Response-Able Educator Newsletter #80

May 5, 2009

Welcome! This is a free newsletter about becoming a Response-Able educator who develops Response-Able students.

Mission Statement

Our 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.

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In This Issue

1.    Quote

2.    Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

3.    Bumper Sticker

4.    Just the Facts

5.    Article: School Improvement? Or Not?

6.  Q&A

1. Quote

"…we need to abandon the idea that wisdom is knowing everything—the whys, the how-tos. Wisdom is often more subtle, both far simpler and exceedingly more complex. For wisdom requires the discerning, the listening to, the acknowledgement of nudges and notions, of senses and sensations of the minute and what we often mistakenly assume is the mundane. Wisdom means listening to the still, small voice, the whisper that can be easily lost in the whirlwind of busyness, expectations, and conventions of the world…"

Jean M. Bloomquist

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What would schools be like if we measured our success by how students handled freedom rather than by how good they were with obedience?

Get a full year of SW Contemplations free when you order the Spirit Whisperer book.


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a white Chevy Tahoe in Nashville, TN:


If children had a safe harbor

No one would be at risk.

4. Just the Facts

1.  Fifty-six percent of Americans, reports USA Today, can name Paula Abdul as a judge on American Idol, but only twenty-one percent know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” comes from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

2.  Almost forty percent incorrectly believe the power to declare war belongs to the president.

3.  American students are less likely to graduate from high school than their parents, according to a study by Education Trust.

4.  The United States is the only industrialized nation where that is the case.

5. School Improvement? Or Not?

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Detroit high school students may have an added incentive for passing major subjects under a bill that was introduced in Lansing, Michigan, on Tuesday, April 21, by state senator Hansen Clarke. The bill would call for
 reorganization of thirty Detroit public schools and offer an extra pay incentive for teachers and also pay students up to two thousand dollars a year for grade improvement.

Is this a good idea? We don't think so. Here's why.

  1. This is one more attempt to motivate students from the outside in. It reinforces an external motivation strategy that only works for the short run at best. What is needed today is self-motivation. Self-motivation is internal and works from the inside out.
  2. This is a continuation of a systemic problem that attempts to motivate students externally with stars, stickers, smiley faces, performance charts, grades, and popcorn or pizza parties. If those strategies as so effective, why aren’t they working? Why is the number of unmotivated students increasing? Has anyone noticed that unmotivated students don't care about stars, stickers or a popcorn party?
  3. Paying for learning is an attempt at a quick fix. A move in this direction is an admission that we do not intend to invest the time, effort, energy, and dollars in a long-term commitment to today’s youth.
  4. What students really learn when we pay them to learn is that school is so boring and distasteful that we have to entice them with cash in order for them to want to achieve.
  5. Attaching teachers' salaries to student performance ignores the wide range of factors over which teachers have no control. How will this plan adjust for the students' home environment, learning disabilities, socioeconomic discrepancies, parental involvement, school resources, school funding, and the like?
  6. This misguided effort does nothing to address the important issue of making schools places where students want to be. It fails to encourage children to follow their passion and go to bed at night thinking, "I can hardly wait to get up in the morning so I can get to school."
  7. In the medical model we have a name for prescription without diagnosis. We call it malpractice. Could the same thing be going on here?

What we have been doing with reward systems in schools is not working. This plan is an attempt to do more of the same. To pay students for achievement is tantamount to putting a burned pizza back in the oven because it didn't smell or taste right the first time. Does that make any sense? We don't think so.

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the co-authors of Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children: Practical Strategies for Parents and Teachers to Help Children Manifest a Better World. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators and another for parents. To sign up for them or to learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today:  and

6. Q&A

Question: I had a ninth-grader today tell me that her mom went to a workshop for kindergarten teachers. At the workshop, the presenter suggested that the participants give their students choices, the same way you did with our k-12 audiance. Now, my student thinks choices are babyish and has planted that idea into the minds of my entire class.

My reply was simply to tell her that the workshop I went to (yours was fantastic, by the way) was not for kindergarten teachers, and that choices are for all ages. Do you have a suggestion for how I can reply?


Answer: Kindergarten, and even the years preceding formal schooling, is a good time to help children begin to learn about making choices. Learning about choices doesn't stop at the end of kindergarten. Teens create increasing or decreasing amounts of responsibility for themselves based on the quality of the choices they make. Adults are expected to make choices their entire lives. Employers like employees who can make healthy, productive, helpful choices.


Kindergarten is a time when most children begin to spell and to write. That does not mean that ninth-graders do not do that also. In ninth grade we build on what we learned in the previous grades and keep learning about spelling, writing, and making choices.


Question: I missed your seminar "Motivating the Unmotivated" in Columbus, OH. Are you going to be doing it in the area again soon? If not, is there any other way I can get the materials?

Answer: Sorry, there are no plans to repeat that session in the Columbus area in the near future. There is an audio version of that all-day seminar available, however. We call it "Motivating the Unmotivated: Practical Strategies for Teaching the Hard-to-Reach Student." It includes four compact discs and a comprehensive resource handbook. It will help you increase student self-motivation as well as give you lots of practical ideas you can put to use immediately.



Copyright 2009 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.


Have you seen our latest blog? Here is a preview of what you'll find: 

Did you hear about the woman who told two misbehaving kids to get out of her car and drove off? Is this effective parenting?

I've heard it a hundred times but it seems more like one thousand. Find out what….here.

My grandson kicked me off of Facebook. Why I chose to feel hurt.

Do you know someone who plays video games a lot? They may or may not be addicted. Check it out here.

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Special Event

Training of Trainers in the Parent Talk System


Both these trainings are filling rapidly. Sign up now while there are still openings.


  • Do you feel called in your soul to help parents consider the possibility that there might be a better way, an enlightened way, to parent?
  • Are you interested in helping parents move from a fear- and shame-based parenting style to one that is love based?
  • Would you consider helping the parents in your community make a shift in perception that would allow them to become the change that will change our world for the better?
  • Are you ready to make a giant leap forward to actualizing your potential as a healer of the planet?



July 30 – Aug. 1, 2009
Spring Arbor University
19855 West Outer Drive
Suite 300 E
Dearborn, MI



June 4 - 6, 2009
Mid Kansas Community Action Program, Inc.

730 Cliff Drive
Augusta, KS


Download the Augusta, KS, 2009 workshop brochure.

Click here for more information and the Parent Talk System brochure.



May 6 - Harrisburg, PA

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 7 - State College, PA

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 8 - Pittsburgh, PA

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 11 - Reno, NV

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 12 - Spokane, WA

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 13 - Boise, ID

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 14 - Seattle, WA

Motivating the Unmotivated by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or


May 15 - Honolulu, HI

Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Contact Bureau of Education & Research (BER) at 1-800-735-3503 or

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 1-877-360-1477 or e-mail him at


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-686-5356 or e-mail him at




Personal Power Press


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