Continuing education is important to me. When I plan my professional year I take a hard look at this component. Having control over my own business and my own learning has its perks; but these days its easy to be overwhelmed with choices (what a great problem to have!). We are barely into the 2018 calendar year and I’ve already hit two of my major CE goals for the year. That’s exciting for me, as I am finally living my dream: I’m a student and a teacher every day of my life.
This past year I took Dr Susan Friedman‘s Living and Learning with Animals course. Every moment I was enthralled. Every assignment I was challenged. During every exchange with Dr Friedman or one of her TAs I wished my college experience had been more like this. I can’t express it deeply enough; take this course. Dive into it. Embrace it. Ask questions. It is worth way more than it will cost you.
Every year since 2013 I have attended Clicker Expo. When I first went it was nothing short of magic. I soaked up the inspirational talks, the like-minded trainers, and the shopping. Each year my experience has evolved, and fresh off my January 2018 Expo I am happy to say that I still find this conference worthwhile. The conversations I’ve had, the notes I’ve taken, and the mind-blowing research I’ve learned of at this unique event are invaluable. I’ll see you all there next January!
The Church of Manure and Hay
Just a few weeks ago I spent five days at The Ranch. This new facility is where trainers can go to learn hands-on from Ken Ramirez about husbandry, mechanics, shaping, and more. I worked elbow-to-elbow with trainers from across the globe caring for and training the charming goats, alpacas, and miniature donkeys that call The Ranch home. I ate exceptional food, enjoyed the most comfortable lecture room ever, and conversed with trainers whose experiences in the field are inspiring. I look forward to the multiple learning opportunities this facility has in the works; I know I will be back.
I know the best people. Seriously. At any time of the day or night I can fire off an email or text to any number of genius trainers, and have an answer within a day to all of my deepest inquiries. Just about every day I have the kind of meaty training talk that most people only fantasize about. If I have helped you, if you have found truth in the things I teach, know that I have truly stood on the shoulders of giants. Most continuing education comes from a place of financial privilege; that is not lost on me. This one, however, has nothing to do with my income for the past year or the next; and everything to do with another kind of privilege. The supreme privilege I feel every time I am around these people. You all know who you are; thank you for making me better every time we talk.
I don’t know any trainers who don’t have an education bucket list. I have a long one, and I hope to share more things I’ve crossed off in the coming year!