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by Dr. Tbomas Goroon

wltb Noel 8urcb
Sboulo Know
Wbat Lvery
How teacbers can brlng out
tbe best ln tbelr stuoents.
Teacblng ls a unlversal pursult
everybooy ooes lt. Parents teacb
tbelr cblloren, employers teacb tbelr
employees, coacbes teacb tbelr
players, wlves teacb tbelr busbanos
(ano vlce versa), ano ot course
protesslonal teacbers teacb tbelr
stuoents. Aoults speno an amazlng
amount ot tlme teacblng young
people. Some ot tbat tlme ls rlcbly
rewarolng because belplng klos ot
wbatever age learn new skllls or
acqulre new lnslgbts ls a joyous
eperlence. |t makes one teel gooo,
as a parent, a teacber or youtb leaoer,
to contrlbute to tbe growtb ot a
cbllo, to glve sometblng ot oneselt
to enrlcb tbe llte ot anotber buman
belng. |t ls ebllaratlng to watcb a
young person take trom a teacblng
relatlonsblp sometblng new tbat wlll
epano unoerstanolng ot tbe worlo
or aoo to bls or ber repertolre ot

8ut as everybooy knows, teacblng
young people can also be terrlbly
trustratlng ano traugbt wltb
olsappolntment. All too otten,
parents, teacbers, ano youtb workers
olscover to tbelr olsmay tbat
tbelr entbuslastlc oeslre to teacb
sometblng wortbwblle to young
people somebow talls to engenoer an
entbuslastlc oeslre ln tbelr stuoents
to learn lt. |nsteao, tbey encounter
stubborn reslstance, low motlvatlon,
sbort attentlon spans, lnepllcable
olslnterest, ano otten open bostlllty.

Wben young people, seemlngly
wltbout reason, retuse to learn
what adults are so unselfshly and
altrulstlcally wllllng to teacb tbem,
teacblng ls anytblng but ebllaratlng.
|n tact, lt can be a mlserable
eperlence leaolng to teellngs ot
lnaoequacy, bopelessness, sbeer
easperatlonano, too trequently,
oeep resentment towaro tbe
unwllllng ano ungratetul learner.
Wbat makes tbe oltterence between
teacblng tbat works ano teacblng tbat
talls, teacblng tbat brlngs rewaros ano
teacblng tbat causes paln? Certalnly,
many different factors infuence the
outcome ot ones ettorts to teacb
anotber. 8ut one tactor contrlbutes
tbe mostnamely, tbe oegree
ot ettectlveness ot tbe teacber ln
establlsblng a partlcular klno ot
relatlonsblp wltb stuoents.
It is the quality of the teacher-learner
relationship that is crucial. More cruclal,
ln tact, tban wbat tbe teacber ls
teacblng, bow tbe teacber ooes lt, or
wbom tbe teacber ls trylng to teacb.
Wbat teacbers or parents sboulo
be teacblng cblloren ano youtb ls
an lssue tbat must be lett to otbers
tar more eperlenceo ln oeslgnlng
currlcula, tormulatlng eoucatlonal
objectlves, ano maklng value
juogments about wbat ls lmportant
tor young people to learnat bome
ano ln scbool. |n tact, oplnlons on
sucb matters wlll vary trom bome
to bome, trom scbool to scbool,
ano trom one type ot communlty to
|t tbe relatlonsblp ls ot a blgb quallty,
a teacber wlll be ettectlve ln teacblng
anytblngany klno ot subject matter,
any content, any skllls, any values
or bellets. Hlstory, matb, llterature,
computer skllls or cbemlstryall can
be maoe lnterestlng ano ecltlng to
young people by a teacber wbo bas
learneo bow to create a relatlonsblp
wltb stuoents ln wblcb tbe neeos
ot tbe teacber are respecteo by
tbe stuoents ano tbe neeos ot tbe
stuoents are respecteo by tbe teacber.
Face lt: even art, tennls, gymnastlcs,
sculpture, or se eoucatlon can be
taugbt so tbat stuoents are boreo,
turneo ott ano stubbornly reslstant
to learnlnglt tbe teacber tosters
relatlonsblps tbat make stuoents teel
put oown, olstrusteo, mlsunoerstooo,
pusbeo arouno, bumlllateo, or
crltlcally evaluateo.
|n most scbools a very blgb
percentage ot tlme tbat coulo be
teacblng-learnlng tlme ls taken up
wltb stuoent problems tbat teacbers
are rarely tralneo to belp solve or
teacber problems createo by reactlve
or rebelllous stuoents wbom teacbers
cannot control.
Our goal ls to otter teacbers some
skllls tbey can use to enlarge tbe
teacblng-learnlng tlme.
CommuniCATion: THE
|t ls essentlal to zero ln on tbe
tact tbat teacblng ano learnlng are
really two oltterent tunctlonstwo
separate ano olstlnct processes. Not
tbe least ot tbe many oltterences
between teacblng ano learnlng
ls tbat tbe process ot teacblng ls
carrleo out by one person wblle tbe
process ot learnlng goes on lnsloe
anotber. Obvlous? Ot course. 8ut
wortb tblnklng about. 8ecause lt
teacblng-learnlng processes are to
work ettectlvely, a unlque klno ot
relatlonsblp must elst between
tbese two separate organlsmssome
klno ot a connectlon, llnk, or brloge
between tbe teacber ano tbe learner.

|t takes communlcatlon skills tor
teacbers to become ettectlve ln
maklng tbose connectlons, creatlng
tbose llnks, ano bullolng tbose brloges.
Tbese essentlal communlcatlon skllls
actually are not very comple
certalnly not baro tor any teacber to
unoerstanoaltbougb tbey requlre
practlce llke any otber sklll, sucb as
slnglng, skllng, wrltlng, or playlng a
muslcal lnstrument. Nor oo tbese
crltlcal communlcatlon skllls place
unusual oemanos on teacbers to
absorb vast amounts ot knowleoge
about tbe pbllosopby ot eoucatlon,
lnstructlonal metbooologles, or
prlnclples ot cbllo oevelopment.
On tbe contrary, tbese essentlal skllls
prlmarlly lnvolve talklngsometblng
most ot us oo very easlly. Slnce
talk can be oestructlve to buman
relatlonsblps as well as enbanclng,
talk can separate tbe teacber trom
stuoents or move tbem closer
togetber. Agaln, obvlous. 8ut agaln,
wortb turtber tbougbt. For tbe
partlcular ettect tbat talk proouces
oepenos on tbe quality ot tbe talk ano
on tbe teacbers selectlon ot tbe most
appropriate kind of talk tor oltterent
klnos ot sltuatlons.

Teacber ettectlveness requlres an
aooltlonal set ot skllls, an etra
sensltlvlty, an etra accompllsbment
namely, tbe ablllty to toster two-way
TEsTEd skills, noT
Hunoreos ot tbousanos ot teacbers
tbrougbout tbe Unlteo States ano
ln many countrles arouno tbe worlo
bave learneo tbese communlcatlon
skllls ano metboos ln our program
calleo Teacber Lttectlveness Tralnlng
(T.L.T.). Tbls program tocuses on
practlcal tblngs tbat teacbers can say
ano oo everyoay ln tbe classroom, not
on abstract eoucatlonal concepts.
Lperlence wltb teacbers ln T.L.T.
classes bas maoe us somewbat
crltlcal ot tbe tormal eoucatlon ot
most teacbers, lt seems to tamlllarlze
tbem wltb terms, loeas, ano concepts
wltbout provlolng tbem wltb practlcal
ways to put tbese abstractlons to
work ln tbe classroom. We are talklng
about sucb concepts as respect tor
tbe neeos ot stuoents, attectlve
eoucatlon, classroom cllmate,
treeoom to learn, bumanlstlc
what makes the
difference between
teaching that works and
teaching that fails?...
it is the quality of the
teacher-learner relationship
that is crucial.
if the relationship
is of a high quality, a
teacher will be effective
in teaching anything
any kind of subject matter,
any content, any skills,
any values or beliefs.
eoucatlon, tbe teacber as a resource
person, two-way communlcatlon,
ano tbe llke.
|n T.L.T. sucb loeas ano concepts are
given operational defnitionsthey
are defned in terms of specifc
operatlons, tblngs teacbers actually
can do, specifc messages they can
skills foR REsolVing
Take tor eample a concept most
teacbers bave bearo over ano over
agaln ln tbelr tralnlngrespect tor
tbe neeos ot tbe stuoent. Yet many
teachers dont know what specifc
operatlons tbey can pertorm tbat
woulo sbow respect tor tbe neeos ot
stuoents. |t becomes emlnently clear,
bowever, bow tbey can make tbat
concept real wben tbey learn about
Metboo |||, tbe No-Lose Metboo ot
resolving conficts between teachers
ano stuoents. Metboo ||| ls a sl-
step process: Teacber ano stuoents
problem-solve untll tbey come up
wltb a solutlon tbat permlts tbe
teacbers neeos to be met (respecteo)
ano tbe stuoents neeos to be met
(respecteo), too.

Method III offers teachers a specifc
tool tbey can use every oay tor
lnsurlng tbat tbelr stuoents neeos
are respecteo wltbout teacbers
paylng tbe prlce ot bavlng tbelr own
neeos trustrateo. |n T.L.T., respect tor
stuoents neeos becomes sometblng
more tban an abstractlon tor
teacberstbey actually learn bow to
brlng lt ott.
Tbe same ls true wltb tbe concept
ot oemocracy ln tbe classroom.
T.L.T. sbows teacbers tbe skllls
ano proceoures requlreo to create
a llvlng oemocracy tbrougb tbe
classroom rule-settlng meetlng ln
wblcb all members ot tbe class,
lncluolng tbe teacber, partlclpate
ln oetermlnlng tbe rules everyone
wlll be epecteo to tollow. T.L.T.
also otters teacbers workable
alternatlves to tbe traoltlonal use
ot power ano autborlty (wblcb ls, ot
course, tbe antltbesls ot oemocratlc
For eample, ln many elementary
scbool classrooms stuoents work ln
small groups or on lnolvloual projects
wblle tbe teacber works wltb anotber
group or person. |n tbe course ot
gettlng jobs oone, work completeo,
individuals and groups confict with
eacb otber. Stuoents worklng on an
art project make too mucb nolse tor
anotber group to concentrate on
a reaolng asslgnment. Tbe teacber
ls olstracteo by tbe movement ot
stuoents as tbey get materlals ano
books trom storage areas.
Teacbers tralneo ln Metboo ||| see
tbese sltuatlons as opportunltles to
teacb oemocratlc llvlng, vlew tbem
not as strlte to be avoloeo, but as
problems to be solveo. A Metboo |||
scenarlo mlgbt go sometblng llke tbls:
Teacher: (louoly) Hey class! |
woulo llke you to stop
wbatever you are oolng
rlgbt now. |m bavlng a
problem bearlng ln my
group ano | notlce tbat
some ot you are yelllng
at eacb otber to qulet
oown. | cant teacb tbe
way tblngs are golng ano |
am guesslng youre gettlng
upset too.
danny: Yeab! How can we get our
reaolng oone wben tbey
(polnts at tbe art group)
keep talklng ano maklng all
tbat nolse?
maria: Well, wbat are we
supposeo to oo? |t we
cant talk about tbe
project bow are we
supposed to fnish it?

Julian: Ano Lorl keeps bumplng
lnto my oesk wben sbe
gets tbe stutt out ot tbe
sclence cupboaro.
kyle: (to teacber) | bave to go
almost rlgbt tbrougb your
group to sbelve tbe llbrary
books, tben you stare
at me llke | was oolng
sometblng wrong.
Teacher: You teel klno ot trappeo, ls
tbat lt Kyle?
kyle: Yeab, ano lt | oo my job
you glare at me.
Teacher: Well, lt looks to me as lt
our problem ls tbat we are
all gettlng ln eacb otbers
way wltbout lntenolng
to. |t seems to me tbat
we mlgbt rearrange tbe
room or cbange tblngs
arouno to keep tbat trom
in most schools, a very
high percentage of time
that could be teaching-
learning is taken up
with student problems
that teachers are rarely
trained to help solve or
teacher problems created
by reactive or rebellious
students whom teachers
cannot control.
bappenlng. Do you guys
bave any loeas about tbat?
katie: Well, tbe art group bas to
work by tbe slnk, but we
coulo put tbose llbrary
books back bere on tbese
sbelves or you coulo move
your group to tbat table
on tbe sloe.
Teresa: ... ano we coulo move tbe
sclence stutt to tbat otber
sloe wbere nobooy slts.
|ts too baro to get out ot
bere (polnts to present
locatlon) anyway.
Teacher: Let me wrlte tbese loeas
oown on tbe boaro so we
oont torget tbem later.
Several otber loeas tben emerge trom
tbe teacber ano group about bow
tbey coulo cbange tbelr classroom
envlronment to ellmlnate tbe most
presslng problems.

Teacher: Wow...we came up wltb
a lot ot loeas tor cbange,
olont we? Are tbere any
ot tbese loeas tbat you
oont tblnk wlll work?
A few are crossed off as conficting
wltb otbers or not practlcal.
Teacher: | llke all ot tbese loeas ano
|m reaoy to try tbem.
Wbat about you all?

Class: (agrees)
All ot tbe tasks are asslgneo ano tbe
rearrangement proceeos lmmeolately.
Teacher: Now tbat we bave
cbangeo tblngs arouno,
lets see lt we can get
our work oone wltbout
all tbe trouble we bao
betore. |t we neeo to we
can make some more
cbanges. | tblnk | can oo
my job now ano | teel
gooo about our problem-
solvlng. | appreclate your
cooperatlon ano loeas.
skills THAT HElp
sTudEnTs gRow
Stuoent growtb ano oevelopment
are goals to wblcb all scbools ano all
teacbers wbolebearteoly subscrlbe.
Yet tbe teacblng metboos useo by
most teacbers ano sanctloneo by
most scbool aomlnlstrators all but
lnsure tbat stuoents wlll remaln
oepenoent. |nsteao ot tosterlng tbe
growtb ot responsibility, teacbers
ano aomlnlstrators olctate ano
control stuoents ot all ages as lt
tbey were not to be trusteo to
take responslblllty tor tbemselves.
|nsteao ot encouraglng lnoepenoence,
scbools actually relntorce stuoents
oepenoence on tbelr teacberstor
oetermlnlng wbat tbey sboulo learn,
bow tbey sboulo learn lt, wben tbey
sboulo learn lt, ano, ot course, bow
well tbey learn lt.

|ts not tbat teacbers want stuoents
wbo are oepenoent. |ts more tbat
tbey bave not been taugbt tbe skllls
ano metboos by wblcb a person ln
bls or ber relatlonsblp wltb otbers,
can toster selt-olrectlon, selt-
responslblllty, selt-oetermlnatlon,
selt-control ano selt- evaluatlon.
Sucb qualltles are not oevelopeo
accloentally, tbey must be nurtureo
ano oellberately tostereo by parents
ano teacbers.
|n T.L.T. we sbow wbat can be oone
to make growtb ano oevelopment
bappen, ratber tban remaln an empty
loeal. For eample, teacbers can
learn bow to use Actlve Llstenlng,
a counsellng sklll tbat wlll greatly
lncrease tbelr ettectlveness ln
belplng stuoents wltb problems tbat
lntertere wltb learnlng. 8ut tbls belp
ls glven ln a way tbat enables the
student to fnd his or her own solution,
as opposeo to belng glven solutlons
or suggestlonstbe typlcal way
most teacbers respono to stuoent
problems. Wben stuoents are
alloweo to keep tbe responslblllty tor
solvlng tbelr problems, tbe outcome
ls an lncrement ot growtb towaro
self-responsibility and self-confdence.

|n tbe tollowlng meetlng between
a stuoent ano ber teacber, note
bow tbe teacber skllltully kept
responslblllty wltb tbe stuoent by
uslng Actlve Llstenlnga way ot
responolng ln wblcb tbe llstener teeos
back or refects back messages
ot tbe senoer. Tbe class bao been
stuoylng terrorlsm, ano tbe stuoent
bao been glven an asslgnment to
wrlte a tbeme on any aspect ot lt.
student: | came ln to see you to get
your loeas about wbat |
sboulo wrlte about ln my
Teacher: Youre uncertaln about
wbat toplc to cboose, ls
tbat rlgbt?
method iii offers
teachers a specifc tool
they can use every
day for insuring that
their students needs
are respected without
teachers paying the price
of having their own needs
student: Yeab. |ve been stresseo
out about tbls tor oays,
but | stlll bavent come up
wltb anytblng. | knew youo
bave an loea.
Teacher: Youve really struggleo
wltb tbls, but no progress
student: Wbat bave otber stuoents
wrltten on tbat maoe a
really gooo tbeme?
Teacher: You want a toplc
tbat woulo make an
eceptlonally gooo tbeme,
student: Yeab. | just bave to get an
A on tbls paper so tbat |
get an A ln tbe course.
Teacher: |t sounos llke youre
teellng some strong
pressures to get an A ln
tbls course.
student: |ll say! My parents woulo
really be upset lt | olont.
Tbey always want me to
oo as well as my oloer
slster. Sbes really a braln.
Teacber: You teel tbey epect you to
be just as gooo as your
slster ln scbool.
student: Yeab. 8ut |m not llke ber. |
bave otber lnterests. | wlsb
my parents woulo accept
me tor wbat | am|m
oltterent trom Racbel. All
sbe ever ooes ls stuoy.
Teacher: You teel youre a oltterent
klno ot person tban your
slster ano you wlsb your
parents recognlzeo tbat.
student: You know, |ve never tolo
tbem bow | teel. | tblnk
| wlll now. Maybe tbeyll
stop pusblng me so baro
to be a stralgbt-A stuoent.
Teacher: Youre tblnklng maybe you
sboulo tell tbem bow you
student: | cant lose. Ano maybe
lto belp.
Teacher: Lverytblng to galn, notblng
to lose.
student: Rlgbt. |t tbey stoppeo
pusblng me, | woulont
bave to worry so mucb
about my graoes. | mlgbt
even learn more.
Teacher: You mlgbt get even more
out ot scbool.
student: Yeab. Tben | coulo wrlte
a paper on sometblng |m
lnteresteo ln. Tbanks tor
belplng me out.
Teacher: Any tlme.
8y retralnlng trom glvlng tbls troubleo
stuoent a solutlon to ber problem
(suggestlng a toplc or glvlng aovlce),
tbls teacber employeo
one ot tbe T.L.T.
sklllsActlve Llstenlng.
Tbe result was tbat tbe
stuoent got oown to
tbe oeeper problem
(parental pressure)
ano eventually came up
wltb ber own strategy
tor trylng to solve lt. |n
tbls brlet lnteractlon,
tbe teacber contrlbuteo
far more signifcantly
to tbe growtb ot tbls
stuoent tban lt sbe bao
not useo tbe Actlve Llstenlng sklll.
Researcbllterally volumes ot
ltbas sbown bow crltlcal llstenlng
ls ln tacllltatlng learnlng. Here agaln,
every parent ano teacber, wltb a tew
untortunate eceptlons, ls blologlcally
equlppeo to llsten ano well practlceo
ln tbe act ot llstenlng to wbat klos
communlcate. Tbey oo lt every oay.
Yet wbat tbey tblnk tbey bear ls not
necessarlly wbat tbe learner ls trylng
to communlcate. Actlve Llstenlng
ls a slmple metboo by wblcb you
can cbeck on tbe accuracy ot your
llstenlng to make sure tbat wbat you
bear ls wbat tbe stuoent really meant.
At tbe same tlme, lt wlll prove to tbe
stuoent tbat you bave not only bearo
blm or ber but bave unoerstooo.
skills THAT HElp
sTudEnTs REspECT
YouR RigHTs
Parentbetlcally, tbere are tlmes wben
lt ls very lnapproprlate to llsten to
klos. Wben you are teacblng tbem
sometblng ln tbe classroom or at
home and you fnd their behavior
olsruptlve or unacceptable, tbe
backneyeo aovlce, 8e a gooo
llstener, sboulo be lgnoreo. At sucb
tlmes you must seno your own
strong message lnsteao, controntlng
tbe stuoents wltb bow tbey are
lnterterlng wltb your rlgbts. Tbere ls a
way, bowever,
tor you to
seno sucb a
message wltb
llttle rlsk ot
tbelr teellng
squelcbeo, put
oown, or even

when students
are allowed to keep
responsibility for solving
their own problems, the
outcome is an increment
of growth toward self-
responsibility and self-
Tbe very term controntlng otten
bas a negatlve connotatlon slnce lt ls
usually assoclateo wltb tbe klnos ot
messages tbat, ln some way, oenlgrate
tbe recelver. |n Teacber Lttectlveness
Tralnlng we call tbese messages You-
Messages slnce tbey lnvarlably contaln
lntormatlon about tbe person belng

Teacbers learn a way ot talklng to
stuoents tbat bas a mucb greater
probablllty ot gettlng tbem to cbange
tbe objectlonable bebavlor ano at
tbe same tlme preserve or enbance
selt-esteem wblle malntalnlng a
bealtby relatlonsblp. Tbese messages
are calleo |-Messages ano contaln
lntormatlon about tbe teacber
(senoer) ratber tban tbe stuoent
Here are two sltuatlons wltb
eamples ot typlcal You- Messages
ano tbe more ettectlve |-Messages:
situation i: [obn ano Leo are
talklng louoly enougb to lnterrupt tbe
teacbers concentratlon.
You-message: Leo! You ano [obn
lower your volces!
i-message: Leo, wben you ano [obn
talk tbat louoly | get olstracteo ano
lose my concentratlon.
situation ii: Monlca ls
repeateoly late to class.
You-message: At your age,
Monlca, you sboulo be able to take
more responslblllty tor yourselt.
i-message: Wben youre late to
class | bave to stop wbat | am oolng
ano correct tbe absence report ano
|m gettlng lrrltateo about lt.
onE pHilosopHY foR
All AgEs And TYpEs
of sTudEnTs
Most books about teacblng lmply
tbat oltterent skllls, strategles, ano
metboos are requlreo tor eacb ot
tbe varlous ages ot stuoentsas lt
a oltterent peoagogy were requlreo
by teacbers tor eacb age bracket.
Teacblng prescboolers, lt ls salo, ls
very oltterent trom teacblng blgb
scbool stuoents or sltb graoers, ano
so on. Wblle lt ls true tbat tbe varlous
oevelopmental stages ot cblloren
must be taken lnto consloeratlon ln
oetermlnlng materlals ano eoucatlonal
eperlences, tbe baslc buman
relatlonsblp between teacber ano
stuoent remalns tbe same.
Tbe skllls ano metboos ln T.L.T. are
equally usetul ano appllcable tor
ettectlve teacblng ot stuoents ot all
ages, up to ano lncluolng college
stuoents. Teacbers neeo not learn one
set ot skllls tor prescboolers, anotber
tor elementary stuoents, anotber tor
stuoents ln junlor blgb scbool, etc.
Our pbllosopby ls tbat stuoents ot
wbatever age are buman belngs, ano
wltb tbelr teacbers tbey wlll oevelop
buman relatlonsblps, gooo or bao,
oepenolng on bow tbey are treateo
by tbelr teacbers.
Slmllarly, we teel tar too mucb
empbasls bas been placeo on otber
oltterences among stuoentstbelr
color, tbelr etbnlc orlglns, tbelr |Qs,
tbelr abllltles, ano tbe soclal ano
economlc status ot tbelr tamllles.
Tbls unlversal practlce ot classltylng,
testlng, evaluatlng, labellng, ano
stereotyplng stuoents seems not
only unnecessary but barmtul. |t
bas brougbt lnto scbools a way ot
tblnklng about stuoents not unllke
tbe way many pbyslclans vlew tbelr
patlentse.g., my allergy patlent,
my beart problem, my ulcer patlent.
Too otten scbools see tbelr stuoents
not as persons but as taceless cases:
unoeracblevers, gltteo, culturally
oeprlveo, economlcally banolcappeo,
blgb or low |Q, byperactlve,
emotlonally olsturbeo, blgb or low
potentlal, ano so on. Tbe barmtul
ettects ot sucb olagnoslng ano
subsequent grouplng ot stuoents bas
been proven ln a number ot researcb
stuoles. Tbese clearly oemonstrate
tbat sucb grouplngs not only lower
stuoents selt-concepts but also blas
teacbers epectatlons ano bence
lower tbe quallty ot lnstructlon.
Actually, tbere are tar more
slmllarltles tban oltterences among
students. All are human beings, frst
ot all. All bave buman cbaracterlstlcs,
buman teellngs, buman responses.
Teacber ettectlveness can tberetore
be baseo on a general tbeory ot
buman relatlonsblps. All klos get
turneo on wben tbey are really
learnlng, ano get boreo wben tbey
are not. All stuoents teel olscourageo
wben tbey are put oown lt tbey
bave oone poorly or bave talleo. All
klos oevelop selt-oeteatlng coplng
mecbanlsms to oeal wltb teacbers
use ot power. All klos bave a tenoency
to want to be oepenoent, yet struggle
oesperately tor autonomy, all klos get
angry ano retallatlve, all klos oevelop
selt-esteem wben tbey acbleve ano
lose lt wben tbey are tolo tbey oont
Teachers learn a way of
talking to students that
has a high probability
of getting them to
change objectionable
behavior and at the
same time preserve
their self-esteem while
maintaining a healthy
acbleve enougb, all klos value tbelr
neeos ano protect tbelr clvll rlgbts.
Tbe skllls ano metboos ln T.L.T. are
oeslgneo tor tbls bomogenelty ot
students. This is why teachers fnd
T.L.T. as usetul tor a cbllo labeleo
acaoemlcally cballengeo as tor
one labeleo gltteo, tor a stuoent
trom a low-lncome tamlly as tor a
one trom a wealtby tamlly, tor an
Atrlcan Amerlcan stuoent as well
as a Caucaslan stuoent. Tbe Actlve
Llstenlng sklll, tor eample, wlll
work wonoers wltb all klnos ot klos
because all klnos ot klos neeo to be
bearo, unoerstooo, accepteo. Tbe
|-Message tecbnlque tor controntlng
stuoents wbo are lnterterlng wltb
tbe teacber (or otber stuoents) wlll
greatly reouce tbe oetenslveness ot all
klnos ot stuoents, because all stuoents
oeteno tbemselves wben attackeo ano
put oown.
wHAT To do ABouT THE
disCiplinE pRoBlEm
No questlon about lt, tbe lssue ot
olsclpllne ls one tbat every teacber
bas to tace.
Most new teacbers bope tbey never
wlll bave to olsclpllne, because
tbey are certaln tbat as teacbers
tbey are golng to be so competent
ano stlmulatlng tbat tbe neeo tor
olsclpllne wlll seloom arlse. Most
eperlenceo teacbers bave learneo
tbat wblle tbey must olsclpllne, tbey
actually fnd lt oolous, as well as
lnaoequate. Tbey want to teacb, not
olsclpllne. As teacbers, tbey want tbe
supreme satlstactlon ot seelng tbelr
learners learn.

Wbat goes wrong? Wby oo so many
teacbers speno so mucb ot tbelr
teacblng tlme trylng to malntaln
olsclpllne ln tbe classroom? Our
answer ls tbat teacbers, by ano
large rely too beavlly on tbreats ot
punlsbment, on actual punlsbment, or
on verbal sbamlng ano blamlng. Tbese
metboos slmply oo not work well.
Represslve, power-baseo metboos
usually provoke reslstance, rebelllon,
retallatlon. Lven wben tbey oo brlng
about a cbange ln a stuoents bebavlor,
tbe olo bebavlor otten recurs tbe
mlnute tbe teacber leaves tbe room
or goes to tbe boaro.
|n T.L.T., teacbers learn alternatlves to
power ano autborltymetboos tbat
actually give them more infuence, not
less. Tbey learn bow to conouct tbe
rule-settlng meetlng ln wblcb tbey
lnvolve all tbe stuoents ln settlng tbe
class rules ano regulatlons. One result
ot sucb meetlngs ls tbat stuoents are
mucb more motlvateo to tollow tbe
rules because tbey see tbem as tbelr
rules, not just tbe teacbers. Anotber
beneft from these rule-setting
meetlngs ls tbat teacbers speno less
tlme bavlng to act as entorcers ot
Wben teacbers become skllleo
ln uslng non-power metboos to
acbleve olsclpllne ano oroer, tbey
fnd tbemselves uslng a wbole new
language ln talklng about olsclpllne.
Tbe traoltlonal language ot power ls
replaceo by tbe language ot non-
power. Teacbers report a graoual
reouctlon ln tbelr use ot sucb terms
as control, olrect, punlsb, tbreaten,
settlng llmlts, pollclng, entorclng,
laylng oown tbe law, belng tougb,
reprlmanolng, scololng, oroerlng,
oemanolng, ano so on. Lven tbe term
olsclpllne tenos to orop out ot tbelr

|n place ot sucb terms, teacbers
begln uslng a new vocabularye.g.,
problem solving, confict resolution,
infuencing, confronting, collaboration,
cooperatlon, jolnt oeclslon maklng,
worklng out contracts wltb stuoents,
obtalnlng mutual agreements,
negotlatlng, meetlng neeos, worklng
tblngs out.
Wben teacbers torego uslng power
ano autborlty, tbey cease uslng tbe
language requlreo to aomlnlster tbe
olo, lnettectlve type ot olsclpllne. Tbey
begln to use tbe woros ano terms
ot tbelr otber relatlonsblps, wbere
non-power metboos are absolutely
necessary to make tbose relatlonsblps
mutually satlstylng, e.g., tbe busbano-
wlte, trleno-trleno, colleague-colleague
relatlonsblps. Wbat teacbers woulo
ever speak ot olsclpllnlng tbelr
spouses or trlenos? |n tbelr marrlages
or trlenosblps, rarely woulo teacbers
even tblnk, let alone speak, ln sucb
terms as glvlng oroers, commanolng,
reprlmanolng, punlsblng, settlng llmlts,
maklng rules. Tbe reason ls obvlous:
Teacbers know tbat power ano
autborlty lnevltably oestroy tbose
relatlonsblps. Power ano autborlty
wlll just as surely oestroy teacbers
relatlonsblps wltb stuoents.
How To REsolVE THE
As most parents ano teacbers know,
a controversy bas been raglng tor
years ln scbool olstrlcts ln every part
ot tbe country over wbetber scbools
sboulo be strlct or lenlent, traoltlonal
or progresslve, stuoent-centereo or
teacber-centereo, conservatlve or
llberal, autborltarlan or permlsslve.
Tbls pervaslve controversy never
seems to get resolveo, lt constantly
emerges as a tunoamental lssue
tbat polarlzes parents, teacbers,
aomlnlstrators, ano tbe meola. Scbool
board members run for offce on
plattorms tbat proclalm eltber tbelr
conservatlve or tbelr llberal stance
towaro scbools. Canoloates tor state
superlntenoent are otten stereotypeo
as right-wing or liberal. Parents fght
ln P.T.A. meetlngs over wbetber tbe
scbools are too permlsslve or too
strlct. Aomlnlstrators aomlt belng
barasseo by parents wbo teel tbey are
too progresslve as well as by parents
wbo are as certaln tbey are too
conservatlve. 8ono lssues are won
or lost over tbe lssue ot wbetber
tbe scbool system ls too tar rlgbt or
too tar lett ot tbe majorlty values ot
tbe communltypartlcularly wben lt
comes to autborlty versus treeoom
ln oeallng wltb stuoents.

T.L.T. cuts tbrougb tbls controversy.
|t eposes botb ot tbe two polar
posltlons as oestructlve pbllosopbles,
not only ln oeallng wltb young
people ln scbools but ln all buman
relatlonsblps. 8otb postures, unoer
wbatever label, are wln-lose
approacbes ano power-baseo
pbllosopbles. Tbose wbo aovocate
strlctness, strong autborlty ano
reglmentatlon want aoults to olrect
ano control stuoents by uslng tbe
power ano autborlty tbat aoults
possess. Tbose wbo aovocate
permlsslveness ano treeoom tor klos
ln tbe scbools unwlttlngly are optlng
tor conoltlons ln wblcb stuoents are
permltteo to use tbelr power ano
make llte mlserable tor tbelr teacbers
ano aomlnlstrators. Wblcbever one
ot tbese scbools ot tbougbt prevalls,
somebooy ls bouno to lose.
T.L.T. presents an alternatlve to tbe
two wln-lose pbllosopbles. Teacbers
learn bow to establlsb ano malntaln
rules ano oroer ln tbe classroom
without using their power. Teacbers
wlll also learn about tbe lnevltable
prlce tbey bave to pay tor belng
eltber permlsslve or strlctstuoent-
centereo or teacber-centereo. |t ls
our bope tbat tbls No-Lose Metboo,
which replaces conficts in the
classroom wltb cooperatlon ano
mutual respect, will fnally help to
eno tbls unproouctlve controversy
tbat bas neeolessly kept parents ano
scbool people at eacb otbers tbroats
tor over a balt century.
Building BETTER
Let us say lt agaln: wbat goes on
between teacbers ano stuoents wlll
be oetermlneo more by tbe quallty ot
tbelr relatlonsblps tban by any otber
Tbe cballenge tor teacbers ls
to lmprove tbe quallty ot tbese
relatlonsblps ln oroer to brlng out
tbe best ln tbe young people tbey