Surf’s Up! TAGteach Without a TAGteach Instructor

Tag! I'm It!

 

by Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT, KPACTP, TAGteach Level 2

Following the amazing-as-always ClickerExpo, I headed southeast to join friends and family for a Caribbean vacation. It was delightful; home was 4 degrees Fahrenheit when I left for San Francisco, where the rainy 60s felt lovely, and 80 degrees on a sandy beach felt positively euphoric.

And I learned to surf.

Well, sort of. Our ship was equipped with a FlowRider, an artificial surf machine. I’d seen one before at a water park, but I’d never tried it, and some of us decided to give it a whirl. We joined the others, a mixture of novices and really talented surfers, and I braced myself on a board, listened to the instructor, and gave it my best.

(more…)

TAGteaching to TAG Thinking – So Much More than Just Dog Training for People

Life Lessons

By Ann Aiko Bergeron MFA

It all began with a Border Terrier named Ninja. Then a clicker in my hand. Now it’s simply a way of life. As a university professor who trains dancers, TAGteaching came as a natural progression of my obsessive interest in clicker training. At first I was hesitant to bring the techniques into a professional adult training program. Would my students think I was crazy? Would my university colleagues think I had gone off the deep end? Encouraged by Theresa McKeon, who sent me a box full of clickers after we had discussed the possibilities at a Clicker Expo, I told my classes that they were going to be my guinea pigs – that I had no idea where TAGteaching was going with them, but please humor me. Fortunately, I’m not known as the most conservative dance teacher, so they moved forward with goodwill and playful curiosity.

Laying the Foundation

Before beginning TAGteaching in the dance class, I first had to set the foundation for the work, attempting to extinguish the foundation of fear-based training, which, unfortunately, traditional dance training has been steeped in for centuries. Dance classes were (and often still are) a place where you needed to be “good” or you would generally feel humiliated (either externally or self-imposed).  Many performing artists are severe type A’s. They can’t tolerate the idea of not being “good enough” or “right” and spend incredible amounts of wasted energy in self-denigration and negativity.  From day one I make it very clear that “wrong” and “right” don’t exist in my class – there are only focus points.

(more…)

TAGteacher Spotlight: Laura Monaco Torelli

Laura mt circle2Laura Monaco Torelli, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) and a member of the KPA faculty, is the Director of Training for Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago. She works in collaboration with veterinary behaviorist Dr. John Ciribassi at Animal Behavior Partners, and is staff with Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants. Laura is also TAGteach Level 2 certified. Since 1991, Laura has worked with and trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins (at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago), primates, large cats, birds of prey, reticulated giraffes, Arctic foxes, horses, parrots, macaws, tree kangaroos, and red pandas (at the San Diego Zoo, Brookfield Zoo and Niabi Zoological Society) and of course, dogs (just about everywhere).

(more…)

Theresa McKeon to Host TAGteach World Summit in Verona

TAGteach World Summit boats for blog

TAGteach co-founder Theresa McKeon will host the first ever TAGteach World Summit in Verona Italy on September 4-6, 2015. After 12 years of development and with more than 1200 certified TAGteachers around the world, TAGteachers will finally come together to share experiences and best practices. This will be be an intimate gathering with lots of opportunity for collaboration and discussion with top TAGteachers from around the world, including TAGteach co-founders Joan Orr and Karen Pryor.

And what better place for a meeting of the thought leaders for a new and emerging teaching technology, than amid the history and beauty of  Verona Italy? Local host and Level 3 TAGteacher Luca Canever will speak on various topics as well as delighting small groups on with free tours of the ancient city.

(more…)

The TAGteach Approach to Challenging Behavior in the Classroom

Want great beahvior-

By Luca Canever, TAGteach Faculty

At School

A new pupil with ADHD (I’ll call him J.) arrived in my sixth grade class a while ago. As soon as I was able to find the right reinforcement for him, I was also able to strengthen “good” (for the teacher) behaviors, such as sit, write or watch what is written on the blackboard. I was able to tag (make a click sound with tagger) in order to mark (bring to his attention) his “good” behaviors and follow up with a reinforcer (something he liked and wanted to get more of). After the first hour of practice, J. understood the significance of the tag sound and began to exhibit these behaviors more consistently. There is just one problem remaining to be solved, and that is the subject of this article… transitions.

(more…)