"Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys
and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational
because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way
to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man.
Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life.
It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader
whoever is established in that position."
---- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back
What if your main purpose was to help this student become aware of and
create his or her purpose?
Are you doing that on purpose?
One in three children in America is behind a year or more in school.
"MY TEACHER IS THE BEST" Essay Contest
GiveKidsGoodSchools.com is running its "My Teacher Is the Best"
Essay Contest for the second year in a row. By writing a short essay about
their favorite middle school teacher, 7, and 8 can win two new laptop
computers -- one for themselves and one for the teacher they write about.
What makes a good teacher? Why? Tell us about your favorite teacher and
win! The contest is open to public school (includes public charter schools)
students in grades 6, 7, and 8 only. Essays must be submitted by May 31st
and may be no longer than 250 words.
Last year, GiveKidsGoodSchools.com received over 2,400 entries from students
across the country. This year, they'd like to get even more, so please
help them spread the word. To learn more about the contest and find out
how to enter, visit: http://www.givekidsgoodschools.com/goodteachers/essay.html
Source: Public Education Network Weekly Newsblast
Spotted on a Chevy Nova on US 23, heading north near Howell, MI: Take
your inner child to work today.
In Memory of Pre-K Naps Pre-K Naps died today, ending a long struggle
with the growing pressure to make preschool more rigorous. The sounds
of classical piano music gently coaxing young children to sleep will no
longer be heard. Spider Man and Powerpuff blankets, mats, and cots are
now a thing of the past. The daily ritual, once prominent in schools across
the country, appears to be a luxury that three- and four-year-olds will
no longer enjoy. Once a pillar of preschool education, Pre-K Naps passed
away in shame, being ridiculed in her later years as "baby school
stuff." The pressure for school achievement and the test-prep mentality
of our times hastened her passing. Accolades for her years of service
with young children continue to pour in. A boon to toddlers and young
children who are often overscheduled and who need but don't get 10 to12
hours of sleep a night, Pre-K Naps was greatly appreciated for much of
her life. Small children, who need to rest their minds, will miss her
presence. Fittingly, she died in her sleep while taking a nap.
7. Training Opportunity: Helping
Parents Learn Verbal Skills [back
WANTED: Training facilitators to learn the Parent Talk System's Language
of Response-Able Parenting model. GOAL: To help parents learn effective
verbal skills to use with their children.
Take a giant step toward helping the parents in your school. Become a
skilled facilitator of the Parent Talk System by attending our summer
facilitator training. Join the growing number of people from around the
world (USA, Mexico, Spain, and Australia) who have learned how to help
parents raise responsible, caring, confident children. We will help you
learn to put the highly effective Parent Talk skills into the hands of
parents in your school, church, or organization. You will leave this three-day
training with the skills and confidence to touch the hearts and minds
of parents in your community!
Parent Talk System Training Details: July 29, 30, 31 Dearborn, MI Spring
Arbor University Campus
Facilitated by Chick Moorman and Judith Minton
Limited to 25 participants. Graduate credit available.
To request a detailed brochure, email email@example.com. (Be sure to include
your mailing address.)
8. Article: Outstanding Attitude [back
By Chick Moorman
Sitting on the front porch at a friend's house in the late afternoon
recently, I was privileged to be part of an interesting educational exchange.
As my friend and I caught up on the significant events of each other's
lives, a school bus pulled up in front of her house. My friend's two daughters
descended the school bus stairs and began the walk from the road to the
As the girls approached the house, the older one, a tenth grader, began
waving a paper and calling excitedly to her mother. "Look what I
got!" she cried. "An award from my writing teacher! It says
I have an outstanding attitude!"
My friend made appropriate congratulatory remarks as the award was passed
to us for examination. Sure enough, Mindy had been presented with an 8
x10 suitable-for-framing award. It contained these words: "Presented
to Mindy Clark on March 21st, 2004, for OUTSTANDING ATTITUDE in Creative
Writing class." It was signed by the teacher.
Both mom and daughter were quite pleased with the written confirmation.
That's when I stuck my nose in.
"What did you get that for, Mindy?" I asked.
"Having an outstanding attitude," she replied.
"So what exactly is an outstanding attitude?" I pressed.
"It means I have a good attitude in writing class."
"What was good about your attitude?"
"What do you mean?"
"I realize that your teacher thinks you have an outstanding attitude,
and I assume you probably do. But what I want to know is, what do you
have to do to get that award?"
"You have to have an outstanding attitude."
"How does someone know if you have an outstanding attitude or not?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"Mindy, what if one of your girlfriends came up to you and asked
what she would have to do, what behaviors she would have to demonstrate,
to win that award next month? What would you tell her to do?"
"I'd tell her to have an outstanding attitude, a really good attitude,
I began to realize that Mindy, age 15 and an honor roll student, had
no idea why she had received the award. She did not know what behaviors
of hers produced it. She did not know what behaviors to repeat to earn
another outstanding attitude award.
Happy Grams, Good Student awards, and Super Star papers are handed out
to students by well-intentioned teachers in kindergarten, in fourth grade,
and in high school — throughout the grades. Regardless of the grade level,
the awards have little meaning.
Awards that contain words like "excellent," "super,"
"tremendous" "fantastic," and "good" are
one teacher's evaluation of a student in a given area. These kinds of
words provide students with little useful data as to why they received
the awards. In fact, when awards use evaluative language, students are
more likely to view their teachers as responsible for creating the awards
than to view themselves as having inspired them by demonstrating specific
I have no doubt that Mindy has an outstanding attitude in her writing
class. And I also have no doubt that her teacher's evaluation was based
on specific behaviors. I'll bet Mindy turned her papers in on time, entered
frequently into class discussions, asked questions, stayed on task, did
in-depth work, and/or followed directions. When you give awards, strengthen
your praise by adding descriptive comments. What was good about the paper?
Why was the report fantastic? What behaviors made the effort super? If
you give a student an award for honesty, dependability, or promptness,
go on to describe what it was they did that was honest, dependable, or
prompt. By specifically describing accomplishments, you affirm what has
been done rather than evaluate it. In so doing, you allow students to
draw their own conclusions. You give them room to make self-evaluations,
and you help them connect their behaviors to the accolades.
If you follow this suggestion, give yourself an OUTSTANDING TEACHER award.
And when you do, be sure to describe what is was you did behaviorally
to earn it.
Feel free to print and distribute the above article as long as you attach
the following tag line:
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 publishes a FREE E-newsletter for parents as well as this
one for educators. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your free subscription
to one or both newsletters. ===============================================================
Chick Moorman is available to keynote your back-to-school inservice day,
fall staff development meeting, conference, or recognition dinner with
"Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers." Contact him at email@example.com
or call (toll-free) 877-360-1477. Full-day seminars include the following
topics: "Teaching for Respect and Responsibility" and "Achievement
Motivation and Behavior Management."
9. Newsletter Archives [back
Did you miss a past issue of our Response-Able Educator Newsletter?
Not to worry! You can now find all 28 past Educator Newsletters in the
Archives section of my Web site at www.chickmoorman.com/newsletters.
Here are some meaningful topics you will find in previous issues:
Hello Mr. Moorman,
I am hoping you can help me with a problem I am having. I am a first-year
teacher and wanting to do things well. But I am finding that some of the
techniques they taught me in college don't always work.
Yesterday, one of my middle schoolers was showing off and attracting
much student attention. I ignored it, which is the first thing I was taught
to do. He kept it up, so I implemented proximity behavior and moved closer
to him. While moving in his direction, I gave him strong eye contact as
I continued to teach. He persisted in his behavior. I did not interrupt
my lecture and moved right by his desk. When I stood there by him, he
quieted down temporarily. As I moved away, he started up again.
I am frustrated. What am I doing wrong? I did everything they said to
do in college. Any ideas on things I could do or say?
First-Year Arizona Teacher
Dear First-Year Arizona Teacher,
Welcome to the real world! As you have already figured out, there is
a gap between theory and practice.
The strategies you used can be effective with many students. Sometimes
ignoring the behavior is all you need to do. At other times proximity
behavior mixed with strong eye contact will work. These steps are definitely
worth the effort. In instances when these techniques fail to produce the
desired behavior, add some carefully designed Teacher Talk to the mix.
I suggest you approach the student and tell him in a soft voice, "Your
behavior is disrupting the class. Please make a different choice."
This communication does not tell the student what to do. The silent message
here is, "I see you as intelligent enough to figure out an appropriate
choice. Please make one." This style of communication respects the
student by trusting that he can come up with an appropriate choice. It
also allows you to respect yourself by stating your needs and making it
clear you expect a different choice.
If this Teacher Talk does not produce the behavior change you desire,
use your verbal skills to give him some choices. Again, in a soft voice
state, "You can choose to sit quietly, or you can choose a detention.
It's up to you. You decide." Then walk away and continue your teaching.
If he persists in the behavior, tell him, "I see you choose a detention.
Here is your slip." This will keep you from getting into a power
struggle with this student, and it will keep the responsibility for the
detention where it belongs, squarely on his shoulders.
Best wishes for a successful first year.
Sincerely, Chick Moorman
Teachers and administrators wishing to improve their verbal interaction
with students are encouraged to order our book "Teacher Talk: What
It Really Means." "Teacher Talk" is available from Personal
Power Press for $13.00. Call (toll-free) 877-360-1477. Purchase orders
accepted. Quantity discounts are available.
11. Manage Your Subscription [back
A.) If you are receiving the newsletter as a forward and would like
to insure that you get your personal free subscription, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to the educator newsletter.
B.) To remove yourself from this list, e-mail email@example.com and ask to be deleted from the educator newsletter.
C.) Back issues of the Response-Able Educator Newsletter can be found here.
D.) Are you interested in receiving our parenting newsletter?
If so, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and request
to be added to the parenting newsletter list.
E.) Please recommend this free e-newsletter to any teachers you know
who are interested in adding tools to their teaching tool boxes.
F.) Please notify us if your e-mail address is about to change. Send
your name and new e-mail address to email@example.com.
Be sure to let us know your old e-mail address so we can unsubscribe it.
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 www.chickmoorman.com.
Subscriber comments, ideas, and concerns are valued. Email your
comment to IPP57@aol.com
Privacy Statement: Under no circumstances do we sell, trade,
or exchange your email address, ever. It is safe with us. Always!
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 www.chickmoorman.com.
Copyright 2003 Chick Moorman Seminars, all rights reserved. Share
this with your circle.