Response-Able Educator Newsletter #87

January 25, 2010

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: Transformation
5.  Miscellaneous Questions
6.  Staying in Touch

1. Quote

"Don't let those tests defeat you. Don't let those tests define you."
First Lady Michelle Obama, speaking to students at Denver's South High School, November 16, 2009

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if your students were showing up in school today simply to give you an opportunity for growth? How would that affect how you see them? What would that lesson entail?
Get a full year of SW Contemplations free when you order the Spirit Whisperers book.


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a green KIA Sorento in Dearborn Heights, MI:
Bridging That Gap Between Your Ears.

4. Article: Transformation

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Today, Wilson Creekmur is a strong proponent of the Family Fusion project at his high school. But it wasn't always so. Wilson recalls the first time he heard about the program that was designed to help students feel connected by placing them into small family units for one class period, twice a week. "I thought it was stupid," he says. "It was a big waste of time. The School Improvement Committee wanted us to use two class periods a week to do a bunch of touchy-feely things," he continued. "It was ridiculous. So I fought it."
Wilson is a twenty-year teaching veteran. He is also the president of his local teachers' union. He takes his professional practice seriously. He is a popular figure in his high school and well respected. When he talks, people listen.
And talk he did concerning the pending adoption of the Family Fusion project. He spoke out against it, eloquently and often. He talked to members of the School Improvement Committee one at a time. He spoke up at meetings when the project was discussed. He buttonholed other faculty members and shared his concerns. He urged them to vote it down.
In spite of Wilson's objections, the plan eventually won faculty approval. Shared decision making left him on the wrong side of the issue. Students were divided into families of twenty. Each family unit contained students from four grade levels, freshmen to seniors. Each contained one professional educator whose job was to facilitate the meetings and help the group bond.
Once a week the committee sent out suggestions that facilitators could use if they chose.  Some were activities. Others were discussion topics. One week it was suggested that facilitators lead a discussion on what makes a good friend. Another time the suggested activity was to tell what your favorite animal was and explain why. Other ideas the committee shared included:
  • Reacting to the assembly speaker who spoke on personal responsibility.
  • Brainstorming ideas to keep the school litter free.
  • Making a list of the ten best ways to get help if you need it.
  • Creating a name and a logo for the group.
  • Making a goal chain listing each student's semester goal and draping it around the room.
Wilson Creekmur implemented the program and used many of the suggested ideas. To say that this was his favorite part of the day would be a lie. He didn't like it much. But he followed through. He didn’t sabotage the program by employing passive resistance, although some days it seemed to him as if he was just going through the motions. On those days, "I couldn’t wait to get to what I considered real teaching," he says. "That would be algebra, geometry, and my one history class."
Then it happened. One morning when Wilson was doing some real teaching of real geometry, another teacher stepped into his classroom. "I'm going to take over for you," she informed him. "Mrs. Carpenter [the school principal] just called, and she needs you at the hospital. We’ll cover for you."
"What happened?" Wilson asked.
"One of our students, Carlos Ortega, was hit by a car out in front of the school. He has a broken arm. He's going to be OK, but he's scared and he’s asking for you."
"Why me?"
"We can't get hold of the parents. The office has called both parents and the other person listed on the emergency card. No answer anyplace. Mrs. Carpenter asked him if there was someone else he would like to stay with him. He picked you."
Wilson went to the hospital that morning, relieved the principal, and sat with Carlos until later in the day when his mother arrived. During his time with Carlos, he did what he could to provide comfort, encouragement, reassurance, and presence. After he had been there awhile he asked the question he had been pondering all morning. "How come you asked for me?"
A frightened and brave young freshman looked his teacher in the eye and touched his soul with these words: "Because I'm in your family and you care about me."
Today, Wilson Creekmur is a strong proponent of the Family Fusion project at his high school. And it wasn't always 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 learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: and

Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children


5. Teacher Talk Tip

To elementary teachers: How good does spell-check have to become before we end the sting of spelling bees?
To science teachers: OK, so what's the speed of dark?
To the Bush Administration: If NCLB was the answer, what was the question?
To elementary teachers: Whatever happened to arithmetic?
To everyone: Stars, stickers, smiley faces, performance charts, detention, award assemblies, popcorn parties, and pay for grades have been used to motivate students for over forty years. Since there are more unmotivated students today and we are still trying to motivate students from the outside in, who is the slow learner?
To all: Why don't we turn the bully situation around so the bystanders see the bully as someone who has trouble managing his or her behavior and the victim as someone they can protect?
To math teachers: What happens if you get scared to death twice?
To all:  Where is the evidence that shows that national standards result in higher achievement?
To schools that claim to be research based: Why do you continue to give homework in light of the massive research base that says in grades K-6 it has no positive effects and in grades 8-12 more than one hour of homework is counterproductive?
To everyone: Why aren't there more people saying the emperor isn't wearing any clothes?
To Chick Moorman: Why didn't you make Spirit Whisperers, Spirit Shouters?
To all: Why is it necessary in the time of leaving no child behind for 63 percent of teachers to buy food for hungry children out of their own money?

6. Staying in Touch

Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman have recently added new ways to stay in touch. Please consider joining their network in the following ways.
A.) The Uncommon Parenting Blog
Learn to parent like no other so your child can grow up to be like no other.
Recent posts include: 
Subscribe to the blog feed or sign up to receive it via e-mail on the right-hand side of the home page.
B.) Facebook
Both Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman have joined Facebook. We would each welcome an opportunity to be added to your friends list. Please send us a friend request that tells us you are an educator newsletter subscriber so we can identify how we know you. 
C.) Twitter
Yes, we have both begun to Twitter. 
Thomas B. Haller is now twitting. Instead of following what I am doing throughout the day, I invite you to follow what I am thinking. To join me as I tweet my thoughts, go to
Chick Moorman is now on Twitter. To sign up for timely questions, short but raging rants, bursts of inspiration, and random thoughts and observations on parenting and teaching, follow the link. Why not be the first on your block to initiate regular contact?


Copyright 2010 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.


Must Reads
Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry
"It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt why this country shouldn't allow large-scale assessment and for-profit companies to have anything at all to do with American teachers and students . . . There's never been an insider view of the testing industry like the one I've written, and I think my revelations confirm every nightmare anyone's had about that business."
Click here for Todd Farley, in an interview with Alexander Russo, on his book Making the Grades, January 12, 2010

Valentines and Values
Do you use valentines in your classroom? You might inadvertently be allowing the Valentine's Day Massacre.

Product of the Month
Motivating the Unmotivated: Practical Strategies for Teaching the Hard-to-Reach Student
Featuring Chick Moorman
Audio Seminar ($95.00) [Add to Cart]
Includes four compact discs and a Comprehensive Resource Handbook. Chick Moorman shares successful techniques for teaching strategies to hard-to-reach students to motivate them to succeed in school. You will learn a wide variety of proven strategies to prevent power struggles, increase self-motivation, and help students build positive and productive relationships.

Featured Workshop
The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
July 27 - 29, 2010
Lake Forest Golf Club
3110 West Ellsworth Road
Ann Arbor, MI  48103

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Click here to view past issues of the Response-Able Educator Newsletter.

Jan. 26 - Knoxville, TN
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
Jan. 27 - Nashville, TN
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
Jan. 28 - Memphis, TN
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
Jan. 29 - New Orleans, LA
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
Jan. 30 - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Fantastic Fathers: The Seven Traits of a Great Dad presented by Thomas Haller, Fathers Conference, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Feb. 6 - Brighton, MI
The 5 Voices of Enlightened Parenting presented by Chick Moorman, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Maple Tree Montessori School. For information contact Sue Cherry at 810-599-3326 or email
Feb. 8 - Fayetteville, AR
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
Feb. 9 - Springfield, MO
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
Feb. 9 - Bay City, MI
Reclaiming Your Roles as Sex Educator: How to Talk to Children About Sex presented by Thomas Haller, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Bay Valley Hotel and Resort, Bay City, MI. Questions email Click here to view the flyer. Click here to register on-line.

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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