Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – January 2008

Volume 8 Number 1 


1. Welcome

2. Promoting Responsibility

3. Increasing Effectiveness

4. Improving Relationships

5. Promoting Learning

6. Discipline without Stress

7. Testimonials and Research



Likeability is the shortest path to believability and trust.

In this, the U.S.A.’s presidential year, it may be

worthwhile to reflect on the one quality above others that

prompts people to vote for a particular candidate. That

factor: likeability.

The reason, as mentioned above, is that likeability is the

shortest path to believability and trust.

Three practices are most effective for being likeable. They

are (1) communicating in POSITIVE, rather than in negative,

terms; (2) showing OPTIONS that are available; and (3)

REFLECTING on how to overcome objections.


The “Teachers Gazette” is back!

This is the first month since August 2003 that the gazette

is again being published.

As with former issues, I will be a regular contributor. My

current article on promoting learning is entitled,

“UNDERSTANDING BOYS.” You can read it and other articles at


Scroll down the site and subscribe for free delivery

directly to your e-mail box.”


The support link on the left menu bar at MarvinMarshall.com

has been updated. Teachers and parents who are using

Discipline without Stress will find additional assistance at



My blog (web log), “DISCIPLINE FOR SMART PEOPLE,” contains

regular short posts about Discipline without Stress,

improving relationships, increasing effectiveness, promoting

learning, and promoting responsibility.



The mindset of current educational approaches regarding

student behavior focuses unfortunately on obedience, the

source too often of reluctance, resistance, resentment, and

even rebellion. Simply stated, OBEDIENCE DOES NOT CREATE

DESIRE. However, when the focus is on promoting

responsibility, obedience follows as a natural by-product.

The reason is that motivation to be responsible requires a

DESIRE to do so. The motivation must be INTERNAL.

Many schools use EXTERNAL motivation in the form of rewards,

threats, and punishments. However, these approaches (a)

foster compliance rather than commitment, (b) require an

adult presence for monitoring, (c) set up students to be

dependent upon external agents, and (d) do not foster

long-term motivation for responsibility. In addition, when

students start collecting rewards–as in Positive Behavior

Support approaches–they start competing to see who can

receive the most number of rewards. Since rewards change

motivation, one will never know whether people are acting

responsibly to get the reward or whether their motivation is

to do right because doing right is the right thing to do.

My continuing efforts are devoted to changing the

educational mindset away from using external and

manipulative approaches. A less stressful and more effective

approach is to motivate young people so that they WANT to

behave responsibly and WANT to put forth effort to learn.

With this in mind, I am starting 2008 by creating a


The organization’s mission is to promote responsible

behavior and reduce apathy toward learning, especially in

low socio-economic poorly performing schools. This will be

accomplished by donating books and staff development to

qualifying schools that are interested in THE DISCIPLINE


(NOTE: This is the new name for what was previously referred

to as the “Marvin Marshall Teaching Model.”)


If you know of any grant writer who may be interested in

assisting the DISCIPLINE WITHOUT STRESS nonprofit

organization, please urge the person to contact

me at mailto:Marv@MarvinMarshall.com.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of improving education

and increasing responsible behavior.


Kerry’s school starts each day with public address


Four days a week the morning announcements END WITH A

QUESTION designed to prompt reflection and responsibility in

students. Kerry finds that posing a daily question directs

the attention of everyone in the school (both students and

teachers) to a specific issue or topic. Throughout the year,

the school reinforces school-wide procedures, solves small

problems, and encourage internal motivation through the


This is now the fifth year of using announcement questions,

and the school sees a lot of good coming from them. Although

the specific questions are tailored to Kerry’s own school

community, it is the hope that by sharing the announcements

other schools will be influenced to consider developing a

similar program. Her school finds that these questions

provide a powerful way to influence students.

Kerry’s blog with the daily announcement questions for

2007-2008 is updated weekly. Here is the link:



Forcing an issue often spoils the desired outcome.

–Abraham Lincoln

The old story of the salesman who lost a sale bears periodic

repeating. After he told his sales manager, “Well, I guess

you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him

drink,” his boss replied, “Your job is not to make the horse

drink; it’s to make him thirsty.”



Posing a provocative question that prompts the other person

to reflect is the most successful approach for increasing

your effectiveness–and theirs.


Last month, my wife and I
were fortunate enough to celebrate

the 50th anniversary of our wedding.

When asked our secret, I replied, “by sharing the Golden

Rule of marriage: BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.”

In all of our years together, I never recall experiencing

the quickest way to destroy any relationship: register



I received the following communication:

Dear, Dr. Marshall,

I am a Special Education teacher at a high school with the

Pittsburgh Public School District. I’m currently enrolled

in Gannon University of Erie, Pennsylvania in a graduate

program of curriculum & instruction.

During the course of “Discipline and Classroom Management,”

I viewed a small portion of your video. In addition, I’ve

read a little of your literature regarding “The Raise

Responsibility System” and I think it is fantastic.

I intend to study your approach to fostering intrinsic

motivation and responsibility for my students. Do you

provide an individual package for teachers as opposed to

your package for an entire school’s staff, or can you direct

me as to what are the essential components of your model

necessary for implementation in my classroom?

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration,


Dear (name),

The In-House Staff Development


was created for schools to conduct their own staff

development (and for me to reduce my travelling). For you,

as an individual special education teacher, I suggest

focusing on the following sites:


Print this and keep it handy. Learn all of its parts. The

next site will help you with this.


Create visions and pictures of what you want your students

to do–instead of what you do not want them to do.


Create or purchase the two posters–one with the levels of

the hierarchy and the other with the impulse management

displayed. Post them. Practice some procedure for

redirecting distracting thoughts.


Study this link carefully. Focus on the differences between

levels C and D–not between the acceptable and unacceptable


After you have downloaded these links, plan on spending 5-10

minutes a day in front of a mirror or with another person

verbalizing out loud the important points from each of the

four links above. Do this at least four (4) times to be

comfortable, really understand, and easily verbalize the

essential points.

May this year of 2008 be very successful for you and for the

good you will be doing with and for your students!

Marv Marshall

6. Discipline without Stress

The following is from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisciplineWithoutStress/

I am new to the group and am teaching at an urban middle

(6-8) charter school in Indianapolis. It is the first year,

and the school has expelled a number of kids. I am on a

temporary assignment (3 weeks). My teacher friend has

adapted the, “They are not serious about their education”

approach and has a dumbed down curriculum.

I had success in simply using the hierarchy when I was

struggling with teaching middle school. So I taught the

hierarchy. In order to bring the class to order, I used a

whole class approach of stating the number of students not

at levels C or D and then stating the behaviors being

displayed as being either A or B behaviors.

This immediately stopped the need for calling out individual

names and the inevitable confrontations.

7. Testimonials/Research

I learned about your newsletter from the workshops you’ve

conducted at Brookhaven Middle School.

I just wanted to let you know that last year when I first

heard you, I didn’t really buy into much that you said at

all. This year, however, for some strange reason, it seemed

to be an extremely logical way of conducting class. I’m

using your ideas with tremendous success this year. This is

my 10th year at BMS and my discipline referrals are lower

than ever.


Lee Hasting

Decatur, Alabama