Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – December 2002

Volume 2 Number 12


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Your Questions Answered
  6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System
  7. Teachers.net: PROMOTING LEARNING
  8. What Nancy K. Utterback, Ph. D., Professor, Character Education, Walsh University, OH, says about the Book:


In this season of gratitude and giving, I would like to share two of the many joys I have recently received. They are parts of more lengthy e-mails. (Warning: the first may be odoriferous) On the second day of the new system, a miracle happened. The student who had driven me crazy all year chose to take a time out for reflection at his desk (instead of outside in the hall) after he farted five times in less than ten minutes during story time on the rug. Farting at will is one of his special talents. I explained that if he chose to sit at his desk, he would still have to allow the rest of us to concentrate. He agreed.

When after two minutes he began belching loudly, I said he must have changed his mind and decided now to sit outside. When he started to fuss, I asked him whose decision it was to bother the class. He sheepishly said, “Mine,” and walked quietly out of the room. Nothing that simple had ever happened with that child before.

But even more miraculous, when he returned to the classroom he said, with no prompting, “Mrs. Clark, I’m really sorry about how I behaved on the rug.” I was was stunned and so was the rest of the class. So I asked, “Do you know what level of behavior that is?” He didn’t, so I told everyone that this is an example of level D, Democracy, taking responsibility for your own actions and caring about others at the same time.

Thanks for helping me regain a bit of sanity. This will be my fourth year of teaching, and before your class I’d begun to think that starting this career at 56 might have been more than I could bear–but I guess I should be good for another ten years.

Thank you.



I am a music teacher. Last year, I came to a point where I was ready to quit–not just threaten–but actually quit teaching after 18 years. That’s when I ran across your book (not even sure I know where…) and it saved my career as well as my life!

I immediately went back the next day to my classroom and implemented the process and wow what a difference for me and the students. I no longer have to be a “gritchy” person!

I love and live what you have shared in your book “Discipline Without Stress” and it has definitely reduced stresses in my classroom. Also, my students are becoming self-reliant, internally motivated, and responsible.

I’ve used it, I’m using it, I live it everyday.

Thank You Dr. Marshall!



These communications make reference to the book, “Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards – How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility and Learning.” This , laminated, hardbound book sells for $39.95 and is sold by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National School Boards Association, and many others.

Discounts are only available in bulk sales:

2 – 4 books 25% discount $29.96

5 – 59 books 40% discount 23.97

60 -99 books 45% discount 21.97

100 or more 50% discount 19.98

Shipping charges now vary by zone and California residents would need to add 7.75% sales tax.

The contents are as follows:





Chapter 5 TEACHING


Each chapter is filled with practical strategies that bring benefits to you by promoting responsibility, increasing your effectiveness, and improving your relationships.

Needless to say, the book would make a wonderful season gift to any manager, administrator, teacher, counselor, social worker, youth worker, or parent. The sections on reducing perfectionism and victimhood thinking and the technique for impulse management are particularly beneficial.

Since money can be tight around the holidays, we have decided to give a special value this month offered ONLY TO NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS.

We are offering the book for the special discount of $29.95 for the purchase of only one book. The other discounts remain.

If you are interested in this holiday bargain which will be good only until the

END OF THIS MONTH, call Peggy at toll-free 800-606-6105 and mention THE


I guarantee it will be one of the most meaningful gifts you can give–to yourself and others.


No one has has an inherent desire to obey–to be told what to do. However, when responsibility is promoted, obedience follows as a natural by-product.

A rich woman walked up to the golf pro at an expensive resort and said, “I’d like for you to teach my friend here how to play golf.”

“Fine,” said the pro, “but how about you?”

“Oh, I learned yesterday!” she replied.

I share this rather humorous story with you to illustrate that learning to promote responsibility in others–rather than obedience–is something like learning to play golf. You can’t master it all in one day. But I can tell you that, like golf, prompting people to act responsibly by asking reflective questions is a skill you can learn.


Success isn’t always about winning.

A woman having lunch at a small cafe was seated next to a family celebrating their son’s basketball game. Their conversation was so lively that the woman joined in. “You must have been on the winning team,” she said.

The kid grinned from ear to ear. “No, we lost by 20 points. The other team had a killer defense. We were only able to make one basket.”

Did YOU make the basket?” she asked.

With his mouth filled with cake and ice cream, the boy shook his head “no.” His father reached across the table to give him a high five. His mother hugged him and said, “You were awesome.” The woman at the next table rubbed her chin.

The boy looked at the confused woman and said, “At last week’s game I took nine shots but they all fell short of the basket. This week I took eight shots and three of them hit the rim. Dad says that I’m making progress.


Many of us see more relatives at this time of the year than at any other time.

Here is a suggestion to keep in mind. When you deal with family, loved ones, close friends, and other valued people, don’t begin a new conversation with the baggage from the last one–or even think about it.

If you do, one incident or perceived slight can adversely influence that conversation along with days or weeks of future communications.

Goodman Ace, the legendary game show producer, had a classic observation: “If you can’t recall it, forget it.” In many cases, we can’t even recall why we were angry or upset. So, don’t try. Every communication should be thought of as a new one.

This came to mind the other day when, for some unknown reason, the question popped into my head, “What’s my favorite quotation?” Immediately came the response: “Don’t look back; something may be gaining on you.”

I have no idea how old I was when I heard this quotation by Satchel Paige, perhaps the greatest professional baseball pitcher of all time, but it must have had a profound effect on me. My entire life has been concerned with the future, rather than the past.

Why not? Life is more enjoyable this way. So be it with your family conversations this holiday season.



Dear Sir,

I am a professor from Montevideo, Uruguay. I receive your newsletter and consider it a highly valuable resource. Please accept my sincere congratulations.

Is it possible to have some hints on how to deal with groups (school or high-school) with multi-cultural members? I mean children or teenagers coming from oriental, Arabic or Latin homes do not have the same social attitudes toward studying, classroom behavior, bullying, teasing, etc. How can a teacher speak in general terms about specific topics that he/she knows will be understood differently by his/her students?

Thanks a lot and, again, CONGRATULATIONS!


My message to students is:

(1) No one can force you to learn, and I won’t even try. I will make the lessons and activities as interesting as I can for you. If you want to learn, wonderful–but do not think you are doing it for MY sake. Your learning is for your own best interests–not mine.

(2) You make choices every day–consciously or nonconsciously. Regardless of the situation, stimulation or urge, you choose your responses. You can choose to learn or not–but you will not be allowed to disrupt other people’s learning.

Hope this helps.


Each time you coerce someone

into doing something

by using your power of authority, you deprive

that person of an opportunity to become more responsible.

I am a teacher of English from Argentina. I read your book and decided to put your great ideas into practice. I am implementing the system with a group of nine-year-olds. I am writing to you because I had a problem with a parent and I would like your advice.

One of my students behaves like a bully, hits his classmates and threatens to hit them outside the classroom. He pushes them or he sometimes makes them stumble and he told a classmate something like ” Kiss my ass” ( in Spanish, of course…) I decided to send a note to his parents when he did this, and asked him to write the following

Dear Mom and Dad,

Today I told a classmate to “Kiss my ass.”

When his mom read the note, she became outraged and decided to come and talk to me. She was quite rude and almost insulted me but I remained calm all the same. This kid also has problems in subjects other than English and he once told me that his mom never punished him or paid any attention to him.

I just wanted to make him take responsibility.

I would appreciate any suggestions.


Smart for staying calm!

Here are two strategies to keep in mind.

(1) Repair. Start off with an apology–even if it is unwarranted. Say something like, “I’m sorry this occurred.” (And you really are). “Let’s see how we can repair the damage.”

(2) Remember that the person who asks the question controls the conversation.

If a similar situation occurs, ask the parent, “What do you suggest?” If the parent goes on a rampage, say, “I understand, but what do you suggest?”

To the student, say, “Your behaving on level B is simply unacceptable.” Than ask, “What do you suggest we do about it?” Keep asking, “What else?” “What else?” until a satisfactory solution is ELICITED.

Your task is so difficult because the youngster is manipulating his mother–and she does not even realize it. Just let him know that what he does outside of school is his business, but what he does in school is yours. Only acceptable behavior (levels C or D are acceptable) and that if he does not behave at these levels, he will own the consequence because he will choose it.

Download, “Tips for Parents.” The tip sheet will help the mother foster responsibility with her son.

Finally, remember that if the youngster misbehaves, he is the one to feel the stress–not you. And that goes for his mother, too!

Review the chapter on “Classroom Meetings.” Put the problem on the table. It is the class’s problem because his behavior has an effect on the entire class. Let students come up with some suggestions, with the student present. Students hearing their peers is far more powerful than being told by an adult. The student lacks some “emotional intelligence.” His classmates can help him.



My article on <teachers.net/gazette> for this month is about how educational leaders have given up their leadership–that they have taken the politicians and business leaders’ approaches to accountability and competition as the models for learning. The point is illustrated in two stories.


8. What Nancy K. Utterback, Ph. D., Professor, Character Education, Walsh University, OH, says about the Book:


“As parents and educators, we need all the assistance we can get. Marv Marshall helps us reduce our stress and increase our potential success by giving us many helpful ideas. You will find this book filled with insights and proven strategies that can be applied to all age levels.”

—Nancy K. Utterback, Ph.D., Professor Education & Character Education, Walsh University, Ohio