Response-Able Educator Newsletter #82

June 29, 2009

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.

In This Issue

1.  Quote
2.  Spirit Whisperer Contemplation
3.  Bumper Sticker
4.  Article: Relationship and Rigor
5.  Spirit Whisperer Articles

1. Quote

"If we're using gimmicks like rewards to try to improve achievement without regard to how they affect kids' desire to learn, we kill the goose that laid the golden egg."

Alfie Kohn

2. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

Are you including yourself in those you love today? How are you demonstrating that love? Will you do one more thing that demonstrates your love for yourself before you move on?

Get a full year of SW Contemplations free when you order the Spirit Whisperer book.


3. Bumper Sticker

Spotted on a Ford Ranger in Boise, ID:
My Daughter Can Out-Fish
Your Honor Student

4. Relationship and Rigor

By Chick Moorman
The following story was shared with me at a workshop somewhere on the West Coast. The name of the school and the storyteller went through the wash in the pocket of my pants and are gone forever unless the teacher reads this and contacts me. The incident is real and happened in a middle school building that educated sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Let's call it Washington Middle School.
A year ago the staff at Washington Middle School set a school goal of improving relationships between teachers and students. The teachers hold high expectations for their students academically. They expect them to achieve, and they know that demanding rigor from students without having them feel connected to teachers is folly. So they set out to improve the relationship portion of the relationship/rigor connection.
At the beginning of the year all the seventh graders were surveyed in an effort to find out how many students felt they were in a positive relationship with a teacher and how many felt they were not. The students were supplied with a list of teachers' names and were asked to circle the ones they felt they had a positive relationship with. Having a positive relationship was defined as being able to talk to the teacher and feeling comfortable asking for their help. It also included a feeling that the teacher liked them based on the interest the teacher showed in the student.
One hundred and twenty-one students filled out the forms. Some students listed several teachers. Others mentioned one or two. Twenty-five middle schoolers listed no teacher they felt they had a positive relationship with.
The information gleaned from the survey was tabulated and shared with the teachers. The teachers were provided with two sheets of information. One had a list of the twenty-five students who listed no teacher. The other sheet had the teacher’s name at the top and listed the students who identified them as someone they felt they had a positive relationship with.
"So some teachers got a page that showed that no student selected them?" I asked. "Yes," the storyteller informed me. "We thought every teacher needed to know how they were perceived by the students. We simply gave them the information."
At this point each professional staff member was asked to select one student from the list who had indicated no relationship with a teacher. Care was taken to make sure each student was selected by someone. Throughout the year teachers were asked to reach out in special ways to this student. Their efforts included:
1. Send three "I noticed…." statements a week.
2. Give one eye-hug a day (sustained eye contact ending with a smile).
3. Give two physical touches a week (high-five, pat on the back, shoulder squeeze, handshake).
4. Use the person's name every day.
5. Be in their proximity three times a week (other than in the classroom).
6. Ask them for help once a week.
7. Ask their opinion about something once a week.
This process went on for an entire year. The following year, students completed the survey again. Now, as eighth graders, EVERY STUDENT indicated that he or she was in a positive relationship with at least one teacher. Many listed more than one teacher. In addition, EVERY TEACHER was named by one or more students.
Every student and every teacher was on someone else's list. Congratulations Washington Middle School staff! Rigor now has a better chance of having an impact on these young people, thanks to you and your understanding of the important connection between rigor and relationship. Take a bow.
Chick Moorman is the author of Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child’s Spirit. He is one of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. For more information on how he can help you achieve your staff development goals, visit

5. Spirit Whisperer Stories

Want some GREAT summer reading? How about sixty-four FREE articles about real Spirit Whisperers in action? Motivate yourself this summer with these inspirational and practical stories.
Create a great summer. You've earned it.

Spirit Whisperer Stories
Jan. 2009
The Pillsbury Doughboy Meets Physical Education
(Chick Moorman)
Dec. 2008
"This Sucks."
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Nov. 2008
It's All Perfect
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Oct. 2008
Pre-Seed Your Day
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Sept. 2008
Superintendent's Lottery
(Chick Moorman)
Aug. 2008
Let It Go
(Chick Moorman)
April 2008
Silent Mentoring
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
March 2008
Beyond What Is
(Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman)
Feb. 2008
Escalate Your Teaching
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Dec. 2007
The Energy Releaser
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
April 2007
Trash Can Kids
(Rick Benedict)
March 2007
The One-Minute Behavior Modifier
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Jan. 2007
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Sept. 2006
I Can't Wait
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
June 2006
Lessons in Baseball
(Chick Moorman)
April 2006
The Art of Language
(Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Feb. 2006
"Sounds Like You Have a Problem." (Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller)
Nov. 2005
Skywalker Sprouts, Inc.
(Chick Moorman)
Oct. 2005
Hats off to the Hat Makers
(Chick Moorman)
April 2005
I Can Do Something
(Chick Moorman)
July 2004
A Little Bit of a Disability
(Ellie Braun-Haley)
June 2004
Little Things Mean a Lot
(Ellie Braun-Haley)
Feb. 2004
ICM Buttons
(Chick Moorman)
Oct. 2003
The Drama Within the Drama
(Chick Moorman)
Sept. 2003
Detention #2: An Interesting Conversation (Chick Moorman)
Aug. 2003
Move Up Before You Move In
(Chick Moorman)
July 2003
Check Yourself
(Chick Moorman)
June 2003
The Day I Changed My Mind About Myself (Chick Moorman)
May 2003
A Safe and Orderly Environment
(Chick Moorman)
April 2003
Common Bond
(Michael T. Powers)
March 2003
Will You Still Be My Neighbor?
(Darlene Buechel)
Feb. 2003
The List
Jan. 2003
Saying the 'S' Word
(Chick Moorman)
Nov. 2002
The Key to Learning
(Chick Moorman)
Oct. 2002
Eighteen Ninety-Two! Wow!
(Chick Moorman )
Sept. 2002
Illegal Word Bursts
(Chick Moorman)
July 2002
Grammar Guardians
(Joe Edwards)
May 2002
Magic Carpet
(Chick Moorman)
April 2002
A New Attitude
(Patty Tamble)
Feb. 2002
Spilled Soup for the Soul
(Ivonne Delaflor)
Feb. 2002
(Chick Moorman)
Jan. 2002
Spirit Whisperers' New Year's Resolutions (Chick Moorman)
Jan. 2002
Pop Quiz
Dec. 2001
Fighting Mad
(Chick Moorman)
Nov. 2001
The Best/Worst Class
(Chick Moorman)
Nov. 2001
Keeping It All in Focus
(Bill Cecil)
Oct. 2001
Bumper Sticker
Sept. 2001
Send Beauty
(Teri Goggin)
Aug. 2001
(Corrina S. Hyde)
July 2001
"Are We Going to Eat Snakes for Lunch?" (Kathy Jordan)
July 2001
"Here, Grab My Hand."
(Donna Sherry)
June 2001
The Rumor Was True
(Michael T. Powers)
May 2001
I Can Places
(Chick Moorman)
April 2001
One More Day
(Bonnie Jo Kelley)
April 2001
Choose, Decide, Pick
(Judy Wagner)
April 2001
Problem Solvers
(Sue Dahlstrand)
April 2001
Horse Sense
(Leesa Massman)
March 2001
The Ideal Lady
(Bonnie Jo Kelley)
Feb. 2001
I Can Connect
(Cheryl Cook)
Jan. 2001
(Janelle Schochenmaier and DiAnne  Hughes)
Dec. 2000
Look Who's Special
(Chick Moorman)
Dec. 2000
The I Can Can
(Donna Sherry)
Dec. 2000
Positive Information Telephoning
(Chick Moorman)
Dec. 2000
Appreciation Station
(Chick Moorman)


Copyright 2009 Chick Moorman Seminars and Thomas Haller Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.



OK, we admit it. We have a severe case of "blogitus," that affliction that encourages us to return to the computer to add more blogs to our Web site than we ever imagined we would create. And we are having fun writing for our readers and hearing back from them. Hardly a day goes by without some kind of feedback from our readers.

Guess what? Not everyone agrees with us. So whether you agree or not, send us your reactions. We find it affirming and encouraging.

Recent blog posts you might have missed include:

Please join us at and become a reader and a responder on our new Web site. Sign up today on the right-hand side of the home page. And while you're there, check out some of the informational articles we have posted.


On the first day of school a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

Special Event

There is still time to sign up, but only a few spaces available in the upcoming Parent Talk System training of trainers.

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

Dearborn, Michigan
July 30 – Aug. 1, 2009
Spring Arbor University
23400 Michigan Ave.
Suite P20
Dearborn, MI


July 7 - 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

July 8 - Springfield, 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
July 9 - Kansas City, 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
July 10 - Minneapolis, 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
July 30 - Aug. 1 - Dearborn, MI.
Parent Talk, Training of Trainers presented by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Spring Arbor University. Contact Chick Moorman at 989-643-5059 or email

Chick Moorman

Contact Chick at 1-877-360-1477 or e-mail him at


Thomas Haller

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




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