Response-Able Educator Newsletter #63

June 5, 2007

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.

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In This Issue

1. Quote
2. Signs of the Times
3. Bumper Sticker
4. We Get E-mail
5. Article: I Didn't Get to Him
6. Back-to-School Programs That Sizzle

1. Quote

"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!"

Anonymous Internet posting

2. Signs of the Times

A.) Seen on school uniforms worn by students and teachers at a private school in Cancun, Mexico:

YITS'ATIL Institito Educativo
YITS'ATIL, the name for the school, is a Mayan word for WISDOM.

B.) Sign spotted on the door of a first-grade classroom:

Human beings at work.
Handle with care.

C.) Posted on a high-school math teacher's wall:

Acute angle: A complicated but entertaining excuse a student employs to get out of doing homework.

3. Bumper Sticker

Seen on a red Chevrolet Impala in Manchester, NH:

What Schools Need
Is a Moment of Science

4. We Get Email

Hello Thomas and Chick,

Last year you published an article at the end of the school year that helped me deal with the pain of a student who dropped out in the middle of his senior year. It was heartbreaking for all of us concerned. Your article helped put it all in perspective. I think it was called, "I Didn't Reach Him," or something like that.

This year we had two girls drop out despite the combined efforts of two teachers, the counselor, and the principal. Could you please send me another copy of it or run it again? Please?

Minneapolis, MN

Hello Brenda,

We have had several requests for this article. It has turned out to be one of our most popular. It would be our pleasure to run it again.

Enjoy your summer.


Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

5. 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:

Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child's Spirit


6. Back-to-School Programs That Sizzle

Possible Topics:

Motivating the Unmotivated: How to reach the seemingly unreachable students

Transforming Aggression in Your Classroom: How to teach alternatives to anger, bullying, and antisocial behavior

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

Book Now!

You can find full details for these and other workshops at 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.

Bonus Program

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.

Call 877-360-1477 today.

Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

What if what you know in your gut is more important than what you learn from a book? Do you know how to read your gut? Do your students know how to read theirs? Whose job is it to teach them?


New Training of Trainers in Cancun, Mexico

July 11 - 13
Training of Trainers
in the Parent Talk System

Now you can combine your desire to become a Parent Talk facilitator with a special summer vacation on the beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Special hotel rates available with rooms overlooking the beach and pool.

The Parent Talk System Facilitator Training

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, up-coming three-day training seminar in the Parent Talk System is definitely for you!

Program Specifics:

July 11-13, 2007, 8:00 am - 2:00 pm, Cancun, Mexico. Delivered in English with a simultaneous Spanish translation. Materials available in English and in Spanish. For information contact Chick Moorman at 1-877-360-1477 (toll free) or email

Chick Moorman


Thomas Haller

Contact Thomas at 989-686-5356 or e-mail him at




Personal Power Press

Copyright 2007 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.

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