Volume 3 Number 9
IN THIS ISSUE:
2. Promoting Responsibility
3. Increasing Effectiveness
4. Improving Relationships
5. Your Questions Answered
6. Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
Your Questions Answered
Impulse Management Posters and Cards
7. Promoting Learning
The server for this e-zine
crashed but, as you see, is now
up and running. Unfortunatly, THE LIST OF NEW SUBSCRIBERS
FROM MONDAY – THURSDAY OF THIS WEEK HAVE BEEN LOST. If you
know anyone who subscribed this week, please forward this
issue to them.
Since I am no longer giving
public seminars, I removed my calendar from my website at the end of the last
My recent presentations were to elementary schools, middle/junior high schools,
high schools, entire school districts, religious schools, parent groups, and
vocational schools. Since I have had a number of requests inquiring about my
speaking engagements, I have updated and posted my calendar at
Also, in an attempt to answer questions about the Raise Responsibilty System
(RRS), a new link has been added to the site. At this time, there is only one
posting detailing the differnece between RRS and other approaches. Frequently
asked questions (FAQ’s) will soon be added.
As this newsletter continues
to grow (now over 5,000 subscribers), I discover that the e-zine is used for
purposes I had not imagined. Here’s a comment I recently received from the
“Thanks for the wonderful ideas of helping at-risk/drop-
out students. May you continue to give more insights and
inspirations to teachers like me.”
2. PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY
The Golden Rules for Living
(author unknown) were shared with me. I share them with you.
1. If you open it, close it.
2. If you break it, admit it.
3. If you borrow it, return it.
4. If you move it, put it back.
5. If you unlock it, lock it up.
6. If you turn it on, turn it off.
7. If you make a mess, clean it up.
8. If you value it, take care of it.
9. If you cannot fix it, call someone who can.
10. If it is not yours, get permission to use it.
11. If you do not know how to use it, leave it alone–or ask.
12. If it is none of your business, do not ask.
SUGGESTION: Use the first part of each sentence with your students and/or
children. Then have them complete the rest of each statement.
3. INCREASING EFFECTIVENESS
One of the advantages of
sharing your ideas with others is that others share their ideas with you. Kerry
is a significant contributor to the Raise Responsibility System mailring:
With a little editorializing, I share one of her posts with you.
Cognition can not be separated from emotion. What we think precedes what we
feel, and often what we think triggers our emotions. Thinking in terms of
“right” or “wrong” is especially dangerous because people become emotionally
involved with these concepts.
Kerry finds it more helpful to think in terms of “more effective” or “less
effective.” She thinks about where she wants to go and then asks herself, “Is
this going to get me there?”
4. IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS
At the root of so many
relationship problems is that people stop giving to each other–or they give the
This is very common in parent-child relationships. Parents are more likely to
give children “things” rather than experiences. Because young people WANT
“things,” parents mistakenly believe that is what their children NEED.
Years ago, Charles Frances Adams (son of President John Quincy Adams, grandson
of President John Adams, and President Abraham Lincoln’s minister to England)
wrote in his diary one day, “Took my boy fishing today. A wasted day.” His son,
Brook Adams, wrote in his diary the same day, “Went fishing today with my
father. Greatest day of my life.”
Any good relationship, whether it be at home or at work, is built on giving of
yourself. It can be referred to by different terms–such as caring, service, or
recognition –but it all boils down to giving.
Here are some considerations to improve relationships with anyone with whom you
live or work.
GIVE AT UNEXPECTED TIMES.
GIVE WHAT THE OTHER PERSON WOULD APPRECIATE.
GIVE EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.
GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN.
Follow these simple ideas of giving, and notice how people respond. Then notice
how YOU feel. There will be some wonderful outcomes.
5. YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
The school I work in is very entrenched in the idea that discipline =
punishment. The students buy into this idea in that they seem to depend on
punitive reactions from their teachers/parents. How does one help the child to
move from being punishment-minded to being self-motivated.
Punishment–which is very often confused with discipline– operates on the
theory that young peoople must be hurt to learn, that they must be harmed to
Can you recall the last time you felt bad and did something good? People do not
think positively with negative feelings.
Punishments kill the very thing we are attempting to do– change behavior into
something that is positive and socially approprate.
If your school believes that YOUNG people ARE NOT YET ADULTS, then their use of
IMPOSED PUNISHMENTS (a concept applied to adult behavior) should be re-examined.
Share with the faculty the National Parent Teachers Association’s definition of
“To many people, discipline
means punishment. But, actually, to discipline means to teach.
Rather than punishment, discipline should be
a positive way of helping and guiding children
to achieve self-control.”
“Discipline: A Parent’s Guide” Copyright 1993
The National PTA
To help the child move from
being punishment-minded to being self-motivated, teach your students the four
levels of social development described at
Share the website http://www.AboutDiscipline.com
We have an obligation to help the teaching profession understand that–although
imposed punishments are necessary for adults who act in socially unacceptable
ways–IMPOSING THE SAME APPROACHES ON YOUNG PEOPLE is not only counterproductive
but also feeds the common misconception that schools are like prisons in that
use of external authoritarianism is the only way to promote leaning.
6. Implementing the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM
Performance Learning Systems
(PLS) is again offering their interactive, distance learning course with
“DISCIPLINE without STRESS, PUNISHMENTS, or REWARDS” as a primary text.
The course–with interaction between the instructor and participants through an
online discussion list–gives 3 graduate credits granted through The College of
New Jersey, a North Central Accredited institution.
The course runs from September 15 – November 17 for the fall session and again
from November 24 – January 26 for the winter session. More information and
registration is available at http://www.plsregistration.com or call toll-free
You can share and learn more about the
RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM at
I am a kindergarten teacher who highly recommends your book whenever the subject
of discipline arises. Today I told one of my students who hit another child, “I
want you to stay in our classroom, but if you act on Level B again, you are
telling me that you want to keep on making your own rules for the class. We
can’t accept that, so you may stay in the classroom only if your behavior is at
Level C or D.” When he began to harass another child, I made it a point to
remain matter-of-fact, and said to him, “You have again decided to make your own
rules for the class, so you have chosen to spend time in another room.” As I was
getting ready to take him, he began to throw a LOUD tantrum. I didn’t want to
make a scene, so I left him at his seat. I feel this was a big mistake. What do
you suggest I should have done?
Here are a few ideas to consider.
Next time, ASK (rather than TELL) the student if he wants to stay in the
classroom. Then ASK him on what level he would need to behave to remain in the
If he again lets his impulses direct his behavior, say to him that he allowed to
again let his impulses control him. Then ASK him, “What do you suggest we do
about it?” Be ready to ask “What else?” “What else?” “What else?” until he comes
up with something that will help him not repeat the offense. If he says, “I
don’t know,” challenge and empower him with a statement like, “As capable as you
are, I don’t believe you can’t figure something out. Let’s give it another try.
What do you suggest we do?”
Come up with a procedure. Anything–as long as it is simple for him to do, e.g.,
stand up and sit down, stand and turn around, take a deep gasp of breath through
his mouth and hold it as long as he can–something that will distract his
If the student pulls a tantrum again, say, “Don’t worry about what will happen
when you act this way. I’ll get back to you later.” The youngster will
immediately stop the tantrum and start worrying about what will happen.
Regarding the rest of the class, don’t be concerned about them. They understand
the situation. Have a class meeting later with the child present. Put the
problem to the class, since it is a class problem. Have a discussion on “What do
you suggest we do to help ….(name of student).”
IMPULSE MANAGEMENT POSTERS and CARDS
Learning a procedure to
respond appropriately to impulses is described on the Impulse Management link at
7. PROMOTING LEARNING
My PROMOTING LEARNING
article for this month is about business’s being a poor model for learning.
is changing their schedule so the article posted is the same as
last month’s. The article has been picked up by national e-zines and has been
distributed to thousands. The following are some points I hope to make in the
Competition improves performance in athletics, music competitions, and other
activities where people are motivated to improve and/or win against others.
However, competition is devastating for improving learning. Collaboration is
much more effective in this arena.
Read why government, business, and educational leaders have based their
decisions about learning on faulty reasoning –which already is having
disastrous results. This is exemplified by third graders, especially
conscientious ones, having anxiety attacks and the surge of high school students
giving up and just dropping out of school. This latter point is evidenced by
recent stories about the Secretary of Education’s former district vastly under
reporting the number of dropouts in the Houston Independent School District
where Rod Page was so proud of his district’s improvement.
People will look back twenty years from now (if not sooner) and ask, “How could
we have been so foolish as to allow this to occur?” How could we justify using
standardized tests (where half the test takers automatically fall below 50%) as
an accountability instrument? How did we justify determining people’s successes
or failures solely on taking “pencil and paper” tests? How did we support a
system where success is based on checking facts–most of which inevitably are
forgotten–rather than on factors which assess responsible citizenship and
elements which are essential in living successful lives after formal schooling?
The article is at: