Response-Able Educator Newsletter #84

September 14, 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.

In This Issue

1.  Quote
2.  Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3.  Bumper Sticker
4.  Article: After the Speech
5.  Teacher Talk Tip: Lead with Dignity

1. Quote

"If you have to ask for your dignity back, it's already too late."
Tommy Dougherty III

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if what you want from this student already exists within her and your job is to encourage it to come out rather than to discover a way to put it in? In what ways would that alter your present approach?

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


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a silver Mercury Milan in Kingston, NY:
Spelling Bees Sting

4. After the Speech

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
OK, it's over. The President's speech has come and gone. Did you read our blog, To Listen or Not to Listen to the President? Some schools ignored the speech and pretended it didn't exist. Others let all students listen to it. Still others gave parents a choice. Whatever.
More important, in our opinion, than the decision school administrators made about whether or not to air the speech is the decision each individual teacher made following that decision. Teachers, did you have students read the speech? Did you allow for discussion time? Did you do any debriefing where students got to think about, write about, or talk about the speech? If your students didn't get to hear the speech, did you give them an opportunity to think about, write about, and talk about the controversy that surrounded it? Did students get to articulate any opinion at all?
People don't learn from their experience. They learn from processing (debriefing) their experience. That is the portion of the education process that moves the learning into long-term memory. It is the part that helps with application, taking something you learned in one setting and applying it to another.
It's not too late. Debriefing can happen days after the fact. Should you choose to use this incredible teaching moment for your classroom, consider the following.
1.)  Ask questions that require thinking. Teaching to develop thinking skills is every professional educator's job, regardless of the job description, grade, or content area. 
  • Rate the President's speech on a scale of one to ten. Give a reason for your number.
  • What did you hear in the speech that showed he cared about students? What evidence did you hear that he doesn't care about students?
  • What are some things you think we should remember from the speech? How could we go about remembering them?
  • What title would you put on his speech? Why?
  • Sum up his speech in two sentences. See if you can capture what you thought was the essence.
  • How could you reduce his comments to one phrase?
  • What goals, if any, will you set for yourself because of the speech? Explain.
2.)  Have students put the lessons they learned to use. 
  • Make a goal chain that invites each student to put a personal educational goal on a strip of paper. Link them all together, including yours, and display them on a classroom wall.
  • Have students write a letter to the President explaining their reaction to the speech.
  • Invite students to write in their Responsibility Notebook one thing they will do differently this semester because of the speech. Check back two weeks later and ask them to evaluate how they are doing so far.
  • Ask students to pick out one quote from the speech that they found meaningful and add it to the class quote poster.
  • Have students write a newspaper article detailing the speech.
  • Have students create a rap to communicate the important parts of the President's message.
  • Using consensus seeking, come up with a class motto based on the speech and put it on display.
  • Allow students an opportunity to draw a pictorial representation of the speech.
  • Challenge students to put the main points of the speech on a graphic organizer.
If you decide not to deal with the Presiden's speech,  save these ideas for later use. You can recycle them and use them with the next important current event that comes along. Chances are you won't have to wait long.
Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman are the 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. To obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your staff development needs, visit their websites today at or

5. Teacher Talk Tip: Lead with Dignity

Kindergarten. First day of school. Excitement. Too much excitement, perhaps. A six-year-old boy pooped his pants. The teacher knew. Kindergarten teachers know these things. At least they do if they are Spirit Whisperers. This one was.
No, it wasn't raw intuition that tipped her off. Neither was it the fact that the child dropped his head into the shame position when he stood before her. It was one of her other senses that supplied the main clue. She could smell it.
"Sometimes things happen," she said, as she began to deal with this awkward first-day-of-school moment. Not her first day, but his. It was his first day ever at this school, with this teacher, with these students. Do you smell something besides poopy pants? Do you smell the potential for this kid getting off to a really bad start on a very important day in his life? This teacher did.
"Let's talk, just you and me, over here," she invited him. "Everybody has accidents," she continued when they were alone. "I'll take care of you. It's going to be OK. I have clean clothes for you that will fit you just right. When you're done changing your clothes, come join us in the classroom." She saw the relieved look on his face. And he saw the accepting look on hers.
"Let me know if you need any other help," she said quietly. He nodded his head and entered the bathroom. He didn’t need any other help. His day had been saved. He returned to the classroom a few minutes later with new clothes and his dignity intact.


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


Recent blog posts you might have missed include:
Please join us at and become a reader and a responder on our new Web site. Sign up today on the right-hand side of the home page. And while you're there, check out some of the informational articles we have posted.

Teacher Celebration Special
One Spirit Whisperer book - $25.00
One Teacher Talk book - $15.00
180 days of Spirit Whisperer Contemplations - $12.95
That's a $52.95 value now being sent to you for only $18 plus postage.
September only!


Building Level Special
One Spirit Whisperer book for each teacher on your staff at a 60 percent discount (orders of 12 or more only).
$9.00 per book plus postage.
Nurture, uplift, and inspire your staff with our never-before-offered price on this amazing book.
This offer is good until October 1, 2009.
NOTE: You have to fill in the quantity before the discount will appear.


Sept. 16 - Kangiqsualujjuaq, QC Canada.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Ulluriaz School. For information contact Mark Brazeau at
Sept. 21 - Montebello, CA.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Cantwell - Sacred Heart of Mary. For information contact Giovanna Sergi at
Sept. 22 - Clio, MI
The Six Best Parenting Strategies Ever presented by Thomas Haller, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Clio Elementary School, Clio MI.
Oct. 1 - Bay City, MI
Transforming Aggression in Children presented by Thomas Haller, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Bay Valley Hotel and Resort, Bay City, MI. For ticket information contact: Click here to register on-line. View Flyer.
Oct. 8 - Cary, IL.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Cary Public School. Contact Chick Moorman at 989-643-5059 or email

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



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