America believes in education: the average professor earns more money
in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.
--- Evan Esar (1899-1995)
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back
What if there is plenty of time? What if what they don't get now, they
can get later? What if there is no right time to learn this lesson?
The number of male public school teachers is at a 40-year low. Of America's
teachers, only 21 percent are male. In elementary school, male teachers
now represent 9 percent of the teaching force. That is down from 18 percent
in 1981. Minority males make up 16 percent of the teaching population.
Forty-two percent of public schools have no minority teacher.
(National Education Association survey)
"Always/Never" Pay attention to how you use the words "always"
and "never. "
"You always blame someone else."
"You never attempt to do anything extra."
"Why do you always interrupt me?"
A problem for teachers who use "always" and "never"
in their Teacher Talk is that the words divert students' attention from
the issue that needs to be dealt with and focuses it on the accusation.
A typical internal response to "You always have to be first"
is denial. The student remembers the one time three years ago when she
chose to be last. She is now so busy thinking that she does not always
have to be first that she is unable to attend mentally to the problem
Chick Moorman is currently booking summer and back-to-school programs.
To reserve your date, contact Chick at email@example.com.
Spotted on a Chevy Blazer in a driveway in Milan, MI:
If it weren't for Sports
This would be about my Honor Roll Child.
"Are you a teacher?" I asked a customer who wanted to purchase
a "Spirit Whisperer" book at the Michigan PTA annual convention.
"No, I'm a room mother and a PTA officer," she responded.
"Well, I just want you to know that 'Spirit Whisperers' is a book
for teachers. It's about how to teach to a child's spirit. (I often give
this explanation at my book table because I want to make sure people know
what they are buying. I don't want a parent to buy a book intended for
teachers, thinking it has lots of parenting examples in it.)
"I know," she said. "It's not for me. It's for my son's
teacher. It's an end-of-the-year appreciation gift. His teacher is a Spirit
Whisperer, and I think she could use it. She gets a bit discouraged in
this age of overemphasis on test scores. Plus, I want her to know I care
about her efforts to teach children rather than curriculum."
I sold her the book — personally autographed, of course. The interesting
part of this situation is that it was not an isolated incident. I had
similar conversations with several other parents looking for appreciation
gifts for teachers who touched their children's spirits, who taught to
the human side of the teaching equation.
Several other customers purchased graduation gifts for soon-to-be teachers.
All in all, I sold over 25 books to customers who wanted either a graduation
gift or one to show appreciation. In each case, I recommended three different
books, listed below, and let the customer choose. If you know a teacher
you want to appreciate or a 2004 college graduate in the field of education,
consider the following:
SPIRIT WHISPERERS: Teachers Who Nourish a Child's Spirit by Chick Moorman
Spirit Whisperers exist. They are out there in every school, in every
grade level, in every part of the country. They coach, they lead youth
groups, they teach school, they counsel, they administer, and they parent.
Most often they do their work in anonymity. Quietly, steadily, they go
about their task of teaching to a child's spirit. This book is an effort
to celebrate Spirit Whisperers and help them remember that there are others
like them working to inspire, nurture, uplift, and help young people tune
in to the spirit and power within.
TEACHER TALK: What It Really Means by Chick Moorman and Nancy Weber ($13.00)
This book is about teachers' talk — the comments, questions, commands,
suggestions that teachers direct at students every day. It explores the
way teachers talk to
children and exposes the underlying "silent messages" that accompany
words. By selecting words and phrases intentionally and using the Teacher
suggested in this book, teachers will empower their students and enhance
OUR CLASSROOM: We Can Learn Together by Chick Moorman and Dee Dishon
This book will help K-6 teachers create a classroom environment where
problems are less likely to occur and where students are less likely to
activate the new three R's — Resistance, Reluctance, and Resentment. The
book shows how to build an
atmosphere of togetherness and cooperation, focusing on activities and
strategies that foster notions of belonging, interdependence, and mutual
7. A Sign of the Times [back
How would you like your students to go to the ShopRite Center for physical
education and the Flowers Library and Media Center to check out books?
Thanks to the school's sale of naming rights, that's exactly what happens
at the Alice Costello School in Brooklawn, NJ. The gym and library have
been renamed and sold to the highest bidder.
The school name could be next.
"A lot of small schools are fighting for their survival. What we
are doing here is going to be the norm in ten years," Superintendent
John Kellmayer says.
Can't you see it now?
Ads on the sport teams' jerseys.
Company logos on the basketball court's free-throw lanes.
Advertising on the sides of school buses.
An exclusive arrangement with Pepsi for vending machines that give the
school a cut of the proceeds.
Junk food vending machines to entice students to spend lunch money on
Little Debbie cupcakes and Butterfinger candy bars to help increase the
Corporate logos in the upper right-hand corner of each student's desk.
Rental of display cases in the high school to promote local businesses.
An e-bay auction of the school's name to the highest bidder.
It's a sign of the times.
8. Article: Homework [back
By Chick Moorman
There are two first-grade classrooms in an elementary school in a small
community. They are located directly across the hall from each other in
the early childhood wing. Both first-grade teachers are ten-year teaching
veterans. Both teach language arts using the whole language/experience
story approach. Both take their jobs seriously.
Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Brown often invite their students to express themselves
drawing. Each of them encourages students to create experience stories
by adding words to their drawings. Stories are displayed in the classrooms
for a short period of time and then added to each student's work file.
Both teachers watch for misspelled words and words that children ask
for help in spelling. These words become each individual student's special
reading words for a week. The students carry their individual collection
of words around with them fastened to their belts with a shower ring.
When adults in the building see Mrs. Johnson's or Mrs. Brown's students
walking in the building, they stop them and ask them to read their words.
The first graders are easy to spot because of the tag board words bouncing
at their waists as they move through the building. After the children
read their words to the adults, the adults sign the last words on the
rings, signifying that they witnessed the students reading.
Each teacher has students line up to go home at the end of the week with
words in hand. Each teacher has students read their words to her before
they exit the classroom. Each makes two piles of words as the students
read: one pile contains the words the child read correctly, and the other
contains the words the child read incorrectly or did not read at all.
Up to this point both teachers handle the reading words identically.
The similarity ends
Mrs. Johnson throws away the words her children know and gives them the
don't know to take home and practice with their parents. Mrs. Brown throws
away the words her students don't know and gives them the ones they read
successfully to take home and read to their parents.
Imagine the weekend scenes that occur in the homes of these first graders.
On one side of the street, Mrs. Johnson's student takes out the pile of
words he doesn't know and begins to struggle. His parents, anxious for
the child to learn to read, overreact and add concern and pressure to
the mix. The child continues to struggle as the parents' concern rises.
They begin to see their child as a poor reader.
In the house across the street, Mrs. Brown's student gets out his words
and begins to read. He is flawless in his efforts. His parents get excited,
give praise, and call grandma to tell her what a great reader her grandson
is. They see their child as a student who is learning new
words every week.
What is the purpose of homework, anyway? In first through third grades,
shouldn't it be just to go home and show off a little? What is the value
of sending home words, problems, or
worksheets that the child cannot do? That scenario only sets the child
up for more struggle. If a student has homework that he does not know
how to do, his choices are to do it incorrectly, blow it off, sit there
and struggle, or ask a parent for help, thereby revealing his
ignorance and adding pressure to the learning situation.
How about sending work home that helps the child look successful? How
about creating a moratorium on homework that is not understood? How about
helping students see homework as fun by allowing them to go home and show
off the things they CAN do?
(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 also 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. 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (Be sure to include
your mailing address.)
10. Sister Publications [back
Are you receiving our two sister publications, The Response-Able Parenting
our Couple Talk Newsletter? If not, and if you would like to receive them,
email@example.com and tell us which one you would like to receive.
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.