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Feb 8th, 2014 - Instructor Meeting Notes

Feb 8th - Instructor Meeting Notes

I put the pup with the football on this page in celebration of the great Seahawks Super Bowl win and for the two pups who actually showed up for Puppy Confidence on Super Bowl Sunday - as well as a full house for Headstart which was scheduled at kick off time! Kim made tug toys in team colors for those who came to class.

Thanks, Amy, Vicki, Charlie, Kim and Stacy for coming and to Dana for making wi-fi possible!

Plans for future meetings - it was agreed that monthly business meetings were a good idea and perhaps we could practice going over class curriculum and how to present certain topics and exercises. Our next business meeting will be Saturday, March 29th at 6:30PM

Also proposed is a "Dinner and a Show" night - social get together with munchies and watch seminar/training dvds. First on the calendar, Suzanne Clothier's "Intro to Relationship Centered Training" March 1st 6:30PM. We'll order pizza or whatever and have it delivered. Many of us have some great educational videos on our bookshelves.

Online Forms. New online registration form and online student profile. They used to say "I filled the profile out online" and it wasn't true. Now it is. Again, they may think that the Registration Form to reserve their class is the same online form as the Release Form/Student Profile. But of course, they are not the same. We are getting MUCH more detailed information via the online profile. It's a good thing! Please go fill out a "test" form and submit it so you can get a feel for how the forms work and so you and answer questions that may come up. Copies of the profiles will be attached to the class rosters as always.

On the class roster there are check boxes to mark whether you received the VPS (vet permission slip) and the OLP (online profile) so you can check to see if we got them already and check the boxes as you collect them. Biggest problem is that some people don't check their registration email until right before class, so the profiles are getting to me after Dana has taken the rosters over. I will try to email to let you know they did come in. Dana asked that assistants please write the scores from the profile on the roster when they collect profiles during class.

On-site class curriculum binder - There will be a large, bright green 3-ring binder in the instructor drawer where we will keep updated copies of class curriculum and handouts for all of our classes. As you revise your curriculums, please keep the binder up-to-date. I know that many of the classes are fairly free-form, and what you teach each week depends on the ability/social level of students. A basic outline, week-by-week of topics and skills covered and how you run the exercises would be great, so if you suddenly can't make it to class, someone else can pick it up and run with it. (We can use the exercises as a spring board for our instructor meeting topics.) I have some curriculum materials on file, but not all, and what I do have are probably not current. Please email me your class curriculm files so I can print them and put them in the binder. I'd like to get it compiled and in the drawer before the next meeting. If I don't get something from you, you will be responsible for printing and organizing your class materials in the binder. All classes should be kept up-to-date in the binder.

"Going Green" Beginning students will receive their handbooks as always (yes, the re-write is in process.) Prep and all Advanced class handouts will be uploaded onto the website under the Class Schedule button > select "Homework" from the drop down menu. The actual homework packets will be password protected and you will give students the password to their homework on the first week of class. Extra handouts (like Kim had me upload the "Tug" handout for the Puppy Confidence students) can be added to the page without requiring a password. Passwords are simple - prep2014, finishing2014, etc. (lowercase, no spaces.)

Please email your homework packets in pdf format (or if you are unable to save them as a pdf, I can convert them for you) and let me know what you'd like the password to be. Any time you update/edit your packet, just send me another and I will update the online packet. I know we revise often, and this is not a problem. Please go to the link above and walk through how it works so you can best explain it to your students. It's working well so far. (You will need to keep a few handouts on hand for those who don't have computers.) I've had several calls from people who didn't remember the password, so this last class I wrote it on a post-it note and gave it to each of them.

We didn't delve into the topic of the fall schedule very far. A couple of typos were corrected. Amy will assist Vicki for Me & My Dog - Vicki may still needs someone to assist her for the Agility class if Amy can't. It should be someone who has some agility knowledge and can help with set up and take down of the obstacles. Dana will be building a storage shed for the equipment. We also discussed the conflict of having both Agility for Fun and Spring in to Summer Fun on the same month. There may not be enough students to fill both? (Agility class already has 2 people registered!) Vicki/Amy and Diane/Judy will find a time to meet to discuss the how's and whens of making this work. We added a CGC class for July. Yay! There are already 4 confirmed students on the list with a possible 5th (Lisa Lucas). Possible that we may need to add another CGC later this fall as a few students have listed CGC in their goals for their dog.

Cathy Fox will be available to provide an as-needed "Not Ready For Prime Time" special-ed class on Thursday evenings at 7:30 for dogs who are not thriving in the regular classes. This class will likely start somewhere between week 2 & 3 and be dogs transferred out of regular classes. As Amy pointed out, we don't want to be one of "those schools" who kicks students out of class (or have them go to an icky trainer), but we also want to be fair to our other students so they get a great class and aren't worried about their safety. We will continue to do our best to use barriers and help those who cannot switch to a Thursday night or afford private work, but will also excuse dogs from class if they are not safe. We will offer other options for liability/high risk dogs.

We discussed the importance of keeping an eye on who hasn't arrived yet and watching the parking lot for late arrivals to avoid having them come bounding in and surprise the class - especially if it's a problem student. Having the assistant ready to meet them outside and escort them around back and bring them in via the back door if necessary. We also discussed the frustration of those students who cannot keep a hold of their leashes to save their souls - and one in particular who TOOK THE LEASH OFF in Kim's class when they barricaded her and her highly reactive dog in the store. Instructors weren't aware until the dog got OUT of the store. :-/ Even if they tether their dogs, instruct students that they should still leave their leash on and hold the leash. Common sense is sometimes not as common as it should be!

I know I'm forgetting stuff. If you think of anything I forgot, please let me know!

MARCH 1st - Dinner and a Show - Suzanne Clothier DVD

MARCH 29th - Business meeting - please email topics you'd like on the agenda

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