Educator Newsletter #107

May 22, 2012

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: They Don't Even Look at My Comments! (Continued)
5. Teacher Talk Tip
6. An Appreciation Gift for You
7. Pass It On

1. Quote

"You can lengthen the school year, test every other week, narrow the curriculum, raise the standards, or use any other strategy you can think of to restructure schools. The fact remains, what matters most is the relationship between one student and one teacher."
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
From The Teacher Talk Advantage

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if the situation you face today was created by you to give yourself the opportunity to face it with the grandest vision of who you are? How would you choose to be?
Get a full year of SW Contemplations free when you order the Spirit Whisperers book.


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a grey Chrysler Aspen in Rochester, MN:
Custodians of History . . .
Learning from the Messes Left Behind

4. Article: They Don't Even Look at My Comments! (Continued)

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
When we left off our story last month, Jason Haraz had devised a plan to encourage his students to read and react to the comments he wrote on their papers. Before he returned one of their writing assignments he used the direct teaching method to teach his high school students what he expected when they received their papers.
Reacting to Teacher's Comments
1. Read all the comments.
2. Decide which ones you agree with and circle them.
3. Pick one you agree with and tell me why.
4. Pick one you disagree with and tell me why.
5. Implement one suggestion by rewriting that section of your paper.
Jason told his students that as soon as he passed out their previous writing assignment, reacting to the comments he wrote on it would become their new assignment. He also told them the new assignment was due tomorrow.
Jason, with a serious look on his face, was smiling all over on the inside as he passed out the papers he had invested so much time putting detailed written comments on the previous night.
How did his students react? What happened the next day? How did his students react by the end of the semester? To get the answer to those questions you'll have to wait until the next installment of this newsletter.
To be continued . . .
The following day Jason asked students to get out their responses to the previous day's assignment. "Tell me about this new assignment," he suggested. "How did it go? What was it like for you to read my comments and react?" Several students responded verbally. Many did not. The ones who spoke up offered the following comments.
"It was difficult."
"I had to think about it for a while."
"I had trouble deciding which one to pick."
"I didn't agree with any of the comments."
"It didn't take very long."
"I think it made my paper better."
"My mother thinks you ought to do this with every assignment. You're not going to, are you?"
Students added other comments to the discussion, which lasted ten minutes. Jason then put two debriefing questions/statements on the board and asked students to respond to them in writing.
1. How did your reaction to my comments on this paper compare to your reactionto the comments I put on previous assignments? (Asks for compare and contrast thinking.)
2. Give yourself a grade on how well you did the five things required in "Reacting to Teacher's Comments" on your paper. Explain your rationale for the grade you suggest. (Asks for evaluation and appraisal thinking.)
He allowed his students five minutes writing time. When the time was up he first asked students to share their answers with a partner and then led another class discussion. The activity and discussion produced a variety of interesting observations from his students.
  • Students admitted not paying much attention to written comments previously.
  • Some saw his comments as helpful, where in the past they assumed they would be critical and evaluative.
  • One student confessed this was the first time he had ever read a comment on one of his papers.
  • Some students realized that the comments actually did lead to improving their papers.
  • One wanted to know if this assignment was going to be graded or if they got the grade they put down.
During the process Jason made no evaluative remarks. He simply listened to the students’ comments, attempting to understand what they were feeling and saying. There are no right or wrong answers in debriefing, just a sharing of opinions. The students who did not speak up at least got to hear how their peers were reacting and compare their silent opinions with the ones being expressed aloud.
Yes, Jason did that same activity with his students the next time a major writing assignment was due. Yes, he did it the time after that, too. In fact, he did it five times in a row, changing the debriefing questions/statements each time.
  • Predict how using one of the comments to change your paper will affect your grade.
  • How does reacting to your teacher's comments in this classroom compare to how you react to your teachers' comments in other classrooms?
  • Can you sum up in one sentence what you have learned about the importance of reacting to your teachers' comments on your written assignments?
  • On the whole, what can you say about the kinds of comments teachers write on student papers?
  • Make a list of all the good things that can happen if you read your teachers' comments.
By the end of the semester Jason noticed a big difference in the reactions of his students when papers were returned. Most of them read his comments. Because they did, he was encouraged to invest more time reading, reviewing, and writing on their papers. Most of the students used some of his comments to improve their writing. Because they did, Jason felt more valuable as their teacher. Did his students apply the skills they learned in his room to other classrooms? We don’t know the answer to that. Our guess would be that some did and some didn't.
Regardless of whether or not Jason's students used this important skill in other teachers' classrooms, one thing is certain. They used it frequently in his. They used it because they had a teacher who believed that if you want a behavior you have to teach a behavior. And they did it because they had a teacher who was willing to invest the time to teach them how to do precisely that.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the coauthors of The Teacher Talk Advantage: Five Voices of Effective Teaching. 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 the newsletters or learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: and

The Teacher Talk Advantage: Five Voices of Effective Teaching


5. Teacher Talk Tip: 10 Things to Say to Promote Closure This School Year

"Let's create a list of the ten most important things we learned this year."
"I have learned a lot from you this year and I am appreciative."
"Thank you for helping me create a positive learning environment."
"I'll be passing out an evaluation form now. Please take it seriously and help me grow and create a better course for those who will be in this class next year."
"What was the favorite book you read this year?"
"What would you have done differently this year if you knew at the beginning of the year what you know now?"
"Let's take a few minutes to say goodbye to the classmates you might not see this summer."
"Thank you for putting up with some of the crazy things I asked you to do this semester."
"Create the summer you desire. Make it be what you want it to be."
"I know I'll see a lot of you next year. I'm already looking forward to that."

6. An Appreciation Gift for You!

Teacher Appreciation Month isn't long enough. It ought to last all year. You know, as a professional educator, you don't often get the respect and appreciation you deserve. So our hope is that this month you are getting cards, candles, boxes of candy, pens, books, and kind words from parents and students. You have earned any positive recognition you get and are certainly worth it.
Please accept our sincere thank you for what you do with students. We value your efforts. To ensure that our appreciation will have some positive and lasting effect on your life, and in turn on the lives of your students, please accept our Teacher Appreciation Gift, a one-year free subscription to our Teacher Talk Advantage Super Site.
This subscription site, a $59.95 value, is free to you for one year simply because you are a teacher. This exclusive site includes:
1. 300+ quick-hitting Teacher Talk Tips.
2. Articles featuring real teachers using real Teacher Talk verbal skills with real students.
3. A question and answer section with guaranteed priority response to your concerns, problems, frustrations, and successes.
4. Video clips of Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman explaining, demonstrating, and teaching practical Teacher Talk skills. (under construction)
5. Radio outtakes of Chick and Thomas responding to current events in the crucial profession of education.
This site is up and running now. It will grow throughout the year as we continue to add articles, audios, videos and more to help teachers do better what they already do well. It is designed to give teachers the advantage they deserve when working with students.
To claim your gift, simply reply to this e-mail. We will send you a user name and password. This must be done by the end of May.
If you find value in this site and desire to become a subscription member at the end of the year, you may choose to do that. Or not. Our goal is to build this site into a powerful and ever-growing body of material that teachers from all over the world will find valuable. We hope you will return frequently for new insights, skills, and information. For now, please accept this gift, and know that we know how difficult your job is and how much you deserve recognition and appreciation.
Again, to obtain this gift simply reply to this newsletter and we will send you your user name and password. This must be done by the end of May.
Thank you again for all you do,
Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

7. Pass It On

Yes, you can pass this free offer on to other teachers. Forward it to a colleague. Send it to a relative in another state. Tell the teacher across the hall.
Principals: Inform your entire staff. Share it with other administrators in your school district.
We are serious about this. It is free for one year. It is powerful. It is growing. It will give professional educators the Teacher Talk Advantage.
This offer ends on May 31 and will not be repeated.

Chick Moorman


Thomas Haller



Copyright 2012 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

Special Event
The Parent Talk System Training of Trainers
Yes, we still have room.
Yes, there is still time to get the special discount.
This is an opportunity for you to make a real difference in the lives of parents and children in your community. Join us this summer and get the verbal skill training necessary to pass these important concepts on to others.
Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center
2470 Old Bridge Road
Bay City, MI 48706

Back-to-School Staff Development Programs That Will Last All Year
Jump-start the new school year with one of these exciting, skill-oriented programs for your staff.

Practical Strategies for Managing Angry, Aggressive and Impulsive Students, with Thomas Haller


Motivating the Unmotivated, with Chick Moorman
Some August dates are still available.
Book now!

Product of the Month
This important kit includes:
1. A hardback copy of Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child’s Spirit. This best-selling book from Personal Power Press is the staple for educators who desire to become the teacher they always wanted to be.
2. A copy of the Spirit Whisperers workbook. This 34-page manual includes questions, quizzes, and opportunities to personalize the material presented in Spirit Whisperers. It can serve as the foundation and organizational structure for your book study group or individual professional development effort.
3. Spirit Whisperers in Action, an e-book with 77 stories of Spirit Whisperers modeling helpful techniques, inspiring attitudes, and Spirit Whisperer energy. These stories of real teachers working with real students in real schools are instructive, invigorating, and motivational.
4. 7 audio recordings by author Chick Moorman introducing each section of the book study kit, posing questions, suggesting discussion topics, and giving clarifying information. Audios range from 20 to 35 minutes in length and are created to help you hear new insights directly from the author.
5. 180 Spirit Whisperer Contemplations that will be sent to you at the rate of one per school day. These are short, thought-provoking questions intended to be a daily voice to remind you to celebrate the human side of teaching and put Spirit Whisperer energy to use in your classroom today.
What are my choices of what to order?
You have 3 choices of how to get involved with the Spirit Whisperers book study.
1. A building level kit for your entire staff or book study group.
2. An individual kit just for yourself.
3. An individual kit minus the Spirit Whisperers book (for people who already have Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child's Spirit).
Click here to order.

TV Schedule WNEM-TV
Family Matters with Thomas Haller
Fridays at noon, Saturdays at 8:45 am, Sundays at 7:45 am and 8:45 am
Also streaming live at
May 29 - Kearny, AZ.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. Ray Unified School. For information contact Rochelle Pacheco at 520-363-5511 ext. 100 or email
June 20 - Burlington, WI.
The 5 Voices of Effective Teaching presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). For more information contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
June 27 - Oregon, WI.
The 5 Voices of Effective Teaching presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). For more information contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
July 18 - 20 - Bay City, MI.
The Parent Talk Facilitator Training presented by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center. For more information contact Chick at Click here for the July 18 - 20, 2012 Parent Talk System brochure. Click here to register online.
Aug. 7 - 8 - Minneapolis, MN.
Teacher Talk: The 5 Voices of Effective Teaching presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. International Graduate School of Education (IGS). For more information contact Deb Engen at 608-213-7862 or email
Aug. 23 - Hardin, MT.
Motivating the Unmotivated presented by Chick Moorman, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm. Hardin Public School, Hardin High School. For more information contact Keith Campbell at 406-665-6300 or email
Aug. 28 - Auburn, MI.
Workshop Title to be Announced presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm. Auburn Area Catholic School. For information contact Teresa Finner at
Aug. 30 - 31 - Dearborn, MI. Parent Talk presented by Chick Moorman. Dearborn Public Schools.


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