1. Quote 2. We Get E-mail 3. Bumper Sticker 4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation 5. Sign of the Times 6. Article: "I didn't get to him." 7. Staff Development That Sizzles 8. New Product 9. Did You Know? 10. Spread the Skills 11. Schedule of Events
"Whether we move 'forward' or move 'backward,' we are always on our way."
Barry Neil Kaufman
2. We Get E-mail
Hello Thomas and Chick,
This year our elementary school grades K-3 adopted a new policy I would like your opinion on. If the noise level is too high in the cafeteria, the students get a warning. Then they get a second warning. If the noise level does not change, the consequence is no recess for the entire group for one day. So rather than being out on the playground, the students are sent back to their classrooms to put their heads down on their desks. Some teachers went so far as to take away recess for the next day if any students raised their heads or talked during that time.
I feel that punishing the group for the actions of a few is not good policy. In the end I think it ends up undermining the trust of the many and does not necessarily change the behavior of the few. Would you two offer some guidance on this please?
Concerned about what I see happening.
Keeping young children in for noon recess punishes the teachers as much as it does the children. These children need to be out running around, blowing off steam, getting rid of the wiggles. We wouldn't want to be teaching a group of second-graders after they had been sitting for half an hour with their heads down.
To keep the entire group in because a few are too noisy makes no sense. You are asking for children to resent each other and hold grudges. We agree with you that this undermines trust. It also builds resentment and pits one child against the other.
This system teaches children that they are not in control of their own behavior, that someone else (another child) controls what happens to them. You are not teaching children to be responsible for their own actions and for producing their own results. If one child eats quietly and is punished for the noise of others, the cause-and-effect connection is disrupted and confuses the students.
If you want a behavior you have to teach a behavior. Time has to be invested in teaching the eating procedure you desire. Regular debriefing sessions where children self-evaluate, assess, and set goals is also necessary. Holding only those children accountable that are in violation of the taught behavior makes more sense to us.
Thomas and Chick
3. Bumper Sticker
Spotted on a GMC Envoy in Washington, DC:
Do women math teachers wear algebras?
4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
The "teachers" who enter our lives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They wear different clothes and offer different lessons. Could one of them be sitting in front of you today? Perhaps she is "in your face" and crying for attention. Maybe she is attempting to go unnoticed. Do you recognize your teacher?
5. Sign of the Times
Sign spotted in a second-grade classroom:
I am who I am and that's special.
I am an important part of our class.
I am loved for being myself.
I have a right to think for myself.
I have a right to say what I think.
I have a right to make mistakes.
I have a right to learn.
I have the right to work without being bothered.
6. Article: "I didn't get to him."
By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller
It was about this time last year that we talked to Brenda, a concerned teacher who was not looking forward to a happy summer. Brenda taught fifth grade in a suburban community. She was worried about one of her students who by the end of the school year hadn't achieved academically and emotionally to the level she had expected. "I'm feeling bummed," she said, "because I didn't get to him."
Twenty-four of Brenda's students met the goals she mentally set for them at the beginning of the year. One did not. As the year came to an end Brenda focused on the one child she felt in her mind she hadn't reached. "I feel like a failure," she told us. "It's going to be a long summer thinking about him and how I wasn�t able to get through to him."
Brenda is like a lot of teachers we know. She ignored her twenty-four successes and focused instead on her one perceived failure. She mentally chastised herself because of the end results experienced by one student and failed to celebrate the incredible success enjoyed by all the others.
Have there been one or two students you feel you haven't reached this year? Maybe one of your students dropped out of school this semester despite your efforts to motivate and encourage her. Perhaps the child who had trouble making friends early in the year still has no friends. It may be that the student who chooses to bully seems to have made no progress during your time with him. Did one or two students flunk your third-hour science class? Did one child fail to master long division?
Are you feeling bad because you wanted to accomplish more with that child? Does it seem that you didn't do your job to the best of your ability? If so, consider the following.
1.) Maybe it wasn't his lesson.
You might be upset leaving for the summer and saying goodbye to a student who failed to learn an essential lesson. But what if the important learning this year was not intended for him? What if it was intended for you? What if this student was in your classroom this year to help you learn something valuable?
What did you learn from this child? What did you learn that you can put to use next year with someone else? If you learned your lesson, maybe this child accomplished his most important task during his time with you. If he did what he came to do, let him go with joy in your heart.
2.) The fastest way to go north could be to temporarily go south.
So maybe you had a student go south this semester. Some students need to get what appears to be "off course" before they can get back "on course." Refuse to see "off course" as good or bad. Don't even see it as "off course." See it instead as going south. For some students, going south is their most direct route to going north. You just might have been the only teacher that could create an environment where this student felt safe enough to learn the lessons inherent in going south. Celebrate your success.
3.) You can't make anybody do anything.
You know you can't make a horse drink. Similarly, you can't make a student study. You can't move her pencil, you can't think her thoughts, and you can't take her tests. All you can do is hold the door open. She gets to decide whether or not to walk through the opening.
You didn't fail this child. You succeeded at providing her with opportunities from which to pick and choose. You succeeded at helping her experience the legitimate consequences of her actions. You cared enough about her to hold her accountable for her choices. You succeeded at helping her learn what happens when you make poor choices. Congratulate yourself.
4.) Maybe you were number 67.
How many times does it take a child to hear something, experience a consequence, or be exposed to a concept before it sinks in? Different amounts of times for different students, we suspect. But let's say the number for this particular student is 75. Maybe she needs to experience someone reaching out to her 75 times before she realizes people want to help her. Maybe she needs to be consistently given a consequence 75 times before she realizes the cause-and-effect relationship that exists between her choices and the results that follow. Maybe she needs 75 incidents of unconditional love before she recognizes her worth. Maybe 75 is her number.
Wouldn't it be a rewarding experience to be the person who provided this child with the 75th exposure to an important concept? Wouldn't it be great to be there on the day when she experienced unconditional love for the 75th time? Wouldn't you like to see the smile on her face when the 75th occurrence of reaching out actually reached her?
But what if you weren't number 75 for this student this year? What if you were number 67 instead? What if you were the 67th person to reach out, hold her accountable, or teach her the same lesson?If you were number 67 for her you wouldn't get to see her day of awakening, her great excitement, her light bulb going on. If you were number 67 for this student you might be going home for the summer feeling like Brenda did. You might be thinking, "I didn't get to him."
Keep this in mind this summer: the 67th person makes the 75th possible. You cannot get to 75 without going through 67. Is the 4th incident, the 27th, or the 67th any less valuable because they weren't number 75? We don't think so. A student cannot experience the 75th if they never had a 4th, a 12th, or a 36th. All experiences are important. The 67th is just as important as the 75th.
Refuse to bemoan the fact that you didn't reach this child. Remember instead that you were one of many who are needed to make the 75th possible. It just may be that your efforts this year have set the stage and made it possible for the real lesson to be delivered by the next teacher, next year.
Create a relaxing and productive summer. You've earned it.
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators. To sign up for it or obtain more information about how they can help you or your group meet your professional staff development needs, visit their website today: www.personalpowerpress.com.
Spirit Whisperers: Teachers That Nourish a Child's Spirit
"You've got to help me," pleaded a voice on the other end of the telephone line recently. "My last staff development program was a bomb. The teachers and superintendent won't let me forget it. The only way I can get past this is to provide something really good this time. Are you guys any good?"
This inquiry is not uncommon. We receive calls like this every year. Usually the call comes from a concerned educator who waited until the last minute to book their beginning-of-the-year staff development presenter.
Please don't get caught with your pants down. Whether planning a five-day summer intensive, a back-to-school seminar, or a fall conference, BOOK NOW.Hire a presenter or a trainer with a proven record, someone who does staff development full time.
Yes, it is important to find a presenter who can meet your specific needs. Tell them what you want. Tell them what you expect the outcomes to be. Ask them if they can deliver the outcomes you desire. See if they are willing to customize their session to meet the needs of your staff.
Our August and fall dates are going fast. We would love to present one of our skill-oriented and motivational programs to your staff. We still have some August dates available. Call today to check on the availability of Thomas Haller and/or Chick Moorman.
The Five Voices of Classroom Discipline: How to create effective discipline in your school and classroom.
Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers:How to teach to a child's spirit and become a difference maker in the lives of the students you love and serve.
Blending Transformational Education with Informational Education:How to transform the lives of children in this day and age of teaching to raise test scores.
Teaching for Respect and Responsibility:How to build responsibility and respect in today's youth.
Achievement Motivation and Behavior Management:How teachers can create an atmosphere conducive to learning using effective verbal skills.
Transforming Aggression in Your Classroom: How to teach alternatives to anger, bullying and anti-social behavior.
You can find full details for these and other workshops at www.personalpowerpress.com. Book today to make sure you get the quality program your staff and students deserve.
All staff development programs by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are skill oriented and research based. All are entertaining and practical. All leave teachers with real skills they can put to use immediately.
Book your back to school program before July 4th and receive a free parent program to offer to your community. This offer is limited to the first 10 people who respond.
8. New Products
Inspiring Children to Write
by Thomas Haller and Reese Haller
DVD run time: 60 min. ($19.95)
Introduce your children to the joys of writing and empower them with strategies that transform everyday experiences into stunning books with this captivating DVD by Thomas and Reese Haller. Inspiring Children to Write is a rare opportunity to see father and son present together on the topic of writing.
This remarkable presentation features 9-year-old Reese Haller, author of The Fred the Mouse Book Series, lecturing with his father, Thomas, on practical tools that make writing fun. In one power-packed hour you will learn stimulating strategies for broadening children's writing horizons while expanding their knowledge and vocabulary with essential skills that result in children who love to write.
A.) Letters to the editor are more frequently read than any other part of the newspaper. Why not use that section of the newspaper to send a positive message about your school system? How about thanking parents for their efforts to read with their children or to monitor their homework this year? Keep your letter brief: 200 words or less.
B.) Reese Haller has won a prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award. Never in the 23-year history of the Awards, an honor recognizing excellence in publishing, has an eight-year-old author received this coveted prize. When Reese, now nine years old, recently won the Silver Award in the Juvenile-Young Adult Fiction category for his book, Fred the Mouse: The Adventures Begin, it marked the first time a child author has captured this prestigious honor.
Prior to the award banquet, Reese walked the streets of Washington D.C. much like any other child marveling at the sites of our nation's capitol. But on the evening of the Benjamin Franklin Award ceremony, the young author, who is considered the youngest published fiction author in America, walked on stage in front of a ballroom filled with adult authors and publishers from across the country and was introduced as the future of our writing world.
As the audience's applause quieted, Reese held his book close to his chest and told the room full of adults, "I am honored to be here and share this moment with you all. Thank you." Silence momentarily filled the hall as everyone realized that not only was Reese a glimpse into the future of book publishing, but by winning this award he was also staking his claim as an inspirational and important part of the present.
Reese has already written and published a second book in the Fred the Mouse series and is currently working on a third installment. As Reese explains, "Each book in the planned five-book series has a moral. The moral of book one, The Adventures Begin, is about listening to your inner feelings and trusting your intuition and doing what you know is right. Book two, Making Friends, is about diversity and accepting all the different creatures of the world, even with their differences. I'm still working on the moral of book three, but it's going to be about the concept of freedom."
C.) Graduating from high school can be expensive. In Sacramento, CA, school officials estimate seniors can easily spend over $1,500 from the beginning to the end of the school year. Class ring, senior prom, college applications and a variety of other expenses are pushing those totals higher every year.
D.) Proms are big business. It is estimated that teens and their parents spend $2.7 billion a year on dresses, shoes, beauty supplies, cameras, film, and other prom-related expenses. Then there is the rental of limos, motel rooms, etc. Twenty million students attend proms each year. The average spent is $638 per person and over $1,200 per couple.
10. Spread the Skills
WANTED: Interested teachers to become local facilitators of the Parent Talk System's Language of Response-Able Parenting model.
This is an important opportunity for you to spread the Parent Talk skills to the parents of your community, school, or church group. You could be the one, the influential person, who helps parents in your area learn effective verbal skills to use with their children.
Take a giant step toward helping the parents in your community. Become a skilled facilitator of the Parent Talk System by attending our July facilitator training. Join the growing number of people from around the world (USA, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Canada) who have learned how to help parents raise responsible, caring, confident children. We will help you learn to put the highly effective Parent Talk skills into the hands of parents in your church, school, or organization.
You will leave this three-day training with the skills and confidence to touch the hearts and minds of parents in your community!
Parent Talk System Training Schedule: July 27-29, 2006 Dearborn, MI Spring Arbor University
Facilitated by Chick Moorman. Limited to 25 participants.
We would be honored to speak at your conference or staff development day on Achievement Motivation and Behavior Management or The 5 Voices of Classroom Discipline. Check us out at www.personalpowerpress.com.
June, 13, 14, & 15 - Madison, WI 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Concurrent Sessions presented by Chick Moorman, IGS, Madison, WI. For information contact Ed Pino at 303-805-1893 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 13 - Saginaw, MI 7:00 am, Radio Interview with Reese Haller, The Morals of Each Book of the Fred the Mouse Series, WIOG 102.5, Saginaw, MI
June 13 - Saginaw, MI 8:15 am, Radio Interview with Reese Haller, The Morals of Each Book of the Fred the Mouse Series, WHNN 96.1, Saginaw, MI
June 14 - Saginaw, MI 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, How to Inspire Children to Write presented by Reese Haller, Saginaw Children�s Zoo, Saginaw, MI. For information email Reese at email@example.com.
June 14 - Saginaw, MI 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Book Signing with Reese Haller, Saginaw Children�s Zoo, Saginaw, MI. For information email Reese at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 27, 28 & 29 - Wausau, WI 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Concurrent Sessions presented by Chick Moorman, IGS, Wausau, WI. For information contact Ed Pino at 303-805-1893 or e-mail email@example.com.
June 28 - Wausau, WI 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Parent Talk: Words That Empower, Words That Wound, Children's Service Society of Wisconsin, Wausau, WI. For information contact Linda Salzman at 715-845-6747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 30 - Naperville, IL 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Teaching for Respect & Responsibility presented by Chick Moorman, Academy of Behavioral Consultants, Great Lakes Conference, Naperville, IL. For information contact Sarah Knapp at email@example.com.
July 1 - St. Louis, MO 9:30 am - 11:00 am, Self Publishing 101: How to Turn Your Experience into a Published Work presented by Thomas Haller, American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) Annual Conference. For information go to www.aasect.org.