1. RTP In the Third & Fourth Grade by Susan Alexie
This is a short success story. I had three frequent
fliers who were often in the
Responsible Thinking Classroom. Now they are able to get
through the morning in class, whereas they used to be in
the RTC sometime every morning. Now it is at least 2
p.m. before they go to RTC. I feel that is progress.
Perhaps the day will come when they can make two or
three full days in class without a trip to RTC.
2. RTP by a kindergarten teacher
My main success story with RTP is that, as a teacher, I
am much happier and less stressed out than in previous
years of working in "bush Alaska". In every K-12th grade
school I have ever worked in rural Alaska, except for
this year, the hallways in the mornings and after school
and during the school day are not pleasant places. Older
students are almost always hanging out and making rude
comments or doing things they shouldn't be doing, or
running in the halls. Younger students have not been
well behaved and are often rude to teachers, since they
can run in and out and there is no follow-up or
consequence with teachers other than their own teacher.
In the past, I used to go home with a headache every day
from the environment within the school. This is the
first year of my bush teaching that I leave the school
at the end of the day feeling good, physically. I
believe the nice pleasant environment that RTP has
created in our school is the main reason I feel so good
at the end of each day. To me, that is a wonderful
success story because it means that my attitude is
better each day than it ever has, and I have the
opportunity to impart life to my students because I am
not worn out, myself.
3. RTP in the RTC Room by John Chase
A parent came into the Responsible Thinking Classroom
during parent/ teacher conferences. As I was explaining
the Responsible Thinking procedures, she said something
like "Oh, this is RTC." I was curious as to why she
would say that and so I asked her for more information.
The parent then explained that her 5th grade daughter,
her daughter's friend, who is another 5th grader, and a
kindergarten age kid, were playing RTC at home. The
children were playing in the bedroom. One of the 5th
graders say on a chair and played "teacher" and the
others who played "students" sat on the floor. The
role-playing was complete with a blank sheet sign-in
sheet with their name, the reason why they were in RTC,
and a signature. Students who were "sent" to RTC would
go to the couch in the living room. The parent said, "I
thought it as kind of funny."
4. RTP in the District Information Systems Department by
My success story does not involve students, a classroom,
or an administrative experience. My success story
involves my ideas about discipline, communication, and
raising my child. The Responsible Thinking Process (RTP)
is based on the Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), which
has been around for quite some time. However, the ideas
behind PCT and RTP are quite new to me. Reading the
Discipline for Home and School Book One has exposed me
to a different interpretation of discipline, an
interpretation that has given me a chance to try methods
that make a lot of sense.
I entered the RTP class, taught by Jack Foster, as a
skeptic and remained a skeptic until I heard about the
changes in student behavior that were occurring in
Togiak School. As I read farther into the book, the
general ideas behind the method were making more sense
and I began to want to learn more about RTP. I
especially liked the idea that teachers were in the
schools to teach and not spend their precious time
disciplining students. I began to evaluate my ideas of
classroom discipline and what I was taught about
discipline in the classroom from the college I attended.
I found it amazing that the university system continues
to teach a system of discipline that tries to control
students and not build responsible thinkers. RTP
suddenly made a lot of sense to me.
The basic ideas of using questions to teach kids to
think about their actions and the consequences appealed
to me as a parent. I brought home the ideas that I was
reading about and began discussing them with my wife. I
tried to understand her perceptions in regards to family
goals and I began to ask clarifying questions. Our
communication skills were good to begin with but they
improved even more once I became aware of her
RTP has made me rethink my ideas about raising children.
I really like the use of questions to start a dialogue
with your child about an action that wasn't appropriate.
I especially like the premise of using a non-threatening
voice so you aren't intimidating or creating fear in
your child. I like that fact that my child will have the
chance become aware of her perceptions and how to
achieve those perceptions without disturbing others. I
don't believe that RTP is a fix all for everything, but
I do believe that RTP in combination with quality time,
loving parents, role models, and many other important
factors will give my child the confidence and
self-esteem to pursue the path to happiness and success
5. RTP In The Elementary Grades by Vicky Dawson
Success Story #1
After riding the school bus home after tutoring, I was
surprised to see so many of my own students not
following the school bus rules and playing a hurtful
game. The next day at school I held a classroom meeting
to discuss what I had seen and talk about school bus
safety. While the students remembered many of the school
bus rules, they did admit they do not always follow
Next I asked them about the game they were playing and
how it felt when they were the one that got hurt.
Several students said they did not like it when they got
hurt. One student responded with the RTP questions. He
spoke up loudly with the first question, "What are you
doing?" and said that they should use the questions from
the Responsible Thinking Process when they felt like
they were in a situation that was out of control.
I was quite surprised to see this transfer of knowledge
and hope that my students will actually remember to use
it outside of the classroom.
Success Story #2
I have one student that continually disrupts during
health class. She does not like this class and she would
rather receive a failing grade and sit in the RTC room
during this time. On this day she disrupted two times
and was sent to the RTC room. The lesson plan for health
that day included going into the computer lab and doing
research on the Internet. When this student came back to
the classroom and realized she missed computer time, she
was very upset and said it was unfair of me to take the
students into the computer lab when she was gone.
The next time we had health class this same student told
me she wasn't going to go back to the RTC room again,
because she doesn't want to miss any "fun stuff."
Looking back at her data, after this incident, her RTC
referrals have gone down considerably. She used to go to
the RTC at least 3 times a week. Now she has had 3 weeks
without going to the RTC room at all, and one week where
she only went one time. I think she's making some better
6. RTP In Special Education Pre K- 5th Grade by Carl
Even with the very young Special Education students, the
concepts of the Responsible Thinking Process are
understood. While observing students, they assert their
right to a peaceful classroom. This occurrence countered
the expectation that these concepts were beyond the
grasp of early elementary Special Education students.
In the one instance, Kindergarten students criticized a
student having a temper tantrum saying they could not
hear the teacher and she was disrupting.
In another instance a mildly delayed student was very
fully aware of what would happen if his disruption
continued. I conclude that these students do comprehend
7. RTP In the Fifth Grade by Deb Endicott
When we started the year, three of my students were
frequent flyers in the RTC. About six weeks into the
program, they got the picture. The first quarter grades
were done and two of the three boys were passing all of
the subjects. When I went to calculate for Honor Roll,
both boys were very close to earning Honor Roll. I had
to check my computation twice. I couldn't believe it. My
pre-set mind did not include them as a possibility for
Honor Roll. But they proved me wrong. Way to go.
8. RTP from the Perspective of Maintenance by Kim
I work as a consultant with the building construction,
and I don't interact on a regular basis with any of the
students. I have noticed a significant difference in the
amount of garbage, graffiti, and cigarettes left outside
the building, as well as incidents of broken windows and
other building damage. Since the school started the
Responsible Thinking Program, such problems have greatly
The other night our son, Kevin was coming back from the
store at 10:00. He helps out with maintenance there
sometimes. He told my wife, Kim, and I that the kids in
the village were playing tag football in the street
lights by the store. There must of been 30 kids there
sitting on the 4-wheelers and snow-gos. Kids were
laughing, and enjoying playing the game on the "warm"
winter night. Kevin said that would not of happened last
year. All the kids playing together and having fun.
Kevin said "See Mom, that RTP is doing good." He's
right, when it is brought to my attention - their social
skills are better. Hat's off to RTP.
9. RTP in the Lunchroom by Corey Evans
I was working in the lunch room near the beginning of
the year, and met a student at the entrance to the gym.
The student was calling another student a nasty name
when I arrived, so I began to ask the five questions.
The student was unresponsive to the questions, and I was
stumped. I was getting ready to take him to the office,
which is what would have happened under the old system.
I was disappointed because the student was going to miss
his whole lunch recess and end up talking to the
principal over something that could be handled right
away. I was not even sure that he understood why I was
talking to him or if he understood the questions, since
the program was still new.
Right about the time I was
going to say "let's go to the office" I had an idea. I
said, "By not answering, you're telling me you do not
want to work on this right now. Is that what you want?"
I then told him if he did not want to work on this now I
could take him to the RTC. He could think about it
there, and we could work on this later. Well my concern
about his understanding was soon gone because the
student responded and said that he would work on this
right now and he did not want to go to the RTC. I then
talked with the student about using bad language. After
an apology, he returned to his lunch recess with his
first reminder but had no further problems.
10. RTP In The Classroom by Marlis Evans (Clark's Point
is another school in the Southwest Region School
It is hard as I don't have much discipline in my
classroom but I've realized I am going to use RTP in my
classroom because I have one or two students with whom I
take time out and they aren't being responsible.
It is a success story when I read the chapter on the
coach where the coach found out that students buy in or
take it as there own it is their team and it should be
11. RTP In Special Education 5th - 8th Grade by Sam
Here is my success story. After just a few months, I now
conclude that the students have the Responsible Thinking
questions down in their minds. I asked one student the
first question last week. She responded just like the
book said another student did. She stated, "I know," and
spoke all the answers and said that she was going to
back to work. Our students now know the consequences of
their actions. As a result, in class we don't have to
take as much time to ask students questions. We can ask
just two questions: "What are you doing?" and "What is
going to happen next?" The student knows what is going
to happen next so he or she can start making good
choices. Even though they do go to RTC, I think we have
made progress this way. Students know the process and
purpose of questions now.
The same student compared to last year is calmer now.
She argues less, and she is not getting away with
certain behaviors that usually she would "get away
with." The student is working more in class now and
spending less time disrupting other students. This has
been possible as a result of our dedication to the
Responsible Thinking Process.
12. RTP In High School Science by Martin Hutchison
I have a female student who seems to enjoy being very
rude. Perhaps the perception that she is trying to
control is that she is "above" correction and so uses
rudeness and sarcasm to try to drive away authority.
This student reacted to the RTP process by finding the
finest line to hover on to avoid being called to think
about her rudeness. After she had two RTC referrals in a
row, where she escalated after the referrals prior to
leaving the classroom for the RTC, we put her on an
earn-back process where she had to show, 10 minutes per
day, that she could behave in my class.
The earn-all process made it harder to enjoy her
"victory" over me (by taking my time and ruining my
lessons) because she was then unable to attend classes
for long enough to bask in her glory. The first few days
she tried to, but then she began to realize that she
would rather be in the classroom rather than RTC. She
tried to complain her way back in, but she only had
control of her behavior, not of my class. She had to
make the decision to
control herself and live by the class rules in order to
be a part of the class. She did eventually make that
decision by the second week.
13. RTP in Middle School Science by Jim Hutson
At the beginning of the school year, I was having
behavioral problems with a sixth grade girl. I sent her
to RTC several times with little improvement. She would
not stay focused. She came to class without her
textbook. We started planting seeds in science class. I
had only a limited amount of potting soil. She planted a
small bean seed. It grew and she got very excited about
The next Saturday, I just happened to be at her
grandfather's local store and asked for potting soil.
When I told him what we were doing he gave me a huge bag
free. I took it to school and she planted many different
plants. She took the plants home and later brought back
4" bean pods and ate them in class.
She told me that she had a regular garden in her house
with all kinds of plants. The next time I talked to the
grandfather he said that he had a house full of plants
from his granddaughter. He was very pleased! She has
upgraded her attitude in science class and is proud of
finding her book. She has become my best student. Just
today, she brought me large bean seeds she had raised.
She was ready to plant them. I told her that she may
have a "green thumb."
14. RTP In Middle School Language Arts by Kathy Hutson
Wow, today was the first day that every student, (6th
7th and 8th),in Language Arts classes stayed on task.
Everyone was quietly working. No disruptions, not even a
single RTP question was asked. I told them how proud I
was of them! Now I know why we have worked so hard on
this program. Finally I have time to teach everything on
the Lesson Plans. I am sure, we will have our rough days
but this is so nice.
I also have a 6th grade boy, who was very disruptive at
the beginning of this school year. He was very rude to
his classmates and teachers. He had a very defiant
nature. As time passed and we went through many
negotiations on his plans, we started building a
relationship. I learned he had a very rough home life.
He saw I really cared about him and his future. His hard
outer shell started to melt away. He came to our house
and helped my husband repair his boat. He worked for
over an hour. What a change in his behavior. These are
the days I love being a teacher!
15. RTP in 1st and 2nd Grade by Mary Ann Isaacson
I am amazed of how much one student has progressed since
the beginning of the year. It took three trips to the
Responsible Thinking Classroom for this student to make
up his mind to comply with the rules in school. The
student had had problems all year in the previous grade
and he continued these behaviors the first three days of
Now he's confident, happy and does his very best. He was
student of the month for the month of November. When I
ask the Responsible Thinking questions, he answers, "I
know, I know..." and gets back on task.
16. RTP in 1st and 2nd Grade by Pete Isaacson
Most of the plans students have returned from the RTC
with have been vague and general.
"I will listen to the teacher."
"I will be quiet."
"I will not do ______."
These are common sentences they write. This week a
student had a specific plan which he followed. He is a
student prone to talking a lot and he sits by two girls
who also talk. His plan was to move away from them if
they tried to talk to him. I told him he could move
without asking me. It worked. During independent reading
he picked up his books, walked over to a corner, sat
down on the floor, and read his books. I think this
points out the importance of students have a strategy to
use to help them follow their plan.
17. RTP In a Small School by Kip Layton, Jr. (Clark's
Point is another school in the Southwest Region School
I am happy to be in the RTP class and find the process
very interesting. Our school only has fourteen students.
Six of them make up my class. I haven't had much need to
set up a classroom or deeply ingrain RTP in our school,
but I have found success in using the questioning
When I first began asking them, "What are you doing?"
they gave me a dumbfounded look as to say, "What do you
think I am doing?" It was a way for them to stall and
search for an answer. Now they simply state what they
were doing and immediately begin to analyze whether it
is what they are supposed to be doing and the
consequences of their actions. Sometimes they just
rattle off the answers to the next questions.
I notice them thinking more of their actions before they
act and I am using the questions less often. To me, that
18. RTP In Art Class by Norel Miller
About two months after implementing the RTP at our
school, I had a student who had become a frequent flyer
in most of her classes. She had started off the year
well, a big improvement from the previous year, but she
had fallen back into her old habits pretty fast. One day
in class, she caused a disruption, and we went through
the questioning process.
After asking the questions, she
went back to her work with enthusiasm. A while later,
she disrupted again. As soon as I looked her way, her
face fell. I began the questioning process a second
time, and she began nodding her head. She knew right
away what she had done. She had become familiar with the
process and had accepted that it was her actions that
caused the disruptions.
Dealing with this student in the
past, she had never accepted fault, and always shifted
blame. This was a sign to me that the process was
working. For a student to take responsibility for her
actions, even if the negative actions continue, is a
huge step in the right direction.
19. RTP Success Story as a Mentor by Fanny Parker
As a statewide mentor this year, I have seen many
students here and there and everywhere. The success story I want to share
one of my observations in one of the Togiak School
classrooms. It was
student work time and everyone was on task, working
I saw a student, who normally likes to act out, being
respectfully by a teacher the RTP questions. That
student complied with the teacher, instead of acting
out, looked and listened instead to the teacher; made a
good choice and ended up doing well the rest of the
I was leery at first when I saw the eyes zooming around
and when the
student chose to obey and make a good choice, I was so
proud. That is
my success story.
20. RTP Success Story in Maintenance by John Parker
As a maintenance man, I do not have a lot of direct
contact with students, my success story is with the
structure of the program. Kids are more concentrated on
doing classroom work and doing what they're suppose to do
in school. The kids that are not doing their
schoolwork are usually helped in the RTP room. These
students are not wandering the halls unsupervised which
results in less chance of vandalism, and wear and tear
on the building.
The RTP Program keeps everyone in the school working
together and the students realize this and come to
school to learn. The kids also have more respect for
21. RTC Success Story by Teo Pauk
One day a frequent flyer said this RTC is a joke. "We're
not learning anything".
I asked him, "What are you doing right now?"
"I'm writing a plan so I can go back to
I said "No," and asked him the question again. "What are
you really doing right now?"
He said, "Are you blind? I'm writing this stupid plan so
I can go back to class!"
I gave him a second to chill. Then I asked him in a
soft voice, "Do you really want to know why you're
"Yes! Tell me why I'm here," he said in a loud voice.
I told him he is in the RTC to learn from the mistakes
he's made in class. The student is no longer a frequent
flyer. I ran into him in the hall one day and asked him,
"How come you don't come and visit us in the RTC?"
He smiled and said, "I already learned from my mistakes
in the RTC."
22. RTP In The District Office by David Piazza
While I have not had the opportunity to be part of the
Togiak team who are implementing the RTP model on a
daily basis, I have been able to begin to utilize a few
of these techniques around the office and with my
While my wife Kim and I have always joked about our
family trips as 3,000 miles of "wonderful" family
bonding, we know that the time spent viewing the miles
of corn fields across the Midwest as we traveled most recently from Seattle to Washington DC has helped to
develop positive relationships with our children.
During the work year, it been easy to get caught up in
the day-to-day, never ending details of work and not
appreciate the few evening hours or weekend time when
the family is at home together. During this class, I
have especially made a conscious effort to think about
making each and every interaction with my children a
quality time. I have had the opportunity to spend extra
time ice skating this Fall with my children. While in
some respect this single activity does not seem to be
all that important, it reminds me that every little
effort to provide and create quality time with my
family, co-workers, and my community will pay dividends
in the future.
23. RTP in High School Language Arts by Larry Dale
My classes include students from different grade levels.
Some times they get on each other's nerves. In the past,
different students would exchange words to the point
that their argument would finally become verbal, perhaps
During this past two weeks, two separate students asked
for a "Chill Pass." Rather than exhibit antipathy toward
another student during class, they realized that there
was another option. They decided to separate themselves
from a potentially unsetting environment. As a result,
the class was not disrupted. After the unsettling moment
had passed, they returned to class and gave focused
attention to their assignment.
24. Intelligent and Talented by Jill Thweatt
In chapter 27, it talks about a student who is
intelligent and talented. One of my students is
intelligent and talented. He was frequently going to the
RTC up until this week. I talked to him one time when he
came back to negotiate. I asked him what he wanted out
of this class? Before, when I asked him during our
negotiation, he didn't seem to care. He said a couple of
times he wanted to get a good grade. He said he didn't
want to be in the class because the class was too hard.
I asked him if other things in his life were hard to
"When you had to learn to read and write, was it hard?"
He said. "Yes." Then he said that he would like to pass
the class. I told him if he wanted help that I would
help him after school. I asked him if he wanted my help?
He looked at me and said, "Yes."
The next day he asked me when the class was going to be
fun? I told him we were doing the fun things while he
was working in the RTC. Today we did an experiential
exercise in Social Studies. I told the class that I was
going to choose someone who I thought needed to be more
responsible. I chose him. In the exercise, he was to be
the leader, or Emperor of China. The student was head of
four sets of students for the exercise. He monitored and
kept those groups on task and didn't get obnoxious or
25. RTP at a School Dance by Theo Weber
On Saturday November 19, 2005, I was chaperoning a dance
at the school. There were students from early elementary
to alumni at this dance. About half way through the
evening three third or fourth grade boys pushed a fourth
boy into the girls bathroom. I went up to the boys and
asked them to come with me and sit at a table in the
corner. I knew that they were a little afraid that I
would make them leave. Instead, I started with the "What
are you doing?"
They knew exactly what they had done and that it was not
part of the rules for the dance or the school. When I
asked them what they should do? They had a little
conference and decided that they needed to apologize to
the fourth boy and invite him to play with them. Much
later, when I checked, the four of them were still
together and had not gotten any other warnings. I felt
that they learned something about the feelings of
26. A successful look at RTP - Patricia
Wick -Middle School 5-8
As many teachers are aware, learning math is very
sequential. After a quarter of many, many disruptions
via the RTP process, we had not covered as much material
as we should have. Also, I believe that some of the
disruptions at the end of the quarter were being caused
because the students were frustrated with the fact they
did not understand anything that was being presented.
Even though time was spent with various students after
school to help them catch up, these students were really
missing the time spent in the classroom listening and
participating in the lessons. Also, they were not doing
the homework…basically because they could not. Even
though I already use alternative assignments for
individual students, they were still just falling way
behind and keeping the others back. Therefore, I decided
to separate my class into two groups after a final
quarter test at the end of the week. One group sat in
front, the other in back.
Many of the students in the slower group were very
intelligent, but were frequent flyers, while a few were
just poor students. As a start to the new quarter, we
began with a discussion as to why these students were
getting those low grades and what we could do about it.
Many students listed frequent trips to the RTC as a
problem. Then we discussed their goals for the new
quarter and how they could help each other meet their
goals. This was very worthwhile, and showed that the
students had been thinking about it and realized the
effect of their choices on their school lives. Through
community discussions we came up with a strategy for
increasing their grades in math class. I say community
because while the back people were discussing the
problem, the front people were listening very intently.
Also, after class was over, I heard the interaction
between both groups of students.
In a couple of weeks we will reach the end of the second
quarter. In that time, the number of frequent flyers has
gone from five students to two students in this
particular class. In fact, I got to send one ex-frequent
flyer to the RTC to share with the RTC teachers their
specific goal and discuss their success reaching their
goal. The RTC teacher was happy to be able to talk to a
student who was succeeding. During the second quarter I
have seen that both groups have benefited by this split
and our discussions about how their behavior is
affecting their learning. I can proudly say that all,
but the two continuing frequent flyers, have passed
their math class covering three times the material.
These student's have a better buy-in to their learning
and now even ask questions during lecture or labs. They
have learned how to be students!