Educator Newsletter #97

April 14, 2011

Welcome! This is a free educator newsletter offered to you by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller.

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: "We Have a Problem."
5.  Just Asking
6.  Teacher Talk Tip

1. Quote

"That governments want to keep paying millions of dollars a year to testing companies instead of buying books and hiring teachers is beyond my comprehension. There might be a way for testing to work, but I can’t see how it would ever entail short-term employees off the street to assess student responses. Perhaps the system would work if teachers were hired  (and paid more) to score state tests, but entrusting bored temps to care about student learning for ten bucks an hour seems illogical to me."
Todd Farley

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Do we want classrooms to be places where students can successfully hide from their weaknesses, or places where they can successfully bring their weaknesses to consciousness and let them go without fear of judgment or ridicule? What can you do today to encourage a sense of safety in your classroom?
Get a full year of SW Contemplations free when you order the Spirit Whisperers book.


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a white Chevy Blazer in Akron, OH: 
Laptops are Not Teachers

4. Article: "We Have a Problem."

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
Shadid Kurubacaq noticed a problem surfacing in her fourth grade classroom recently. Her students were misbehaving on their visits to the hall bathroom. "I noticed that certain class members were being silly, making loud noises, and getting each other wet in the bathroom," she told us recently. "I decided this problem needed to be solved and figured the best way to do that was to present it to the students. I called a class meeting, figuring we could find a solution together while giving my students one more experience with using a solution-seeking process."
She began Step One of this process by sharing her own perceptions of the situation. "I am concerned that some of you are not using your quiet voices in the bathroom," she began. "Also, some of you have not been respecting your classmates’ space with your hands or with water. I am concerned that someone could get hurt. In order to keep all of you safe, it is important to continue to respect one another when we are outside our classroom walls. In addition, we are disturbing children in nearby classrooms who are attempting to study."
After sharing her  perceptions, Shadid moved to Step Two and asked the students to share their own. They agreed that disruptive behavior had been going on in the bathroom. Several students cited incidents that had occurred recently. A couple of them wanted to name specific people. "When in these solution-seeking sessions, I prefer they tell me about behaviors and not about classmates," Shadid said. "I refocused them on the behaviors we were concerned with and the problem we were working to solve."
At this point, Step Three, she and the class redefined the problem and wrote the definition on the chalkboard. It stated, "Help all of us remember to be respectful in the bathrooms."
With the problem visible to all, Shadid moved to Step Four, brainstorming possible solutions. "This is often a difficult part for them," she told us. "They want to blame and/or punish. The fourth-graders suggested: Let them lose their bathroom privileges and make the problem kids go alone. I tell them I am not interested in blaming, only in finding a solution."
The teacher wrote their solutions on the board. The suggestions included: sending one person at a time to the bathroom; sending only a few; tapping the person being disrespectful on the shoulder and reminding them of appropriate behavior; and having students take a checklist of bathroom rules with them and check off the ones they did.
During Step Four, Shadid often has to remind her students not to evaluate the suggestions. The emphasis here is on the quantity of ideas produced. The goal is to generate as many solutions as possible without evaluating them.
During Step Five the teacher and the class reach agreement on which one or combination of solutions they think will work. They don’t talk about which ones are good or bad. They concentrate instead on what will work for them. In this case, students chose to go with tapping the person on the shoulder as a reminder if they are getting too loud or disrespecting someone's space. The students  then role-played that solution in front to the class and debriefed the practice session.
The fourth-graders then made a commitment as a class, Step Six, by giving a quick thumbs-up if they were willing to use this solution. All thumbs were up. A date was set to evaluate the solution to see if it was working. That date was written on the board as a reminder of when they would get back together to evaluate their efforts. "If the solution solved the problem, we can invest a few minutes congratulating ourselves for finding a solution that worked," Shadid said. "We could feel powerful, part of a powerful group. Better than that, we would feel like a powerful solution-seeking group. If it didn't work, we would go back to the drawing board and create some more possible solutions. The lesson here is that we don't always solve the problem with the first attempt. But we never give up searching for solutions."
The entire process, which was observed by the principal of the school, took twenty-three minutes. Children learned:
  • To see themselves as solution-seekers.
  • To search for solutions rather than fix blame and punishment.
  • To use their own power in helpful ways.
  • To engage in possibility thinking.
  • To listen to others.
  • To speak up for themselves.
  • To self-evaluate.
  • To work with others and be part of a group.
We know how this story ended. We choose not to tell you. Instead, we provide two possible endings, one of which really occurred. You can decide for yourself what you think happened to Shadid Kurubacaq.
Ending 1:
When the art teacher was working with Shadid's class, the principal called Shadid into his office for a meeting. She was informed that the class solution-seeking session took too much time and that she could have saved precious time by simply giving her students a solution and following through if they didn't use it. The threat of losing bathroom privileges would have been sufficient to get them to behave. She needed to spend more time getting them ready for the state tests.
Ending 2:
When the art teacher was working with Shadid's class, the principal called Shadid into his office for a meeting. She was informed that the solution-seeking session was a classic example of a Spirit Whisperer in action. She was told how moved he was by the skill and precision she used in helping students feel empowered. She was informed of how appreciative he was of the way she shared control and simultaneously stayed in control of the entire process. He wondered if she would be willing to communicate that process to her colleagues during a staff meeting. He said he would soon be writing a letter to the board of education suggesting a $2000 bonus for her because of her skill and commitment to students. He gave her the rest of the day off and covered her class while Shadid spent a beautiful spring day working in her garden at home.  Two weeks later a check for $2000 arrived in the mail.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the coauthors 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. Asking for Help

An eighth-grader who was being teased regularly by his classmates recently put his fear of appearing weak and silly aside and asked for help from a teacher. The teacher interpreted the asking as a call for help and an opportunity to put caring into action. He responded with empathy and suggestions. He also spoke to the teasers. The problem ended.
Because this student asked for help, got it, and the problem disappeared, he learned that asking for help can be a healthy and wise thing to do on occasion.

6. Teacher Talk Tip

Not all Teacher Talk is verbal. Encouragement can be communicated with nonverbal clues that affirm, uplift, inspire, nurture, and appreciate. Use these this week. Give a wink, thumbs-up, OK sign, pat on the back, handshake, high five, fist to fist, light squeeze of the shoulder, or smile.
Keep track. We challenge you to do fifty today. Yes, fifty!

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at:
1-877-360-1477 (toll-free)


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at:



Copyright 2011 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.


An Extraordinary Opportunity
The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
  • Make a real difference in the lives of parents and children.
  • Get parents and teachers on the same page using the same effective verbal skills.
June 13 - 15, 2011, Sedona, AZ
Keep Sedona Beautiful
360 Brewer Road
Sedona, AZ  86336
July 27 - 29, 2011, Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Regent Hotel and Suites
2455 Carpenter Road
Ann Arbor, MI  48108

Workshop of the Month

Motivating the Unmotivated

With Chick Moorman
Underachieving students often fail to turn in assignments. They fail to attend class regularly, fail to build positive relationships, and fail to steer clear of self-defeating behaviors. Underachievers fail to find meaning in school work, fail to ask for help, and fail to see the connection between effort, success, and failure.
Failure hurts. Failure encourages impulses to escape, attack, cheat, withdraw, distract, and give up. 
  • Learn to break the cycle of failure in your underachieving students . . . so they can improve their performance and maximize their potential.
  • Learn to put attribute theory into practice in your classroom . . . so that underachievers understand the relationship between their behavior and their performance.
  • Help underachievers give up the victim stance and assume more responsibility over their school lives . . . so you can spend less time motivating and more time teaching.
  • Help underachievers develop an "I can" stance toward life . . . so they can think, act, and be more successful.
  • Dramatically decrease the number of students who choose to underachieve by learning how to manage your classroom and your own mind to positively impact your "at risk" students.

A Blast from the Past
Want to read about a fast-acting Spirit Whisperer who helped a young child retain his dignity? Check out this article from one of the educator newsletters published in 2002.
Spilled Soup for the Soul

Product of the Month
Teacher Talk: What It Really Means by Chick Moorman and Nancy Weber
Paperback book, 138 pages ($15.00)
Teacher Talk explores the way teachers talk to children and exposes the underlying "silent messages" that accompany their spoken words. It details teachers' talk—the comments, questions, commands, and suggestions that teachers direct at students every day—and reveals ways to strengthen typical language patterns. By selecting words and phrases intentionally, you can empower your students and enhance their learning. These verbal-skill strategies can be used to dramatically increase achievement and manage behavior. This book will increase your communication skills and add fun and adventure to the important challenge of teaching.

Back Issues
Want to read some back issues of our educator newsletter? This is number ninety-seven. All ninety-six of the previous newsletters can be found in the archives.

Yes, we have both begun to twitter, having sent out over 450 timely tweets already. 
Thomas Haller is now on Twitter. Follow what he is thinking about the important role of parenting in today's world. Join him as he tweets his thoughts, ideas, suggestions and helpful hints about the sacred role of parenting. 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? Go to: 

Both Thomas B. Haller and Chick Moorman have joined Facebook. We would both 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 recognize how we know you.

April 14 - Bay City, MI.
The Six Best Parenting Strategies Ever presented by Thomas Haller, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Wenona High School. For more information contact Jerry at
April 14 - Marysville, MI.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. St. Clair County RESA (499 Range Rd.) Contact Nora Arnold at 810-455-4390 or email
April 18 - Grand Rapids, MI.
The Six Best Parenting Strategies Ever presented by Thomas Haller, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Stepping Stones Montessori School. For more information contact Misty at
April 20 - Chatham, NJ.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Contact Camilla Nichols at
April 21 - Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Contact Camilla Nichols at
April 25 - Spring Lake, MI.
The Six Best Parenting Strategies Ever presented by Thomas Haller, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Walden Green Elementary. For more information contact Barb at
April 27 - West Branch, MI.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Davy Walby at 989-343-2027 or email


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