Welcome! This is a free educator newsletter offered to you by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller.
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.
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3. Bumper Sticker
4. Article: Soft Skills
5. Sign of the Times
6. You, Training Parents
"What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches."
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
Can you grieve the end of relationships that these students have offered you? Will you refrain from beating yourself up because of the disappointment you feel for some the choices students made? Will you celebrate your successes?
Get a full year of SW Contemplations free when you order the Spirit Whisperers book.
Spotted on a blue Chevy Traverse in Oregon, WI:
I am the English teacher about
whom your mother warned you.
By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
We recently read an article entitled, "Soft Skills Pushed as Part of College Readiness." We were pleased to see skills of ignoring distractions, getting started quickly, disagreeing politely, and the like being advocated for use in college. We were not pleased, however, with the contention that these are soft skills.
What is soft about learning how to get started quickly? You may possess an unlimited number of content skills and if you fail to get started quickly you are behind. You are now playing catch-up. If you are often distracted and have trouble staying focused, it will be difficult to apply your content skill in this moment.
If you disagree impolitely, you are less likely to get the cooperation you desire from your group mates or partner. Learning how to disagree politely could well be the deciding behavior that determines whether or not your project is a success. How soft is that?
Want to see some more important soft skills? Sorry, we don't have any. We do have, however, some interpersonal skills that we feel are important. We have some responsibility skills, some respect skills, some life skills, some leadership skills. How about some of those?
- Getting started quickly
- Ignoring distractions
- Disagreeing politely
- Asking for help
- Asking for makeup work
- Sharing materials
- Owning your behaviors
- Attending physically and mentally
- Checking your work
- Reading and reacting to written comments on your paper
- Reacting respectfully to a classmate's mistake
- Making amends
- Making effective transitions
- Self-assessing before handing your paper in
- Admitting a mistake
- Respecting the guest teacher
- Cleaning up
- Being persistent
- Checking your understanding
- Checking for your partner's understanding
- Knowing when to quit
- Criticizing the idea, not the person
- Inviting the group to get back on task
- Inviting others to share materials
- Inviting group members to ignore distractions
- Inviting others to get started quickly
- Organizing your science notebook (any notebook)
- Coming to class with necessary supplies
- Setting an intention for this hour
- Making a BE choice (how you want to BE)
- Talking to yourself first (positively)
- Getting back up after a fall
- Celebrating your success
Do you want academic rigor? Try getting it with a disorganized science notebook. See how much rigor a student can muster without a pencil or their history book. Check out the rigor that accompanies negative self-talk.
You want students to master mathematics and reading? Will they accomplish that easily without self-soothing skills or resilience? Not likely. Do they know how to focus in the midst of distractions? Implementing that skill might help them focus on multiplying fractions or on finding the diameter of a circle.
Will cognitive ability be enough to insure success in college and in life? Or would time management, study skills, and goal setting increase the odds of accomplishing that desire? What about knowing how to adjust your own attitude, set a positive intention, and refocus? Would those responsibility skills not help?
Academic outcomes are produced by a variety of factors. A narrow focus on academics encourages us to lose sight of many of the skills and behaviors that lead to academic gains or losses. That myopic view does not recognize resiliency and grit as contributors to the outcomes created.
We have been told it is easier to measure academic performance than the mind skills and behavioral skills listed above. So is that what we want to model for students? To do what is easy, to take the easy way out? SAT scores and grades reflect other skills such as social, interpersonal, psychological, and behavioral. Isn't it time we measure how many of these skills students possess and can put to use in their lives? NO, WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING MORE TESTING. Test less. Acquisition of these skills can be observed and documented by professional educators as they teach and debrief the skills with the students daily.
One more thing. Stop calling them soft skills.
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 their newsletters or learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com.
The Teacher Talk Advantage
6. You, Training Teachers
Do you know what makes life worthwhile?
Having passion, mission, and purpose in your life and being able to make a difference in the lives of others—that's what makes life worthwhile. And getting paid while you do it? That's the frosting on the cake.
Are you passionate about raising children? Do you take your parenting role so seriously that you constantly look for ways to improve?
If you are passionate about the importance of parenting—yours and other parents'—AND you would like to earn money helping others raise responsible, caring, confident children, you will want to read further.
This is a sincere invitation to check out an opportunity to become a certified trainer in the highly acclaimed Parent Talk System.
Click on the link below to read more:
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Spring and Back-to-School Workshops
August dates are going fast. Call now!
- The Teacher Talk Advantage
- The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need
- Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers: Keynote Address
- Practical Strategies for Managing Angry, Aggressive and Impulsive Students
- Motivating the Unmotivated
Some July dates are still available. Book now!
with Thomas Haller
with Chick Moorman
Teacher Talk Facilitator Training
July 10 - 12 - Bay City, MI
Parent Talk System Facilitator Training presented by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center. For more information, call 989-643-5059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 14 - 16 - Bay City, MI Teacher Talk Advantage Facilitator Training presented by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center. For more information, call 989-643-5059 or email email@example.com.
July 25 - Grand Rapids, MI The Teacher Talk Advantage presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Advantage Discipline, East Kentwood High School Auditorium. For more information, contact Sarah Knapp at 616-540-3974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 5 - Roanoke, VA.
Teacher Talk Advantage Part 1 presented by Chick Moorman, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Virginia Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Science 2014 Professional Development Instutute. Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. For information contact Helen Fuqua 804-225-2826 or email Helen.Fuqua@doe.virginia.gov.
Aug. 6 - Roanoke, VA.
Teacher Talk Advantage Part 2 presented by Chick Moorman, 8:00 am - 11:00 am. Virginia Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Science 2014 Professional Development Instutute. Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. For information contact Helen Fuqua 804-225-2826 or email Helen.Fuqua@doe.virginia.gov.
Aug. 6 - Roanoke, VA.
Keynote: Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers presented by Chick Moorman, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm. Virginia Association for Teachers of Family and Consumer Science 2014 Professional Development Instutute. Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. For information contact Helen Fuqua 804-225-2826 or email Helen.Fuqua@doe.virginia.gov.
Aug. 11 - Fort Recovery, OH.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound presented by Chick Moorman, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Fort Recovery Middle/Elementary School Auditoria. For information contact Jeff Tunebe at email@example.com.
Aug. 12 - Fort Recovery, OH.
Teacher Talk Advantage presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Fort Recovery Middle/Elementary School Auditoria. For information contact Jeff Tunebe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 19 - Paterson, NJ.
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 www.ber.org.
Aug. 22 - Rochester Hills, MI.
The Teacher Talk Advantage presented by Chick Moorman. 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Brookfield Academy. For information contact Lisa Luther at llutherbrookfieldacademy.net.
Aug. 26 - Saginaw, MI.
Keynote: Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers and Concurrent Sessions presented by Chick Moorman. 8:00 am – 3:20 pm. Saginaw Diocese. For information contact Ashley Kanuszewski at 989-879-3063 or email email@example.com.
Aug. 27 - Southfield, MI.
Keynote: Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers plus The Sounds of Spirit Whispering presented by Chick Moorman. 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. MIChoice. For information contact Angela Ricord 616-558-2381.
Aug. 27 - Monroe, MI.
Parent Talk: Words That Empower presented by Chick Moorman, Words That Wound. 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm. Meadow Montessori School. For information contact Marina Harvey at 734-241-9496.
Aug. 28 - Dearborn Heights, MI.
The Teacher Talk Advantage presented by Chick Moorman, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. WISE Academy. For information contact Samar Abbasi at 313-694-9433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas on television answering viewer questions:
Relationship Matters – Every Monday at 9:15 am on WNEM TV5 Better Mid-Michigan
Family Matters with Thomas Haller
Fridays at noon, Saturdays at 8:45 am, Sundays at 7:45 am and 8:45 am on WNEM TV5. Also streaming live at: www.wnem.com
To view Dr. Tom's previous Family Matters
segments, CLICK HERE
Thomas on the radio answering questions and discussing hot topics:
Every Thursday morning at 7:30 am on CARZ 108FM – Streaming live online www.wcrz.com