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Using People-Motivators in Class
A couple of months ago, I posted about problems I was having with people coming
late to class and not working with their dogs. Since then, I've instituted
some "people motivators."
I have a poster board filled with class lists. On each class list is the name
of each dog. When the dog shows up on time for class, I put a sticker next to
his name. I also have a dish full of candy and gum, and offer one to each
owner who shows up on time.
If a dog does something really well in class, or has a break-through of some
kind, I put a sticker next to his name. At graduation, the dog with the most
stickers gets the list to take home as a memento of his class.
This has had a surprising benefit. The dogs who do the best through-out class
most of the time do *not* have the most stickers. The dramatic changes that
earn stickers usually come to the ones who appear not to do as well. So it's
often the owner who thinks he has the "worst dog in class" who ends up with the
prize. He's usually puzzled when he gets it, and the others in class (I
usually don't have to say a thing :} will tell him, "She had the most
improvements." You can see these owners change their perspective immediately
about their "failing dog" to "she does learn, has improved, and can do even
I still have people coming late to class, but no longer just casually
sauntering in. Now they're full of apologies, and seem to make more of an
effort. And even though all the adults act like the stickers are silly, you
know they want to earn them. :}
It works pretty well.
PetsMart Pet Trainer
My Kids, My Students, My Life:
Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.
Leah, your scheme is quite marvelous. Good on you.
(I quit teaching for several years because I was ashamed of my
colleagues. They had stopped _thinking when they taught. That isn't
going to happen to you
Just because humans are slow and can't smell or hear
very well doesn't mean they don't possess a primitive
type of intelligence.
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