Volume 5 Number 8
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Promoting Learning
6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
How Your School Can Implement the System
Your Questions Answered
Free Mailring/User Group
Impulse Management Posters and Cards
A Comment about the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
THE MARVIN MARSHALL TEACHING
MODEL is the core of my writings, my personal presentations, and my In-House
Staff Development package. Please view this one-pager and share it with others,
including school administrators. The link is at
Although I have visited many museums around the world and have visited
impressive libraries such as J.P.Morgan’s
private collection in New York City, the New York City Library, and the Library
of Congress in Washington, D.C., I
was not prepared for the emotional response I had visiting the Long Room at the
Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
I was in this interesting city to speak at the William Glasser European
Conference on the topic, “Using Glasser, Covey, Deming, McGregor, and Maslow to
Promote Responsible Behavior and Learning.” The presentation was on my article
published in the Fall 2004 issue of the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REALITY
THERAPY. Reality Therapy is the name of the pioneering work by William Glasser.
The psychology profession categorizes his approach as cognitive psychology –a
type of therapy that is becoming increasingly popular.
Dr. Glasser, a psychiatrist by training, has had a significant impact on
education starting with his book,
SCHOOLS WITHOUT FAILURE. He took his counseling approach to schools in the form
of classroom meetings. A few
fundamental characteristics of Dr. Glasser’s approach are:
– taking responsibility for one’s behavior,
– focusing on the future, rather than spending time on determining the cause
of behavior since the past cannot be changed, and
– the critical importance of good relationships.
The Long Room in the Trinity College Library is adjacent to the display of the
Book of Kells. The Book of Kells contains a magnificently illuminated Latin
manuscript of the four gospels produced by monks on the Island of Iona off the
west coast of Scotland and sent to Dublin early in the 8th century when Vikings
invaded the island. Trinity College itself was founded by charter of Queen
Elizabeth in 1592 to establish a Protestant institution of higher learning in
The Long Room runs to 65 metres in length (almost 3/4 of an American football
field) with two floors of
stacks, each 20 shelves high. No description could do justice to my experience
of seeing so many thousands of
book, many hundreds of year old. Much of the American heritage has its origin in
the souls of these books. Perhaps
my study of Irish, Scottish, and English migrations to the U.S. Colonies made
this particular visit so meaningful to
me. But if you ever visit Dublin, treat yourself to spending time at the
University of Dublin’s Trinity College Library.
Thanks to John Esposito for allowing me to share the following
incident and story.
Our school has a 25% population of Native American students. I had a 4th grade
student in the office for a discipline issue. I work hard to be as noncoercive
as possible according to your approach. After discussing the incident and
getting to the point of doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to
do, I decided to relate the story of Two Wolves. Someone gave it to me and I do
not know of its origin. It goes like this:
An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He
said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is
between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret,
greed, arrogance. It uses self pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false
pride, superiority, and ego.
“The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility,
kindness. It practices benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth,
faith, and compassion.
“This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”
They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
To me, the message is one of positivity. Like begets like.
The student listened carefully. Then I asked, “What do you think he meant when
he said the wolf that wins is the one you feed?”
She had a little trouble articulating it but definitely got the idea that the
wolf who wins does the right thing.
She wrote a very sincere apology to the person she wronged. She drew a picture
for her, too. Then she gave a sincere verbal apology. The wronged student
clearly appreciated and accepted the apology, smiling and saying, “Thanks,”
I asked the first girl how she thought the other girl felt. She immediately
said, “Happy.” Then I asked, “How do you
feel?” She said, “Happy.” I said, “You should be proud of yourself.” I left her
My Comment: Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do feels
Never let the urgent replace the important.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman, a fellow member of the
National Speakers Association, writes an electronic newsletter
and has some thoughts on forgiveness that deserve sharing.
There are times when you are just plain stuck in a situation where there is no
conflict to resolve and no problem to figure out. You’ve been wronged, but the
other person neither shows remorse, nor apologizes, nor makes amends.
To help you help yourself, a particular type of forgiveness should be employed.
Without it, you become stuck with the hot emotion of bitterness or revenge.
How do you deal at those times when you’ve been wronged? How do you get through
the hurt caused by someone else’s thoughtlessness or malicious disregard?
First, accept the fact that LOVE AND PAIN GO TOGETHER. If you love someone or
something, you are vulnerable. Love anything and your heart can be broken by it.
There’s no such thing as painless love. The closer a person gets to you, the
more the person can hurt you (even though, technically, you are allowing
yourself to be hurt).
It’s one of the sobering truths in life. Unless and until you accept that fact,
you may be riddled with unnecessary resentment and anger.
Second, UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF FORGIVENESS. It is not about letting the other
person off the hook. That person is responsible. Forgiveness is about letting go
of the negative feelings that affect you.
Captain Ahab, in Herman Melville’s book, “Moby Dick,” would not forgive. A great
white whale permanently injured him, and he spent the rest of his life seeking
revenge. It drove him until nothing else mattered except killing the whale that
injured him. This hatred cost him his soul and, in the end, his life.
More often than not, refusing to forgive someone will hurt you more than the
other person. You become like the
rattlesnake that bites itself when it becomes cornered. That is exactly what the
harboring of hate and resentment against others is–a biting of oneself. We
think that we are harming others by holding onto these negative emotions but the
deeper harm is to ourselves.
Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Forgiveness does not change the past,
but it does enlarge the future.
Third, DON’T BROOD. When you’re wronged, when you feel the anger and resentment
building up inside you, deal with it as quickly as possible. Don’t think about
it a minute longer than necessary. Don’t allow yourself to sulk or indulge in
If you continue to ruminate about the situation, you will distort the situation.
The situation will grow in your mind, getting bigger and bigger, and you will
get more and more upset.
Fourth, ADOPT AN ATTITUDE. A lot of people think they can forgive someone and be
done with it. But a truly healthy, mature individual takes an ongoing forgiving
approach to life and people. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said so well,
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
Make sure you understand what Dr. King was saying. Taking a forgiving approach
does not mean that you become a passive doormat or a pitiful victim. Dr. King
was anything but passive or pitiful. He was a champion. He was a warrior. And he
was wronged over and over again. But he didn’t let the wrongs get in the way of
his work or life.
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
One of the most perceptive comments ever made to me was stated in an
elevator. I was at a conference of the National Speakers Association and found
myself in an elevator with Nick Carter who had worked with the dean of personal
motivation, Earl Nightingale. During our elevator ride, Nick made a most
interesting comment to me: “We run our life by procedures.”
I immediately thought about the procedures I use in my personal life and then
reflected on procedures I used as a classroom teacher (primary, upper
elementary, and every grade 7-12). Whenever a student(s) did something that
irked me, I would establish a procedure. For example, when I suddenly heard the
pencil sharpener being used while I was talking, I taught a procedure. I simply
had the student place the pencil in a raised hand. This indicated to me the
desire to sharpen a pencil. When I was finished with the idea I was teaching, I
nodded to the student indicating that this would be an appropriate time to
sharpen the pencil. Similarly, when I heard the crumpling of paper–I know not
why I found the sound disturbing–I asked myself, “What procedure can I
establish to halt this bothersome noise?” I settled on teaching students to fold
the paper lengthwise, like a hot dog. This procedure makes no noise, takes up no
room on the desk, and takes up less room than crumpled paper in the waste paper
basket that was circulated before the end of each period.
In the realm of classroom teaching, those teachers who are most successful
establish procedures, practice them, and reinforce them to the point that they
A major faulty assumption of many teachers–especially middle and high school
teachers–is to assume that students know WHAT and HOW TO DO what teachers
desire. The following are examples of procedures that teachers should consider
establishing. They should be prioritized and not attempted all at once, but they
should be a major part of lessons for the first few days of school. And since
many schools in the USA are starting school before the traditional Labor Day
(early September) starting date, this may be the most opportune time for
teachers to reflect on procedures to be planned and taught.
Topics that I established include:
- How students enter the classroom.
- Activities when first entering the classroom.
(Students should ALWAYS do something that raises curiosity; piques interest;
reinforces/reviews; or practices a skill, e.g., journal writing. DEAD TIME
IS DEADLY TIME.)
- How to take roll while students engage in some activity.
- How to obtain students’ attention in 10 seconds or less.
- What to do when it is necessary to use the restroom.
- What to do when an assignment is finished early.
- How to find directions for each class activity center.
- What students do when they have questions or want assistance.
- How papers will be collected and where to put them.
- How to smoothly transition from one activity to another.
- How to work in groups, who has which responsibility, and how to change
- How and when to move around the room.
- How to use classroom materials and where to find them.
- What to do when tardy.
- What to do when returning from an absence.
- How to get materials without disturbing others.
- How to discard papers without disturbing others.
- How to get ready for the library and other locations.
- How to get ready for dismissal.
- How the class will be dismissed (bell or teacher).
A note of clarity for those using the RRSystem:
Following procedures is motivation on Level C: Cooperation, the behavior of
which is positive and expected.
6. Implementing the RAISE
How a school can conduct its own in-house staff development
is described at
Details for implementation are described on the next link at
This link describes THE MARVIN MARSHALL TEACHING MODEL. Topics include
differences between classroom management and discipline, three principles to
practice, the three parts of the RRSystem, and how the RRSystem can be used to
raise academic achievement.
Thanks for the great inservice at our school (Knights) last week. The staff is
really excited about implementing your ideas and so am I. However, I am a bit
concerned about how I go about using this with developmentally delayed 3 – 5
year olds. Basically, my class will be filled with developmental levels ranging
from 18 months to 3 yrs. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I suggest what you are already doing, viz., have patience, teach procedures,
have students practice them, challenge them to improve, and compliment them on
their actions when they do.
The one addition would be–after teaching a procedure–to ask your students to
SHOW YOU, rather than our usual inclination to just SHOW THEM.
If you have ever taken a computer course (or been coached on one, or a musical
instrument, or some athletic activity, or have had someone show you how to do
something), you have experienced what any learning involves: The activity must
be EXPERIENCED by the LEARNER.
Because we teach doesn’t mean students have learned. Much the same way that just
because we know what to do doesn’t mean we do it.
A wonderful school year!
You can post questions and learn more about the system at
the free user group (mailring support) at:
IMPULSE MANAGEMENT POSTERS and CARDS
Learning a procedure for responding appropriately
to impulses is described on the Impulse Management link at
A Comment about THE RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
“I am so pleased with the program because children take
responsibility for themselves. I returned to public
education this year and was horrified by the stickers,
tickets, etc. that most teachers were using. It’s demeaning
Megan Fettig, Pre-kindergarten Teacher Austin Independent
School District, Austin, Texas