Educator Newsletter #125
November 2, 2014
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: This Is Getting All Too Familiar
5. Teacher Talk Tip
6. For Students and for Teachers
7. Coming Attraction
1. Quote
"Your whole life is a teaching. Everything that you think, say and do instructs another."
 
Neale Donald Walsch
2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
What if this situation you face today was created by you to give yourself the opportunity to face it with the grandest version 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 blue Saturn coupe in Omaha, NE:
 
SCIENCE
More Than a Wild Ass Guess
4. Article: This Is Getting All Too Familiar 
Dear Chick and Thomas,
 
I need to rant (about education) and you guys were the only ones I could think to rant to because my colleagues don't have the same beliefs/ideas as I do....and I needed someone objective. So you have been picked. If you choose not to read all the way through, that is okay. I will have accomplished my objective (writing it in a journal didn't seem productive for me, for this).
 
Some background....I teach in a medium-sized K-12 building with about 800 students. We have a building principal who we don't see much. I teach Title I Reading and Math for K-3 students. Previously I have taught kindergarten, first and third grades. I loved teaching in the classroom but felt a special pull to work with struggling students. I have been in the Title I position for over ten years.
 
Last year we got a new principal and I did what I normally do with schedules, instruction and collaboration with other staff, etc. He went with the flow. This year he decided that he was going to take a more active role and made out my schedule for me. He assigned me (with no input on my part) to four days a week of a planning period in conjunction with the other two teachers in that grade level. Friday is now the only day I have to plan on my own without meeting with two other teachers. I was not happy about being given no say in the schedule but sucked it up and leaned in to make the best of it. Still, I felt my 20 years of experience was not recognized or valued by this new administrator.
 
The push again this year is: THE TEST!! It's been that way for a while now. Our school district's report card is not good. The state has us on "watch." We are told we are an underperforming school. We hear about that all the time at meetings. Funny how we never talk about the poverty that makes up our students' lives! We don't talk about the transient population of students in our school. There is no acknowledgment of the high-achieving students who open enroll to other districts. And do you think the huge number of students identified with learning disabilities is invited into the discussion? It is not. In fact, bringing up those issues with our administration invites scorn and accusation of making excuses and not believing that every child can learn. Several of us just want to scream, "The emperor isn't wearing any clothes." We have learned that it is not worth it. So now we pretty much stay quiet.
 
Yesterday, I got called in to the office. My principal had previously come in to my room for a walk-through. The group that was in my room for this observation was a group of two boys and two girls who have no idea that there is an alphabet, nor are they able to identify those letters. Sadly, they don't even know all the letters in their own names.
 
During the walk-through the administrator observed me reading The Busy Bee. I picked it because Bonita and Bobby are two of the group. My students then received the pieces to cut out to make a bee: a yellow body B, a black (B) oval for the head and white wings. We talked about words that started with B and the sound B made (BUZZZZZ.) I thought it was a good session. The kids were engaged, talking and following directions. I was pleased. So were they.
 
I was called into the office on my planning time to receive feedback. I learned my administrator had been to a meeting the day before where a team of administrators were examining our testing data and noticing again how far behind our low kids are. Since the consensus of administrators was that we need to really close that gap, my administrator told me he didn't feel that activities of cutting and pasting would achieve that goal.
 
At that point I spoke up and told him that he had not seen the culmination of my lesson. Those Bees are still in my room and my kids added the sight words "ball" and "big" to the background page as well as the word bee and they cut out Bb's, finding them in magazines, which helps their eyes discriminate among letters and recognize it in text, as well as pictures of things that begin with /b/. While they were doing a search for those things our conversation was rich with learning (Does bump start with /b/?) and discriminating sounds.
 
Since that meeting with my administrator I realized that even the cutting out of the bee body which was shaped like a B gave their hands the opportunity to get a feel for the shape of the B. They have done similar activities in the classroom, but these youngsters are really struggling, and extra practice with someone new, in a different classroom, helps to reinforce that skill. That’s what I do with them.
 
My principal inquired if I was actually talking to the grade-level teachers to make sure that what I was doing is what they wanted done. He admitted that maybe he needed to be present at our planning periods to make sure that he heard our conversations, because he didn't know what we were discussing. And our discussions and planning needed to be about how to close those gaps, period.
 
That was when my frustration became tears....not because he didn't think I was doing my job effectively (well, maybe a little)....but mostly because these young children are being asked to do things they are NOT READY FOR! I am all for raising the bar and raising expectations, but drill and kill in kindergarten doesn't cut it!!! This is why you two were chosen for my rant. Both kindergarten teachers in my building just want me to drill flash cards. "The testing that is required doesn't leave much time for anything else," they say.
 
I understand protocol and mandates, but someone needs to stand up to this madness!!!! How about starting with where the children are currently at and raising the bar slowly and steadily as their skill increases? These children are little human beings! And at 5, they only have two recesses a day!
 
We all have differing educational philosophies, and it should be that way! Kids all learn differently!!
 
So, as much as I hate it, I will discontinue the letter craftivities (even if I can see the good that has come out of it and the kids loved doing them!) and find other ways to have "fun" while teaching FUNdamentals. I really pray that we find a way to end this madness and have decided that is the reason I am still in education even though others my age have retired.
 
My administrator didn't know what to do with my tears (I told him the tears weren't for me, but for how much education has changed and not for the better!) and told me not to let it ruin my weekend. It won't ruin my weekend, but I am very sad. The children I see in my classroom are what’s important, and I will find a way to keep pressing on.
 
Thanks for listening.
 
Name Withheld
 
 
Dear Name Withheld,
 
Our hearts are hurting with you. So much of what we do in schools today borders on malpractice. We can offer you this: 
  1. Yes, rant to us whenever you want to. We will hear you. We will acknowledge you. 
  1. Please know you are not alone. There are many of you out there disturbed about the testing craze, the narrowing of the curriculum, the pushing skills down to lower and lower grades, the overuse of homework, the move to strip your due-process rights, the lack of respect, making you a scapegoat for political and parenting failures, being told how to do your job by corporate entrepreneurs who have never faced a class of 25 students, pay disproportionate to your value, lack of input on issues that affect you and your students, and more. We’ll say it again: You aren’t alone. You are one of many who work valiantly to heal children and protect them from well-intentioned people who are driven by data and the desire to look good rather than by the real needs of children. 
  1. Check out our new webpage, www.spiritwhisperersanctuary.com, designed to affirm, uplift, honor and encourage all you Spirit Whisperers who are out there feeling alone. In this sanctuary you will find ideas, articles, resources, posters, quotes and appreciation. Check it out. Pass it on. 
  1. We have also created a new Facebook page: Spirit Whisperer Oasis. For those of you who use Facebook, go to the page and LIKE it. When you do so, let your finger hover over LIKE until the "get notifications" choice appears. Click that and you will get daily reminders and ideas about teachers and parents who are working to put Spirit back in that important educational trilogy of mind, body, and spirit. 
 
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
5. Teacher Talk Tip
Change the word "tenure" to "due process."
 
Do not use the word tenure again. Think, talk, and act as if it is due process. Tenure has a bad name. It is easy to attack. People are using it against you to blacken your eye. Corporate deformers find tenure an easy target in their efforts to privatize public schools. OOHH, tenure, it's bad. Boo! Scary.
 
Call it due process when you talk to others. Call it due process when you write articles. Change it to due process in your contracts. What is really important here is to be for and work for due process. Of course, you can be fired even if you have ten**e. Any teacher can be fired. But all of them deserve due process. The worst teacher in the world deserves due process.
 
Change the name and you change how you think about it. Change how you think about it and you change what you believe about it. Change what you believe about it and you change your (and others) perceptions of it.
6. For Students and for Teachers
7. Coming Attraction 
The Teacher Talk Advantage Seminar on Video
 
Finally, a seminar that gives teachers an edge!
This video seminar will strengthen your teaching effectiveness and help you be better prepared to deal with the everyday challenges and stresses of being a professional educator. You will gain the knowledge and practical verbal skills that will allow you to walk confidently into your classroom with the Teacher Talk Advantage.
 
Soon you will be able to see Chick Moorman on video doing a full-day presentation helping teachers gain the Teacher Talk Advantage.
 
Watch this space for further announcements. 
Chick Moorman
 
Contact Chick at:
 
1-877-360-1477 (toll-free)
 
Thomas Haller
 
Contact Thomas at:
 
989-686-5356
 
Copyright
Copyright 2014 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.
New, New, New, New!!!!
 
The Abracadabra Effect: The 13 Verbally Transmitted Diseases and How to Cure Them
 
Which of the statements below have you made recently? 
  • "She hurt my feelings."
  • "It's too hot/cold to do that."
  • "I can’t sing/cook/dance/ or close that deal."
  • "That really makes me mad."
  • "I'm not a morning person."
  • "I need a vacation."
  • "He should have called me first."
  • "You did a good job on that report."
  • "If this meeting runs overtime, I'm not going to be happy." 
Do you recognize your teacher voice in any of the statements above? If so, you are verbally spreading dis-ease.
 
If you don't know you are sick, there is nothing you can do about it.
 
If you don't know you are contagious, you will continue to infect ALL the important people you love and care about.
 
If you don't know you are sick, there is NO WAY to get well.
 
The Abracadabra Effect: 13 Verbally Transmitted Diseases and How to Cure Them contains the information and prescriptions necessary to eliminate dis-ease from your life. Begin today to increase your personal power and self-responsibility. Model healthy speaking, thinking, believing, and living to your students, family and coworkers.
 
 
ANNOUNCING..........The Abracadabra Effect Website
 
 
Reasons to visit this helpful site: 
  1. Take the Verbally Transmitted Language Quiz.
Are you a carrier and a spreader of verbally transmitted diseases? Not sure? You can find out here with the Verbally Transmitted Language Quiz. 
  1. Listen to the video welcome by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman. 
  1. Check out supportive quotes from different times, places and people. For example:
"When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness."
 
Eckhart Tolle 
  1. Read related articles of the Abracadabra Effect in use. 20 currently posted and growing, including . . . 
  • "Pre-Seed your Day"
  • "The Art of Language"
  • "Complaining"
  • "Effective Encouragement"
  • "One Thought Away"
  • "Stop Shoulding on Your Children" 
  1. Access a Question & Answer section. 
  1. Visit other important sections, including: About the Authors, Authors' Schedules, Testimonials, and Contact information   
ARIZONA Parent Coordinators
Would you like to have Chick Moorman present to parents in your school this winter? Contact him to learn about the special Arizona offer. 989-643-5059
Workshops 
Dec. 4 - Bay City, MI
The Abracadabra Effect: How Words are More Than a Medium of Communication presented by Thomas Haller, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm, Central High School - Ecclesia Induction Ceremony, Bay City, MI.
 
Dec. 8 - Cherry Hill, 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.
 
Dec. 9 - Long Island, NY
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.
 
Dec. 10 - St. Louis, 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 www.ber.org.
 
Dec. 11 - Pasadena, CA
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.
 
Dec. 12 - Anaheim, CA
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.
Media Schedule
 
Thomas on television answering viewer questions:
 
Family Matters Segment – Every Wednesday at 12:15pm on WNEM TV5 News at Noon
 
Family Matters Segment – Every Saturday at 8:45am on WNEM TV5 Weekend Wake-up
 
Family Matters Segment – Every Sunday at 7:45 & 8:45am on WNEM TV5 Weekend Wake-up
 
Relationship Matters Segment – Every Monday at 9:00am on WNEM TV5 Better Mid-Michigan
 
Past segments can be viewed on-line at www.wnem.com 
Links
Personal Power Press • P.O. Box 547 • Merrill • MI • 48637
http://www.personalpowerpress.com
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