Inspiring The Next Teachers

Happy 2018! I hope this new year brings you lots of positive adventures and look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones too in my travels . It looks like it will be a busy year.

I have had some time these past couple of weeks to reflect. I should have been writing modules for the online course but my head was not clear enough for that (yes I got that nasty bug), and it was too cold to do any real videoing for the course. So, while I sorted through years of paperwork, I allowed my thoughts to wander.

Monty atop Icky with Alex by their side

I have been a teacher for many years and have taught many different things, not just clicker.

Whether by circumstances or temperament I was always driven to learn. In my childhood, I had almost no access to riding instructors but I read everything I could get my hands on. This was partly because of my love of learning but primarily to find help for the many issues my first horse came with. Not only my first horse but also my first ‘thinking outside the box’ horse as none of the suggestions in the normal horse training books worked. That was over 50 years ago and I thank her for all she taught me about training. Thinking back, I realize that it was also my first experience of using food to reinforce behaviour.

Many years later, I again had to come up with an ‘out of the box’ solution, but this time it was with children and my teaching job.

Talk about baptism by fire. I was a brand new teacher and my first job was in a challenging area of the city. The kids were underperforming teens- shut down, angry , not wanting to be there and it was my job to try to motivate them and get them back into mainstream classes – oh boy!

Through very individualized plans and cooperative learning with their peers I was able to get them all back and functioning in a real classroom. The hardest part for me was sending them back into a world that neither encouraged their creativity nor celebrated what they had to offer.

Many years later I had to come up with a better way to teach my own kinesthetic learner, my daughter, her multiplication tables.

She loved to ride ( wonder where she got that from) so I set up the answers to the ones she was struggling with on cards posted around the arena. I gave her a few choices but managing her environment to set her up for success. I would ask the question and she would ride to the answer. This was how she needed to learn and it worked very well.