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The Response-Able Educator Newsletter 32
June 30, 2004


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]


"There is no scientific evidence that paddling works. There is only anecdotal evidence of people who say, 'I was hit and I turned out all right.' The only benefit is immediate, short-term behavior change. It doesn't teach anything except might makes right."

----Jimmy Dunne


2. Facts [back to top]


Texas leads the nation in school paddlings. According to the Center for Effective Discipline in Harris County, Ohio, 75,000 students were paddled in Texas in the year 2000.

Twenty-eight states have banned the practice of paddling in public schools.

More than 50 percent of school districts have a policy that allows paddling.

Southern states have the most incidents of corporal punishment.

Mississippi and Arkansas are ranked first and second in percentage of students paddled. Texas is seventh.


3. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]


If your students were already who they were going to become, why would they need to go to school?


4. Teacher Talk Tip [back to top]


The Character Support Statement

Positive behavior needs to be reinforced. Many educators and parents do that using evaluative praise: "You did a good job on that," "Your effort was excellent."

An alternative to evaluative praise is the Character Support Statement. This important
piece of Teacher Talk consists of two elements: a descriptive comment and a character
connection. Examples follow:

"Bill, I noticed you ignored Carlos' teasing and returned to work (descriptive comment). When you do that, you demonstrate self-control" (character connection).

"Marlene, you have revised this report five times (descriptive comment). This shows
determination and persistence on your part" (character connection).

"I see, Latrell, that you shared the blocks with Latisha (descriptive comment). You are learning about cooperation" (character connection).

By using Character Support Statements instead of evaluative praise, you leave room for the student to draw the conclusion. You then allow the evaluation to come from the inside out rather than attempting to take it from the outside and put it in. Character Support Statements affirm what has been done and reveal the character connection so students can make sense of their behavior in terms of their developing characters.


The Teacher Talk Seminar is currently one of our most requested seminars. Skill-based and practical, this verbal skills training offers teachers strategies they can put to use
immediately. Chick Moorman is currently booking summer and back-to-school programs.

To reserve your date, contact Chick at


5. Bumper Sticker [back to top]


Spotted on a blue Ford Focus in Chandler, AZ:

Driver carries no cash. Daughter goes to Xavier.


6. Book Report [back to top]


Recently received email:

Hello Chick,

I was so impressed with the "Spirit Whisperers" book that I bought another copy and donated it to my children's school to share with the teachers. Actually, I left the book in the teacher's lounge for them to browse through. I am hoping they get inspired to purchase a copy for themselves.

Grateful Parent and Teacher

Hello Grateful,

I love your idea and hope it catches on around the nation. The thought of thousands of "Spirit Whisperer" books anonymously showing up in teachers' lounges throughout the country sounds deliciously subversive to me.


To support this idea, I am offering anyone who buys a "Spirit Whisperer" book in July or August a second copy at half price so they can sneak one into their teachers' lounge. Call 877-360-1477 or email and ask for the Teachers' Lounge Special.


7. Lessons We'd Learn If Dogs Were Teachers [back to top]


Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

No matter how often you are scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle that person gently.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Let others know when they have invaded your territory.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you are not.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.


8. Article: Little Things Mean A Lot [back to top]


by Ellie Braun-Haley

Is it possible to alter the actions of school children? To take the focus from bullying and
from reporting inconsequential tales that find fault?

Well, one young woman thought so, and she worked a year to achieve this goal. Laurie
Braun, a concerned and caring mother — a woman with a lot of imagination and the
determination to make a difference — became the mighty force behind an avalanche of
kindness in a Canadian elementary school.

Laurie wanted to help the students to focus on positive actions and words. After gaining the approval of the principal, she developed and operated a program that would do just that. She set about to inspire and motivate hundreds of children to file reports on one another for their kind gestures, no matter how small the deed.

"The interesting thing about it all," said Laurie, "is that it truly was the little things that they all began noticing."

She picked up two reports at random and read them:

"When I was by myself, Jeffrey sat on the swing with me."

"I slipped and cut myself on the ice, and Sara sat with me."

These and other similar reports handed in by the school children eventually soared from the hundreds to well over the thousand mark.

"The children revealed a lot about what their concerns are during these early school years. I saw a noticeable pattern regarding the reports," said Laurie. "They (the children) spoke a lot about their appreciation for being included, their appreciation for having someone to play with, and their relief and appreciation when another student comforted them after a spill."

The response was magnificent; student participation increased weekly. In fact, the load
of volunteer work for this one parent increased by leaps and bounds. Students filed sixty
reports of kindness in one week alone.

"It became a challenge," said Laurie, "to fit everything on the bulletin board and to keep it sparkling and colorful. I think the kids loved the glitter of the displays the most!"

Ms. Braun devoted well over 170 hours working both at home and at the school to prepare materials and build weekly displays to keep the children interested.

As time went by, the elementary school began to change conspicuously. Kids were sharing lunches and opening doors for one another. Kindness thrived!

Even the crossing guard at the crosswalk was reported for her acts of kindness. "The
wonderful thing about this," commented Laurie, "was that the report was put in by a youngster who was so shy he had never even spoken to the crossing guard, although the guard had spoken words of encouragement to this one particular youngster many times."

A child who had a reputation of being arrogant was suddenly helping another clean out her desk. One lonely child reported of a classmate, "When I needed a friend to play with, she was there."

The number of reports went up weekly, but not just as ordinary reports. Over the weekend, the innovative and artistically inclined Laurie chose a theme so that every single report was set on special paper, highlighted with sparkling glitter. One week she placed the names of the youngsters on lightning bolts, another week every report was done on teddy bears, and yet another time reports appeared on little T-shirts, all hanging on a clothesline.

The bulletin board was so eye-catching that it drew crowds. Soon parents, teachers, and other staff were gathering around to take in the theme and designs for each new week.

When the school year drew to a close, Laurie took each and every "good deed" report filled in by students and teachers and attached them to one long continuous roll of paper. Once posted, this was to be the final reminder to all that little things do make a difference.

She chose a time when only teachers were at the school, and she and her young daughter literally wrapped the school walls with over a thousand kindness reports.

What was it that motivated this woman? She said, "It all came about because I could see that some of the younger children in the elementary school were worried over bullying. Some concentrated too much energy on reporting the wrong choices of others. I was looking for something to counteract this when I came up with the idea of reporting one another's acts of kindness. I sincerely believed, and still do, that an act of kindness should receive ten times the attention given to a deed that comes about because of wrong choices. I wanted my program to encourage both students and adults to focus on the positive, on what is appreciated — not what is annoying or hurtful."

The program also had some unforeseen side benefits. The reports often indicated when
problems were at hand, and Ms. Braun was able to alert the school authorities.

"I noticed one week that many of the reports spoke of various individuals being helped up after falling on the ice. I contacted the school, and they were able to alleviate the ice problem."

On the final day of the school year, Laurie asked the principal if the children could leave their classrooms and walk about to view the huge accumulated list of their good deeds and thoughtfulness. Students were told that any reports that featured their names could be taken home as souvenirs. Laurie watched as the excited students gathered around the reports, first reading them, then commenting and remembering, and finally reaching to retrieve the reports to take them home as mementos.

"I watched those youngsters that day and felt so proud of their accomplishments. I thought, Look at the huge amount of kindness you all gave to one another. You all noticed even the smallest of gestures, and you have made such a difference in the lives of one another."

Choked with emotion, Laurie shed tears and felt an overwhelming warmth of pleasure for the success of her quest.

Is it possible to alter the actions of school children? To take the focus from bullying and
fault finding?

One woman proved that anything is possible when you follow your instincts and your dreams.

(As seen at


Ellie lives in Alberta, Canada, and wrote this story about her middle child. She says, "I've always been amazed at Laurie, at her resilience and her determination. I'm proud of her for her willingness to share with others and for the care she demonstrates toward family, friends, and even strangers." Ellie has a number of stories and books published and is the author of "A Little Door A Little Light," a book she was challenged to write following the death of her 17-year-old son Jason. Ellie presents talks on the material from the book, hoping to help ease the pain of others due to a death. You can reach her at



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 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 [back to top]


There is still time and space available to take advantage of this exciting training opportunity.

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, 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

To request a detailed brochure, email (Be sure to include your mailing address.)


10. Sister Publications [back to top]


Are you receiving our two sister publications, The Response-Able Parenting Newsletter and our Couple Talk Newsletter? If not, and if you would like to receive them, email and tell us which one you would like to receive.


11. Manage Your Subscription [back to top]


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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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