www.personalpowerpress.com December 4, 2006
The Response-Able Educator Newsletter #57

Welcome! This is a free newsletter about becoming a Response-Able educator who develops Response-Able students.

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.


If you are unable to receive HTML format emails, please copy and paste the link below to view this Newsletter.


In This Issue

1. Quote
2. Sign of the Times
3. Bumper Sticker
4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
5. Article: "What Do We Get?"
6. Teacher Talk Tip
7. Helping Parents Help Children
8. Schedule of Events

1. Quote

"Rewards have effects that interfere with performance in ways that we are only beginning to understand."

Janet Spence

2. Sign of the Times

A.) Spotted on the wall in a seventh-grade classroom:

If I don't see I caused it,

Then I can't see I can change it.

B.) Milwaukee's school district is selling naming rights. No, not just to the school. They are selling naming rights to hallways, rooms and gymnasiums. The administrators believe it is more difficult to raise more money from taxes than to enter into marketing agreements with companies.

3. Bumper Sticker

Seen on a silver Toyota Camry in Provo, Utah:

Previous owner had an honor student.

4. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Could it be that every student is gifting you in some way at this moment? If so, then it is your job to figure out what that gift is and open yourself to receiving it. Are you allowing gifts to come to you?


5. Article: "What Do We Get?"

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Jason Lane, a brand-new sixth-grade teacher, could barely sleep the night before his first day as a teacher at Riverdale Middle School. Four years of college, summers spent doing camp counseling, an exhaustive interview process, and a change of residence had brought Jason to this point. Now, he was finally ready to face what he hoped would be eager eleven- and twelve-year-olds.

Although Jason had graduated from a prestigious Midwestern university with honors, earned an "A" in his student teaching experience, and gained valuable experience working with adolescents during his time as a camp counselor, nothing had prepared him for what he was about to experience on this first day as a full-time professional educator.

Twenty-five youngsters greeted Jason Lane that first hour of his first day. He introduced himself, talked of his love for mathematics, explained that he believed mistakes were valuable learning tools and that he would challenge his students to make mistakes and learn from them. He distributed the textbook, talked about making math a come-alive, useful concept in their lives, and shared some strategies for overcoming math anxiety. Jason invited his students to turn to page 2 of the text, demonstrated the lesson on the chalk board, and gave his first assignment. That's when it happened.

"What do we get?" asked one of his students.

"What do you mean?" Jason queried back.

"What do we get when we get it done?"

Not understanding the intent of the question, Jason said, "Say some more. I don't understand what you're asking."

Another student came to the rescue, informing the rookie teacher, "Usually we get something. Do we get points, a sticker, a grade, a smiley face? What's our reward?"

"How about M&M's?" one student joked. Everyone laughed, including the teacher.

"I have nothing like that," Jason told his class. "I just want you to do it to see if you can do it."

"If we don't get anything, then why should we do it?" asked a third student, new to the conversation.

"Because it's fun," Jason informed the class.

"Yeah, but what do we get?" another student reiterated.

Somewhat flustered, Jason reached down deep and pulled out a response he had not been taught in college or even thought about previously. "What you get is . . . you get to feel good when you accomplish it."
"What does that mean?" another student asked.

"It means you get that inside feeling of accomplishment. You get to feel good that you did something. It's an inside thing that helps you feel good all over. It's better than points, grades, or stickers."

"I'd rather have points," said the student who had begun the discussion.

"Me, too," added several others.

Just then the bell rang and the students quickly gathered up their belongings and exited the classroom, leaving their teacher rattled and bewildered.

Jason Lane had not been prepared to deal with this unexpected situation. His students, on the other hand, had been prepared. Indeed, they had been prepared well. These youngsters had been prepared by their kindergarten teacher, who gave weekly homework assignments to five-year-olds and let them choose a prize if they turned it in on Friday. They had been prepared by their first-grade teacher, who, if they had been good, placed stickers on their hands as they exited the room at the end of the day. They had been prepared by their second-grade teacher, who occasionally placed M&M's on the corner of their desks if they were working quietly. They had been prepared by their third-grade teacher, who gave a balloon to any student who read 10 books. They had been prepared by their fourth-grade teacher, who placed gold stars at the top of all the spelling papers that were 100 percent correct. They had been prepared by their fifth-grade teacher, who held a pizza party to reward those who behaved well for three days when a substitute teacher was in charge.

Jason Lane's students had been prepared by well-intentioned teachers who had not understood the long-term effects of their reliance on rewards. They had been prepared by caring educators who did not comprehend that the negative effects of their actions do not appear immediately and who leave others to deal later with the negative aspects of their choices. They had been prepared by teachers who took the easy way out.

These youngsters had been prepared by a well-intentioned kindergarten teacher who did not know that she was teaching children that school work is so distasteful that we have to give them a prize so they'll want to do it. They had been prepared by a well-intentioned first-grade teacher who did not know that by offering a sticker for good behavior she was setting it up so that others who follow her will have to keep offering the same or larger bribes to gain compliance. They had been prepared by the well-intentioned second-grade teacher who did not know she was discouraging the use of internal rewards systems by using one that was external. They had been prepared by a well-intentioned third-grade teacher who did not know that giving balloons to students for reading books was teaching them that the reason we read is to earn an extrinsic reward or that her students would read less once the reward was withdrawn. They had been prepared by a well-intentioned fourth-grade teacher who did not realize that the more gold stars are used, the more they will be needed. They had been prepared by a well-intentioned fifth-grade teacher who had not yet realized that the more he got students to respond to pizza and similar rewards, the more they would require goodies in the future.

Jason Lane had a rough first day of school. He had not been as well prepared by his teachers as his students had been by theirs.

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose. Chick Moorman is also the author of Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child's Spirit. Available at www.personalpowerpress.com. They publish a FREE e-mail newsletter for teachers and another for parents. Subscribe to them at www.chickmoorman.com or www.thomashaller.com.

6. Teacher Talk Tip

Did you ever notice how some students are masters at changing the subject? They can do this especially well when you are attempting to confront them about a behavior or discuss some other unpleasant subject.

"Remember when we had the guest speaker last month?" they will ask, attempting to get you to reminisce about a previously enjoyed moment. "I like that you help us learn the important parts of history," they will respond, in an effort to tell you something that you would like to hear.

Be on guard for the student who changes the subject to divert attention from your main mission. Simply go back to the beginning and use effective Teacher Talk to restate your intention. "Richard, that could be an interesting topic for another day, and right now I want to talk about your effort in geometry."

Be polite, firm, and serious without adding anger or frustration. "Sabrina, sounds like you want to talk about volleyball. I want to talk about blurting out in class. Let's get back to the main agenda. When you blurt out in class without raising your hand, I get frustrated because other students don't get the time they need to think about an answer and they don't get an equal opportunity to respond."

Firmly bring the conversation back to your main agenda as many times as you need. Eventually the student will deal with your priority item.

Teacher Talk: What It Really Means


7. Helping Parents Help Children

Give us three days of your life and we will return to you a lifetime of meaningful experiences transforming the lives of children and parents.

Make a Difference in the Lives of Parents and Children in Your Community, Church, or School.

  • Do you feel called in your soul to help parents consider the possibility that there might be a better way, an enlightened way, to parent?

  • Are you interested in helping parents move from a fear- and shame-based parenting style to one that is love-based?

  • Would you consider helping the parents in your community make a shift in perception that would allow them to become the change that will change our world for the better?

  • Are you ready to make a giant leap forward to actualizing your potential as a healer of the planet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the dynamic upcoming three-day training seminar in the Parent Talk System is definitely for you!

Register now and qualify for the early bird discount! To register or find out about the February 8-10 program specifics, VISIT www.chickmoorman.com UNDER SPECIAL EVENT.


8. Schedule of Events

December 10 - Bay City, MI
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Book signing by Reese Haller, Studio 23, Downtown Bay City, MI. For information contact Thomas Haller at thomas@thomashaller.com.

January 15 - Corunna, MI
8:30 am - 3:30 pm, Celebrate the Spirit Whisperers presented by Chick Moorman, Shiawassee Developmental Center, Shiawassee ISD, Corunna, MI. For information contact Shelley Brant at brant@sresd.k12.mi.us.

Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-686-5356 or e-mail him at thomas@thomashaller.com.


Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 1-877-360-1477 (toll-free) or e-mail him at ipp57@aol.com.


Copyright 2006 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

• • • •

Subscribe Unsubscribe Preferences Send to a Friend
Powered by Mynewsletter Builder  
A member of The ByRegion Network  

report spam