Inspired Teaching Collection

Inspired Teaching brings together three video sessions from ClickerExpo that will engage and inspire those who teach with positive reinforcement. The collection features the live-stage presentations of Michele Pouliot, Kathy Sdao, and Theresa McKeon.

The collection includes:

  • Turn Me On (or Not): Inspiring Others to Choose Positive Reinforcement, with Michele Pouliot
  • Transforming an experienced trainer's skillset to a very different training skillset is not an easy journey. Many individuals and programs face the challenges of learning and trusting in a new and different way. This Session will help you understand the process of changing yourself, an organization, or individuals you witness using punishment-based training methods. Michele Pouliot has impacted the entire international guide-dog training world, shifting historical beliefs in successful traditional methods to the adoption of clicker training among a majority of guide-and service-dog programs. Michele has become an expert at motivating and assisting traditional programs and individuals in change, In this Session, she will share what she has learned over her now 17-year journey as a changemaker. Preview this video.
  • What a Pithy! Making Classes Memorable, with Kathy Sdao
  • Extended lectures lead to bored and noisy dogs. If we challenge ourselves to be creative, we can devise teaching approaches that are brief, memorable, and effective. Metaphors, analogies, parables, and anecdotes can convey broad or advanced concepts meaningfully. Cartoons can also express ideas succinctly; just think about how much impact a political cartoon can have. This presentation will be an exercise in generative thinking. It will attempt to spark your own ingenuity and give you fresh ideas for classes that may have become stale after years of repetition. Come prepared to learn innovative instructional tools that can bring life to your teaching. Preview this video.
  • Help Your Teacher Help You, with Theresa McKeon
    As a student, you appreciate a knowledgeable teacher—but sometimes teachers come with an abundance of information. On the other side of the relationship, maybe you are a teacher who has seen your students glaze over—and then scrambled to determine where you lost them and how to get them back up to speed. Add another species to the mix (dog, cat, bird, horse) and the potential for students and teachers to be overwhelmed is, well, overwhelming. With the right tools, students and teachers can regulate information, reduce stress, and have more fun while learning to train and compete with animals. Theresa will cover the 10 practical ways to help your teacher deliver information at an optimal pace for you. And, just in case you encounter a stubborn case of over-coaching, she will discuss how to take on the task of parsing incoming information and creating your own focus points. Preview this video.

Michele Pouliot | Kathy Sdao | Theresa McKeon

Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot began her animal-training career with horses. Acquiring her first dog was a move that changed Michele’s life; her career path changed to dog training, which progressed to guide dog training. When she joined Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), Michele began her career as a licensed guide dog instructor. In addition to training 350+ guide dog teams over 20 years, Michele led the adoption of clicker training for guide dogs and for the development of puppies raised for guide dog work. Michele also developed the program for GDB’s clients learning to clicker train their own guide dogs. Michele has been a pioneer in the guide dog industry worldwide; she and GDB assist other guide dog schools crossing over from traditional training to positive reinforcement/clicker training. In 2016, the International Guide Dog Federation presented Michele with a Lifetime Achievement award. Michele retired from her 42-year career with GDB, but continues to lead workshops around the world.

Michele has been active and successful in canine sports. She was involved in competition obedience for 20 years, winning four Obedience Trial Championships. In 2005, Michele discovered the new sport of Canine Musical Freestyle. Michele and her dogs have attained more than 10 Championship/Grand Championship titles and are winners of national and international freestyle competitions. Michele and Listo made history in the World Canine Freestyle Organization: the first team to receive perfect “10” scores in both Artistic and Technical categories! They repeated this achievement 23 more times with six routines. Michele travels extensively giving seminars on clicker training, particularly for dog sports. A ClickerExpo faculty member since 2008, Michele created KPA’s popular Canine Freestyle course. 

Kathy Sdao

Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent 30+ years as a fulltime animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. Kathy received a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, after which the United States Navy hired her to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Kathy next worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Later, Kathy co-created Tacoma’s first dog daycare facility, where she began teaching clicker training classes. Since 1998, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers. Kathy is proud to be an original ClickerExpo faculty member. Kathy has traveled across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan, and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace was published in 2012.

Theresa McKeon

After 30+ years as a national-level gymnastics coach, Theresa McKeon was determined to find a way to speed up skill acquisition for her athletes while simultaneously decreasing stress and fear in the learning environment. Her search for behaviorally sound techniques, clean instructions, and the proper timing of feedback and reinforcement, led to the development of the TAGteach methodology and TAGteach International, LLC. TAGteach has since evolved into an entire teaching protocol benefiting an endless variety of human applications.Theresa now consults and designs TAGteach programs in business management, industrial safety, medical and surgical training, sport coaching, family communication, and, of course, training for those who teach people to train their companion animals. She is a sought-after speaker around the world, including in Europe, the U.K., Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.