Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish a Child’s Spirit
Chick Moorman (2001), Merrill, MI: Personal Power Press
Introduction: “Basic Beliefs”
1) All behavior is a choice (connection to Glasser here?)
2) We don’t control all of the events in our lives, but we always control who we choose to be in relation to those events
3) Spirit Whisperer energy exists in every one of us (inner knowing). It is our job to pull these attributes out
4) It’s all perfect. Students are providing you with exactly the data you need to create the perfect learning experience
5) Being is as important as doing
6) Wisdom is applied learning
7) Process is as important as product
8) Attitudes are more easily caught than taught. Always modeling (connection to Gardner & embodiment of leader’s story)
9) You never get there.
10) More is not necessarily better.
11) When the teacher is ready, the student will appear. If a challenging student enters your life, that is no accident.
12) There is no one best way.
13) Being right doesn’t work.
Chapter 1: Principle of Suspended Judgment
-message of “mistakes are permitted here”
-offer mistakes back as potential learning experiences
-mistakes hold no positive or negative value.
-mistake is a choice that offers an opportunity for growth
-example of “risk pads”
-attitude of acceptance--- no “should on” others
-there is no right, no wrong—there are consequences
-refusing to play the right-wrong game. Do this by separating the action/behavior from the child (Haim Ginott)—“I like you and I don’t like that behavior”. Choosing behavior
Using Praise
1) Evaluative praise: any praise that evaluates a student’s job, product, motivation or being. Eg., “good job”; “great thinking”excessive evaluative praise is destructive to self-esteem, confidence, internal motivation because it works like a drugsource is external. it is often discounted by the recipient. Praise that is denied has no impact. It creates anxiety—if you can give it, you can take it away. Leave room for the student to make the evaluation (Haim Ginott)
2) Descriptive praise: describes and affirms what has been done rather than evaluates what has been done: “everyone in here began working within the first two minutes.”Allows student to draw his own conclusions
3) Appreciative praise: Expresses appreciation—tells the student what behaviors are helpful and specifies any positive effects a behavior has on your life. Also allows student to draw his own conclusionsFeedforward technique—directive feedback. Without specific feedback message is you don’t notice or care (eg., Marzano, Berger)
Chapter 2: Principle of Inner Knowing
Key phrase: “Check it out inside”
-Help students learn where to turn for answers—check their own intuition, conscience
-reduces peer pressure
-developing internal standards
-(Gardner Existential—develops this)
-use self-evaluation activities
-develops metacognition as well (Bransford)
-debriefing experiences so children learn from them (Dewey), p. 64
Chapter 3: Principle of Conscious Creation
-invest in making the process of creation conscious for children (Berger) p. 74
-creation more important than any product
-making conscious choices in behavior, thoughts, and words
-using self-responsible language: acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions and feelings. “I chose to turn it in late”
-perception is a choice
Chapter 4: Principle of Personal Responsibility
Key phrase: “What do you attribute that to?”
-victims work hard to disown responsibility for what happens in their lives. Work hard to convince you others are to blame.
-cause and effect made explicit—“I chose” and result
-future success and satisfaction depends on attributing success to something the child has control over.
-students who are empowered attribute things that happen to them to their persistence, degree of study, attitude, effort
-purposeful use of words “choose” and “decide”
-Discussion of punishment vs. consequences—consequences are natural outcomes directly related to the behavior
Chapter 5: Principle of Personal Power
-“power with” rather than “power over”
-fostering independence
-share control with students—students have some say, but not final say (Glasser)
-offering controlled choice
-inviting student input, eg., class meetings
-developing an “I can” spirit—eg., “I Can Manage” buttons
-see themselves as winners, helping students count their wins instead of their losses
-positive visualization
-discussion of the value of wait time
-“act as if you can”
-Don’t impose ideas or beliefs—your suggestion may not be the student’s best answer
Chapter 6: The Principle of Oneness
-“Separateness occurs in schools where the prevailing perception is that others are separate from me, disconnected” p. 183
-what you do to one, you’ve done to all
-Promote classrooms and schools where everyone acts as if they are part of a greater whole
-everything is interconnected
-work to help students appreciate the interconnectedness of all things
-Add ons—An add on is a product begin by the teacher, with students expected to add on their own unique contribution (eg., VoiceThread)
-creating group products
-creation of group goals (eg. Berger)
-performing a service—giving to others—builds connectedness. P. 191
-reaching out to students who lack connectedness (a plan)
-“The goal of the principle of oneness is to eliminate what divides people, not to eradicate what makes them different.” P. 203
-acceptance of conflict produces oneness