March 2008
Vol 5 No 3

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.3
March 2008
Cover Story by LaVerne Hamlin
Show Me The Money!!!
If you can develop a lesson plan for your class, then you can write a grant. Here's how!

Harry & Rosemary Wong
Effective Teaching
Coaching is six times more effective than class-size reduction

»A System Is Superior To Talent Marv Marshall
»What Writing Isn’t Cheryl Sigmon
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
»Privacy in a Technological Age Rob Reilly
»10 Tips for Difficult Parents Barbara & Sue Gruber
»Problem-Based Learning Hal Portner
»Understanding Autism Leah Davies

»Spaceship Toilets
»March 2008 Writing Prompts
»Internet Assisted Interactive Classroom
»Our Civility Footprint
»First Grade Family Reading Night Meets Speed Dating
»Your Students Are Watching, Listening, and Learning
»Teachers Lounge - To Go or Not to Go?
»Retirement Guide for Teachers
»Daily Lessons: Humility

»Chatboard Poll: So What About Homework?
»Teachers.Net Craft Favorite: Arrow to the Sun
»Featured Lessons: March 2008
»Video Bytes: Merit Pay; Tai Chi; Asperger's and More
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration for March 2008
»Live on Teachers.Net: March 2008
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Editor's Pick: Picturing America Program
»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
»What Do You Want In A Co-Op Teacher?
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Editor in Chief

Cover Story by LaVerne Hamlin

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Dr. Marvin Marshall; Cheryl Sigmon; Barbara & Sue Gruber; Marjan Glavac; Dr. Rob Reilly; Barb S. HS/MI; Ron Victoria; Brian Hill; Leah Davies; Hal Portner; Tim Newlin; Barb Gilman; James Wayne; P.R. Guruprasad; Todd Nelson; Addies Gaines; Pat Hensley; Alan Haskvitz; Joy Jones; and YENDOR.

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Marvin Marshall

Promoting Discipline & Learning
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

A System Is Superior To Talent

Having a system to rely on and refer to is superior to having a talent
by Dr. Marvin Marshall
Regular contributor to the Gazette
March 1, 2008

Working in Harlem under contract for three years with the New York City Board of Education taught me an invaluable lesson: Having a teaching SYSTEM is far superior to talent when a teacher faces challenging behaviors in the classroom.

The assistant superintendent and I were very impressed while observing a teacher one year. We agreed that the teacher was a "natural." However, when I visited the teacher the following year, she told me that three boys were such challenges that she could use some assistance.

Even teachers with "natural talent" are challenged by student behaviors that teachers in former generations did not have to deal with. To retain the joy that the teaching profession offers and to reduce one's stress, having a SYSTEM to rely on can significantly help. The Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model describes such a SYSTEM. It contains four essential phases to successful teaching and learning:

  1. Teaching Procedures
    The first phase differentiates classroom management from discipline. Classroom management is about teaching, practicing, and reinforcing procedures and is the teacher's responsibility. Discipline, in contrast, is about self-control and impulse management and is the student's responsibility. More on this topic is available at Classroom Management.

  2. Practicing Three Principles
    This second phase describes three universal principles teachers employ to inspire and induce students to initiate their own changes. The principles are positivity, choice, and reflection. How using just these three principles can change a person's personal as well as a one's professional life as can be read at A Principal’s Experience.

  3. Being Proactive in Discipline
    The third phase refers to teaching a lesson that inspires students to behave responsibly at the outset--before any disruption occurs. This is in contrast to the usual approach of first reacting after an irresponsible behavior. Teaching a lesson that has students WANT to behave responsibly reduces stress and is both more efficient and effective. The Raise Responsibility System describes teaching four (4) concepts relating to social (and personal) development. After teaching the concepts, checking for understanding is used when a disruption occurs. If misbehavior continues, then guided choices are used to help the student develop a procedure to help himself or in severe cases to elicit a consequence. The approach is totally noncoercive (but not permissive) and employs internal motivation--rather than relying on shorter-lasting external manipulations of threats, punishments, or rewards. The link to Discipline without Stress lists some indications as to the success and growing popularity of this SYSTEM.

  4. Using the System to Increase Academic Performance
    This phase has students become motivated to put forth effort to increase learning without the teacher's use of any external motivators. Instead, the teacher refers to the four (4) concepts referred to above. The Hierarchy of Social Development describes the concepts. First, pictures are painted of the concepts in students' minds before students engage in a lesson or activity. Then after the activity, students take just a moment to reflect on their chosen concept. Students WANT to achieve at the highest concept level just by the nature of the levels in the hierarchy. By being proactive before and employing reflection afterwards, motivation toward learning is significantly increased.

More explanations of each of the above are available for further study and download at For those who desire a more in-depth understanding and would like to share the Raise Responsibility System with administrators and others, please print the pdf version of the Phi Delta Kappan cover article at the articles ink.

» More Gazette articles...

About Marvin Marshall...

His approach is the only system that is proactive, totally noncoercive, and does not use external manipulatives or threats. He INDUCES students to WANT to act responsibly and WANT to put forth effort to learn.

His book, "Discipline without Stress® Punishments or Rewards - How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning" is used in schools, universities, and homes around the world. The book clearly and concisely demonstrates how external approaches of relying on rules, imposing consequences, rewarding students for appropriate behavior, and punishing students to make them obey are all counterproductive. His approach reduces stress and is more effective than traditional approaches that focus on obedience because obedience does not create desire.

A prime reason that the approach is the fastest growing discipline and learning system in the country and is taught in so many universities is that it teaches students to understand differences between internal and external motivation. A second reason is that the focus is on promoting responsibility; obedience then follows as a natural by-product. A third reason is that the system separates the deed from the doer, the act from the actor, a good kid from irresponsible behavior, thereby eliminating the natural tendency for a student to self-defend.

Dr. Marshall gives permission to download and reproduce anything from his websites as long as is included. Visit his teaching model at

He offers the following resources to learn and support his approach: This is the foundational site that links to the teaching model, shares how a school can conduct its own in-house staff development, and contains free information for implementation. For a quick understanding of his approach, link to "THE HIERARCHY" and "IMPULSE MANAGEMENT." This is the website for the best-selling book on discipline and learning. Three sections of the book are online: Classroom Meetings, Collaboration for Quality Learning, and Reducing Perfectionism. is used to post questions, share ideas, and give assistance. has a compilation of previously asked and posted answers categorized from the above Yahoo site. explains reasons that external approaches - such as rewarding appropriate behavior, telling students what to do, and punishing them if they don’t - are not used to promote responsible behavior. This web log (blog) contains short posts to help implement the totally noncoercive - but not permissive - approach.

NEW! Discipline Without Stress, Inc.- a nonprofit public charitable devoted to teaching the Discipline Without Stress Teaching Model, now being offered to low economic schools in the U.S.A.

Free books at, free In-House Staff Development at and, depending upon location, free personal presentations by Marv Marshall. For more information:

The requirements for application can be found at

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