Thursday, September 6, 2012

TAGteacher Spotlight: Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Nearly ten years ago, Laura skipped a clicker training lecture to look in on an introduction to something she'd heard about called TAGteach -- and she's never looked back.

"Shaping human behavior incrementally just makes so much sense. We do it with the animals because it's easier for them and us both -- why not for human student and human teacher?"

Laura has incorporated TAGteach not only into her professional work, for training private clients with Canines In Action, Inc and as faculty with the Karen Pryor Academy, but into her personal life as well -- which finds her using TAG principles in organizing costume masquerades, in physical exercise form, in handling a firearm safely and shooting competitively, and in writing and editing. This fall she will tour the Indianapolis library system with Alena VanArendonk, teaching teenagers to dance THRILLER as part of a zombie-themed reading program and sneaking in TAGteach along the way. Check out Laura's video, The Thrill of Tag...

"TAGteach has really influenced how I view and approach challenges. I set more realistic goals -- measured by my actions, not anything out of my control -- and I'm much better about splitting big, daunting tasks into little ones I can actually do! I'm using self-tagging in so many ways. And don't tell, but my husband and I talk about ways to quietly implement tags in the project teams he manages, reducing stress and frustration under impossible deadlines and with workers on two continents. "

Laura's most recent self-tagging project was preparing to pitch to a literary agent, an experience made much simpler by good behavior preparation. She designed the popular ClickStats mobile app to track useful click or tag session data, making it easier to log rate of reinforcement and success ratios. Now she's working toward her Level 3 certification and is looking forward to introducing TAGteach to more learners and their instructors!

Laura is also an accomplished writer! You can get her book Kitsune-Tsuki on Amazon (winner of the 2012 Luminis prize). A bargain at only $0.99. Highly recommended!

For more information about Laura visit her website at Canines in Action

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