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Volume 3 Number 4

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us, "Leaders lead and they lead by caring enough about the success of their teachers that they will roll up their sleeves and model instructional leadership."...
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
Visual Impairments by Dave Melanson
Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Reflecting Upon Read Across America
Earth Day Compilation
The World in Lights
Take a Seat at the Bottom of the Class
Starting Children on Science
Tips for teachers being bullied!
Mr. Choose-A-Chart
Teaching Perseverance Through Adversity-A History Lesson
It's An Early Spring!
Memo to Staff: Our Computer System Crashed-We Have No 'Backups'-You're Not Getting Paid for a Month!
Keep Your Online Community Alive!
Curricular Science the 'Curry' way!
Geography Awareness
Principal of the Year Ray Mellberg
eBook Technology
Respect Means...
Creative Uses for Digital Cameras in the Classroom
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 4)
Young Lawyers Ementoring Magnet Students
The Welcome Mat of a High School On-Line Community
Plato Lives...
The Asphalt Classroom
26 Teaching Tips for the Dog Days
Using Storytelling in the Classroom
Recapturing the Courage to Teach
To Leave No Child Behind
If you say you CAN'T, it means you WON'T
Something Nice a Student Did Yesterday...
When Your Child Comes Home Messy
Praise vs. Encouragement
People Don't Play...
Apple Seeds
Special Days This Month
Poem - Song of a Second April
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Culprit Management
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    "Why Do We Have Night" from the Lesson Bank
    Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    The School Web Page: A Vehicle for Innovation
    Eighth Emerson Prizes Awarded in Boston
    Student Nanoexperiments Will Help Future Astronauts on Mars
    The 11th Annual National Institute for Early Childhood Professional
    International Conference on Computers in Education
    SESSIONS ANNOUNCED: Congress in the Classroom 2002
    Teacher Network United States Mint
    DEADLINE: Civic Education Grants
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Marvin Marshall...
    Marvin Marshall is a professional speaker and seminar leader who presents his program, "Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards - Raise Responsibility and Promote Learning," to schools across the world.

    His program was developed upon his returning to full-time teaching after 24 years of counseling, supervision, and administration. He has taught primary and upper elementary grades and has been an elementary school principal. He has taught all middle grades and has been a middle school counselor and assistant principal. He has taught all high school grades and has been a high school counselor, assistant principal of supervision and control, assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, and high school principal. He has also served as a district director of education.

    Dr. Marshall, who is certified by the William Glasser Institute, presents for Phi Delta Kappa International, for several leading seminar companies, and for schools and school districts. His presentation schedule is on the calendar of his website.

    In his book Discipline without Stress, Punishments, or Rewards - How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning, he clearly and concisely demonstrates how the external approaches of relying on rules, imposing consequences, rewarding students for appropriate behavior, and punishing students to make them obey are all counterproductive.

    The book can be purchased from the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National School Boards Association, Phi Delta Kappa, at local bookstores, or from his website Questions submitted to Kathleen Carpenter at will be considered by Marv Marshall for responses in future monthly columns in the Teachers.Net Gazette.

    Click to visit Marvin Marshall's Homepage.

    To read about the failings of punishments and rewards, go to

    Promoting Learning
    by Dr. Marvin Marshall
    Reducing Stress By Promoting Responsibility--Rather than by Attempting to Manipulate Behavior

    If a behavioral change is necessary, the stress should be on the student--not the teacher.



    Without what I have learned from you I would never have made it in the long-term sub job in the Special Education Department here at school.

    At times I was alone with children who were constantly punished and rewarded. I started by not doing any of it but asking questions and having them reflect. They learned that no matter what they did I would not react to their behaviors--except to ask if what they were doing was appropriate and responsible.

    Before long, I could predict their behaviors with others and with me. I was stress free and wondered how some of these teachers survived their tense stress they put upon themselves by being controlled by the aberrant student behaviors.

    In addition, they struggled to keep track of the various bookkeeping plans to reward student behaviors. Some even had a separate book for the reward plans in which was kept a log of how many "gives" and "take-aways" each student had. Incredible!

    When I get my next classroom, which I expect next year, I will start and end with the ABCD's of the RAISE RESPONSIBILITY SYSTEM.



    The Raise Responsibility System is a proactive discipline approach that does not reward students for expected, appropriate behavior. It also uses a more effective and less stressful approach than "logical," "natural," or imposed consequences.

    The usual approach to disruptive behaviors is to react. Some teachers believe they are being proactive when they use rules. Establishing rules and expecting students to follow them is stress inducing, results in adversarial relationships, and is too often ineffective. See last month's Gazette for a more effective approach than using rules for a discipline plan.

    Most teachers teach toward obedience. With today's students, too often this results in resistance, rebellion, and even defiance. However, teachers who PROMOTE RESPONSIBILITY find that they receive obedience as a natural by product.

    That is the strategy used in the Raise Responsibility System to which the teacher in the letter referred.

    Part I

    The foundation of the program is teaching four levels of social development. Level A refers to anarchy. Level B refers to Bullying/Bossing/Bothering. Neither of these levels represents acceptable behaviors.

    Level C refers to conformity and exposes students to peer pressure. It explains external motivation and empowers students to resist inappropriate behaviors. Level D refers to democracy, which requires initiative and responsibility--doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. This is the level of internal motivation. It teaches students to be victors, rather than victims.

    Teaching the hierarchy of development accomplishes a number of goals:

    1. It separates the act from the actor, the deed from the doer. This is critical. A prime reason why teachers and students react against each other is that the student has a natural tendency to self-defend when accused. By using the hierarchy, self-defense is eliminated because reference is never made to the behavior. Reference is always towards the benchmark of what has been taught: the hierarchy of social development.
    2. Students become aware of the fact that they always choose the level at which they behave--consciously or nonconsciously.
    3. Students learn how to deal with both bullying and peer pressure.
    4. Responsibility, the prime characteristic of every character education program, is promoted without raising red flags of values, ethics, or morals.

    Part II

    The second part of the Raise Responsibility System is that of honing in on the skill of asking REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS, as was referred to in the above letter.

    A foundation of the system is that no one changes another person. You can control someone else, but you cannot change another person. People change themselves, and the most effective approach for a person to change is through reflection--not through external approaches of rewarding, punishing, or telling. ("Telling," in contrast to "sharing," carries with it implied criticism--that what the person is doing is not good enough. Besides, no one likes to be told what to do.)
    More on this topic is available at

    A reason why the approach is stress reducing is that the teacher is positioned in a counseling mode. Questions are asked. A person normally does not become upset when asking questions.

    The usual question is to ask the student to identify the LEVEL of behavior--A,B, C, or D. Since the student knows the levels, asking this question prompts the student toward reflection. (This is really just simple cognitive teaching. First we teach, and then we check for understanding.)

    Remember these two points:

    1. When you tell, you do the thinking. When you ask, the student does the thinking. Since you cannot change the student--the student only can do the self-changing--it is critical for the student, rather than the teacher, to do the thinking.
    2. The person who asks the question controls the situation. (When someone asks you a question, don't you have a natural tendency to answer it?) Asking reflective questions is the noncoercive, stress-reducing way to control the interchange.

    The quality of the answer depends on the quality of the question. For example, asking a "Why? question is not wise. It gives the person an opportunity for an excuse, e.g., "I'm ADHD; I couldn't control myself." In addition, "Why?" has an accusatory overtone. Besides, it is difficult to pinpoint motivation, and since adults often do not want to articulate the real reason they do something, why should we think younger people are different?

    Part III

    The core of the Raise Responsibility System are parts I and II. However, there will be times when disruptive behavior continues. In these situations, a consequence is elicited--rather than imposed. When punishment (consequence) is imposed, the student becomes the victim and has no ownership in the consequence. In contrast, when a consequence is elicited, ownership is automatic. People rarely argue with their own thoughts.

    By the way, imposing a plan is a major reason why it is often not implemented. The student has no ownership in it.

    Using the simple-to-implement Raise Responsibility System promotes responsibility, reduces teacher stress, and contributes to the joy of learning and teaching.

    More about the Raise Responsibility System can be found at:

    To read about the failings of punishments and rewards, go to

    Subscribe to the free monthly newsletter, PROMOTING RESPONSIBILITY, at

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    Past Gazette Articles by Dr. Marshall:

    Dr. Marshall's website:
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    © Dr. Marvin Marshall, 2002.