Volume 9 Number 6
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Promoting Learning
6. Discipline without Stress
7. Testimonials and Research
MONTHLY RESPONSIBILITY AND LEARNING QUOTE:
Out of our desire to control comes punishment. Out of our
desire to raise responsible citizens comes teaching and
For teachers retiring from the profession, I share with you
a poem written by a dear friend:
A TEACHER’S FAREWELL
It seems as though t’was yesterday
I started to discern
The young and bright, expectant faces
So eager then to learn.
I was young and quite proficient.
I thought I could instill
A world of knowledge in their heads
Through ineffectual drill.
It soon became so clear to me,
More now, than even then;
I am the student, they the teacher–
Again, and still again.
I learned to wait; to be patient,
Heed as they reason.
Charmed, I watched as all improved
With each advancing season.
They shared their music. What glorious music!
Their very souls revealed.
When they triumphed, so did I,
My pride was not concealed.
For in their struggle and success,
I’ve shared a minor fraction
Which fed my core, my very being,
Sustaining me to action.
The years now vanished; time draws nigh
To say goodbye, adieu
To all the zealous, bright-eyed youth,
Who taught me well and true.
2. PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY
If you want children to keep their feet on the
some responsibility on their shoulders.
3. INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS
A commonly touted approach is to focus on goals for
improvement. However, focusing on a goal does not prompt
feedback. A more effective approach is to focus on behavior
and, more specifically, procedures.
Let’s assume that you want to improve your free throws in
basketball. Setting a goal of how many you can make in a row
will not be as helpful as a procedure for keeping your
elbows in and following through. If you missed a free throw,
you can reflect on whether or not you implemented all phases
of the procedure correctly.
Therefore, if you have a goal, be sure that you have a
specific behavior or procedure upon which to focus. Doing so
will help you reach your goal more effectively.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
A few heart-warming stories about relationships and
we treat people–from Bill Page:
1 – FIRST IMPORTANT LESSON – CLEANING LADY
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a
pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed
through the questions until I read the last one: “What is
the first name of the woman who cleans the area?”
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning
woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired, and in her
50’s, but how would I know her name?
I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just
before class ended, one student asked if the last question
would count toward the grade.
“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, You will
meet, many people. All are significant. They deserve your
attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name
2 – SECOND IMPORTANT LESSON – REMEMBERING THOSE WHO SERVE
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a
10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a
table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How
much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied
the coins in it.
“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.
By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress
was growing impatient.
“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins. “I’ll have the plain
ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the
table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid
the cashier, and left. When the waitress came back, she
began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed
neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five
You see, he couldn’t have the sundae because he had to have
enough left to leave her a tip.
3 – THIRD IMPORTANT LESSON – THE OBSTACLE IN OUR PATH
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed in the center
of a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if
anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s’
wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked
around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the
roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone
out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.
Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his
burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.
After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he
noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had
been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from
the king indicating that the gold was for the person who
removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned
what many never understand: Every obstacle presents an
opportunity to improve our condition.
4 – FOURTH IMPORTANT LESSON – GIVING WHEN IT COUNTS
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital,
I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from
a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery
appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old
brother who had miraculously survived the same disease and
had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother,
and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his
blood to his sister.
I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep
breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.” As
the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister
and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her
cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He
looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice,
“Will I start to die right away.”
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor;
the youngster thought he was going to have to give his
sister all of his blood in order to save her.
BILL’S CONCLUDING ADVISE:
Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never
been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody’s watching.
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
In a recent trip to New York, I purchased two books. The
title of one is “Positivity” and shows how having a positive
disposition is being proved scientifically to enhance the
quality of living. The other is a children’s book that makes
the point about positivity in a simple story. Following are
a few lines from the wonderfully illustrated book, “The
Dot,” by Peter H. Reynolds.
Art class was over. Her paper was empty. Vashti’s teacher
leaned over the blank paper. “Ah! A polar bear in a snow
storm,” she said. “Very funny!” said Vashti. “I just can’t
Her teacher smiled. “Just make a mark and see where it
Vashti grabbed a marker and gave the paper a good, strong
Her teacher picked up the paper and studied it carefully.
She pushed the paper toward Vashti and quietly said, “Now
Vashti thought for a moment. “Well, maybe I can’t draw, but
I CAN sign my name.”
The next week, when Vashti walked into art class, she was
surprised to see what was hanging above her teacher’s desk.
It was the little dot she had drawn–HER DOT! All framed in
(a) swirly gold (frame).
“Hmmph! I can make a better dot than THAT!”
She opened her never-before-used set of water colors and set
You can guess the rest of the story about how an adult can
change a negative perception into a wonderfully encouraging
one by using positivity and a little creativeness.
“The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds is available at Amazon.com
for $11.00 USD.
6. Discipline without Stress
First of all I would like to thank you for your wonderful
work in writing “Discipline without Stress.” We as a staff
have read the book.
I’d like to seek your feedback regarding the use of awards
in a 6th grade recognition ceremony. Not all kids get the
awards. We have a split opinion within the 6th grade
teacher group; some want to give the awards and others do
I guess I would like to believe that the 6th grade
ceremony recognizes all of our students, but we have a
couple of staff members who feel that certain students need
to get awards for their accomplishments while the others and
their families sit and watch.
Do you have any wisdom to guide us?
I believe we have to consider parents and what people are
accustomed to. If the school had moved to a total non-award
school, as some have, then there would be no dilemma.
In the current situation, consider a few options:
(1) Put it up to the student council.
(2) Have a meeting combining the student council, some
faculty members representing both sides, some parents whose
children are scheduled to receive the awards, and some
parents whose children are not going to receive awards. If
there is no agreement at the meeting, inform the
participants that the meeting was to hear all viewpoints and
that the school leadership team would make the final
decision. The advantage to this approach is that all parties
have been involved; it does not mean that the group makes
(3) Give the awards in private.
(4) Do the traditional approach.
I have used the approach very successfully with the 7th
grade music appreciation classes. I introduced the levels,
and classroom disruptions were minimal to non-existent.