Voume 4 Number 4
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Promoting Learning
6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
Your Questions Answered
Impulse Management Posters and Cards
I recently asked a principal
in New Jersey to write what she had shared with her district about her
experiences with the Raise Responsibility System. I intend to submit her article
with some additions to the journal of the National Association of Elementary
School Principals (NAESP).
I will be giving two presentations at the NAESP conference later this month in
San Francisco, and the article is such a wonderful testimonial to the
effectiveness of the approach that I have reproduced it for sharing at my
You will find this short article worth your reading at
If you are an educator and have a desire to truly improve schools to make them
places were young people WANT to attend and WANT to learn, I urge you to send
the link to your school principal, assistant superintendent, or superintendent.
“Using A Discipline System
to Promote Learning,” was the featured article in the March 2004 PHI DELTA
KAPPAN. It can be read online at
The first half of the article explains the creation of the Raise Responsibility
System and how the concepts of Stephen Covey, Abraham Maslow, Douglas McGregor,
William Glasser, and W. Edwards Deming are used. In the second half of the
article, a teacher gives a first-hand account of using the system to promote
both responsible behavior AND academic improvement.
I received the following e-mail on April 8 from a new subscriber to this e-zine:
I found your website because my principal gave our team a copy of an article
about you and the theory behind your hierarchy. I went to your website and have
been busily reading everything. I taught the hierarchy to my students yesterday
and today I had different kids. The knot between my shoulders is gone, and I’m
going home happy for the first time in weeks. THANK YOU!!!! I am telling
everyone I know about you, and I’m recommending your book be on our booktalk
list next school year.
Video Preview (Video Clip)
View a ten (10) minute video presenting the three principles to practice and the
three parts of the Raise Responsibility System. The video clip is from the
90-minute video cassette included in the In-House Staff Development package
The clip can be viewed from
This clip will be part of the eighth edition of C.C. Charles’ classic textbook,
“Classroom Discipline.” Since the Raise Responsibility System (RRS) is the only
discipline approach that is totally noncoercive, the system will have an entire
chapter devoted to it in the textbook. It is due for publication later this
THE GUY IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,* And the world makes you
king for a day, Then go to the mirror and look at yourself, And see what that
guy has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife, Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life Is the guy staring back from
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest For he’s with you clear up to
the end, And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test If the guy in the
glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum, And think you’re a wonderful
guy, But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum If you can’t look him
straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years, And get pats on the back
as you pass, But your final reward will be heartaches and tears If you’ve
cheated the guy in the glass.
* ‘pelf’ is a derogatory or
jocular word for money or wealth (Oxford Dictionary)
© 1934 by Dale Wimbrow
1895 – 1954
If you want to appear more
confident and self-assured, then stop worrying about failure. Very few
conditions and decisions represent fatal outcomes or desperate setbacks. If you
stop focusing on failure, you begin supporting success.
Come from abundance–never from lack.
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
I was brought up on the
principle my mother instilled in me, “If you can’t say anything nice about a
person, then don’t say anything at all.”
This counsel grew into the first principle of my life’s practices:
positivity–described in my book as the first principle to reduce stress.
In building relationships, negativism is the biggest enemy. You don’t want it in
your mind. You don’t want it in your house. You don’t want it in your
environment. You don’t want negativism for those who may work for you, your
friends, or your associates. You don’t want anything to do with it. When you see
it, either turn around and run the other way, or ask the person how the idea can
be stated in a more constructive manner.
5. PROMOTING LEARNING
All attendees at the recent
conference of the The National Association of Secondary Principals (NASSP)
received the recent update of “Breaking Ranks (with the status quo) II:
Strategies for Leading High School Reform”–the association’s most recent
landmark publication. In addition, thanks to a grant from the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, the publication has been sent to every high school principal
in the country.
The original publication of “Breaking Ranks: Changing An American Institution”
included “reducing anonymity” as one of six essential requirements to improve
American high schools.
Breaking Ranks II reduces essential categories to three touchstones but
continues to list the importance of relationships and their importance to
learning under “Personalization.”
Here is an easy way to implement personalization–to reduce
anonymity–in any grade level and in any subject area:
Interview every one of your students.
Even on the secondary level where a teacher may have 150 students per day, 3
minutes can be planned to interview one student each day.
An explicit message in these personal communications is one of recognition–that
the teacher wants to know the student. An interview also carries the implicit
message that the teacher cares about the student. This simple strategy
implements the old adage that the student doesn’t care what the teacher knows
until the student knows that the teacher cares.
After making a note on a
worksheet, (such as Microsoft’s Excel), you can start categories listing names
of students interested in
and then subgroups to limit the number in each category.
Set the stage by first
telling students something about yourself.
Periodically, have students interview one other student whom you suggest based
upon some common factor, such as one of the above categories.
Such activities will greatly enhance the possibility that every student will
have at least one friend in each classroom.
6. Implementing the RAISE
I currently teach at the
last stop for kids with behavioral problems along with drug abuse. Classroom
management and discipline has to be consistent and talked about on a regular
basis or the students that just arrived will not buy into the program. Your plan
on discipline appears to be working. There are a few problems that I have
noticed, such as:
It is hard to break old
habits such as yelling and
Some students expect the
Some teachers won’t buy in
on this style of discipline.
Some students don’t
understand the mechanics of this
style, especially when it works.
Teachers using different
discipline plans tend to
confuse the students.
I would like to use your
plan as a template for classroom management and discipline. I understand the
difference between the two. I feel that it is necessary to include both. I am
looking forward to hearing from you.
When you refer to classroom
management and discipline being consistent, you are talking about two different
subjects. Classroom management (routines and procedures) should be practiced.
Discipline, on the other hand, should be invisible.
Classroom management is the teachers’ responsibility. Discipline is the
students’ responsibility. See
Superior teachers’ classroom management is so smooth that it isn’t even
noticeable. The reason is that procedures have been taught, practiced,
reinforced, and occasionally revisited. When these teachers have a discipline
problem, they have established an approach where they rarely, if ever, use
coercion with their students.
You mention that the system appears to be working but that there are a few
problems, listed below as numbers 1 – 5.
Yes! That is why you need a
procedure to redirect your
habitual approach (Impulse Management)
Think of your options: your questions, your tone of voice,
and your kinesics (body language,e.g., pointing a finger vs.
an open hand).
So what? Are you going to
allow them to direct your
behavior? Does yelling enhance learning?
They don’t because they
think that discipline and punishment
are synonymous. They use external manipulative or coercive
approaches in attempts to change behavior. These are very
unsophisticated and counterproductive approaches.
Manipulation is not long-lasting, and coercion NEVER prompts
a person to WANT do what you would like the person to do.
Coercive approaches are never joyful. They may be
temporarily satisfying as with punishment–which may bring
satisfaction to the punisher but has little long-lasting
effect on the person being punished. A prime reason is that
punishment is imposed. It is something done TO another
person. This is in contrast to effective discipline which is
done WITH or FOR the person. Nothing that is imposed has a
long life because the person hasn’t any ownership in it.
They don’t need to. The only
thing students need to know are
the levels of social development and that they–consciously
or not–always choose their level of behavior. No one
chooses if for them.
This is not a problem for
students. Young people are very
perceptive. They know that all teachers are different–as
Chances are that your students have been abused or alienated
and feel victimized by society. If teachers want to
successfully fulfill their mission at the school, they will
stop using coercive approaches and start to empower
students–rather than attempt to overpower them.
You can share and learn more about the RAISE
RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM (RRS) at
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IMPULSE MANAGEMENT POSTERS and CARDS
Learning a procedure to
respond appropriately to impulses is described on the Impulse Management