallway of Marlette Middle School in Marlette, MI, reads:

Violence occurs whenever anyone harms....

....or threatens to harm....

a person's body, feelings, or possessions.

    • No one is entitled to be violent.
    • Violence is not acceptable at Marlette Middle School.


5. Book Report [back to top]


"Spirit Whisperers believe that teaching a student the cause and effect relationship between thoughts and outcomes is more important than understanding the periodic table, knowing the definition of a circle, and/or discussing the reasons Magellan came to the New World. They realize that once a child grasps the throttle of his train of thought and actively experiences the power that comes from providing direction for his own life, there is no destination that is unavailable to that child. When that happens, a Spirit Whisperer has indeed touched a child's spirit."

If you liked this paragraph, you will love "Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child's Spirit" by Chick Moorman. Available through Personal Power Press at (toll-free) 877-360-1477, or at ($24.95, hardcover only.)


6. Humor [back to top]


If all students who slept in class were laid end to end, they would be a lot more comfortable.


7. Article: Body, Mind, and Spirit [back to top]


By Chick Moorman

Brenda Erdman teaches physical education at Westside Elementary School in Reedsburg, WI. Like most physical education teachers, Brenda cares a lot about children's bodies. She cares about how much exercise her students engage in, what kinds of food they eat, and the amount of rest they get. But Brenda's responsibility to students does not end with making sure their bodies are fit and functioning properly. Brenda teaches to the entire educational trilogy of mind, body, and spirit.

At the beginning of the school year she sends home a Mind-Body-Spirit newsletter to parents. Students also get a copy. It states her philosophy succinctly.

"In everything you learn, in everything you do, in everything you feel, you need to be connected to your mind, body, and spirit.

Each of you is responsible for your mind-what you think, what you say, and how you learn.

Each of you is responsible for your body-how you move, how you act, and how you grow.

Each of you is responsible for your spirit-how you feel, how you reflect, and how you behave.

How are you responsible for these things?


You use your mind to make choices.

You use your body to make choices.

You use your spirit to make choices.

Whom do these choices affect?

You, your family, and your friends.

Taking responsibility for your mind, body, and spirit allows you to make healthy choices that positively affect you, your family, and your friends.

The letter to parents and students is only the beginning of Brenda's use of mind, body, and spirit. She also uses a rubric she designed for every unit/theme that she teaches. The rubric is used to determine a portion of each student's grade.



Performs this responsibility very well.


Does okay, but   needs to pay more attention to this responsibility

Needs Work

Needs to work on this responsibility. Please discuss it at home.


How you think and learn

Thinks before acting.

Uses the knowledge of skills learned to perform better.

Follows directions.

Needs to stop and think before acting in order to make improvements.


Gets easily frustrated and does not problem-solve.

Takes no initiative toward learning.

Blames others for poor results.


How you move and care for your body

Moves in control and with effort.

Controls body when it is time to listen.

Needs to put forth more effort.

Needs to be a better listener.

Poor control - unsafe.

Poor effort.

Poor listening.


Kind and helpful toward others.

Those students who excel in this category are positive about them and say encouraging words to peers.

Is a nice person, but needs to reach out more to others by using encouraging words.

Says or does unkind things to others.

May be rude, disrespectful, or do things that hurt people's feelings.

Negative toward self.

Brenda grades three areas. They include psychomotor (skills), cognitive (written test/questions), and affective (attitude, effort, and caring). She uses the mind- body-spirit rubric to focus on the affective and to strengthen children in their mind-body-spirit responsibilities.

No set of rules hangs in her gym. Instead, students learn to build relationships as they talk and practice the mind, body, and spirit language of responsibility and choices.

(You may contact Brenda Erdman at

Chick Moorman is the author of "Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child's Spirit" and "Parent Talk: How to Talk to Your Child in Language That Builds Self-Esteem and Encourages Responsibility." The books are available from Personal Power Press at (toll-free) 877-360-1477. Chick Moorman also publishes a FREE E-newsletter for parents as well as this one for educators. Contact him at to get your free subscription to one or both newsletters.


Chick Moorman is available to keynote your fall staff development meeting, conference, or recognition dinner. Contact him at or call (toll-free) 877-360-1477. Full-day seminars include the following topics: "Teaching for Respect and Responsibility," "Achievement Motivation and Behavior Management," and "Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers."


8. The Demise of Cursive [back to top]


Everywhere, USA November 20, 2004

Cursive Writing, age undetermined, died in her home last night after a long illness. A former mainstay of the writing community, Cursive was taught for over 300 years in American schools.

Cursive writing is survived by her older brother, Printing, and her newest relative, Word Processing.

Once the cornerstone of American education, Cursive Writing was reduced to nothing more than a cultural artifact in her later years. The demand of standardized tests and the computer industry squeezed the air out of her, leaving her gasping for breath near the end.

Her once lofty position and glorious past were reduced to nothing more than an independent study, an "if we have time" course as she neared her passing.

Controversy surrounded Cursive Writing as she approached her death. Traditionalists saw her declining health as an outrage. Today they lament the loss of a skill, the death of an art form. Others hastened her parting, arguing that she had long outlived her usefulness in this new computer age.

Cursive knew the end was near. In her final words, she remarked, "I could see the handwriting on the wall."

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. At the family's request, there will be no repose or visitation.

In her memory, donations may be made to the Society for the Preservation of Handwriting Contests, in Boston, MA.


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To find out more about books, tapes, and materials by Chick Moorman, contact him at (toll-free) 877-360-1477 or on the web at


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To find out more about workshops, seminars, and keynote addresses presented by Chick Moorman contact him at toll free, 877/360-1477 or on the web at


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