I teach obedienc school a couple of nights a week but it has always been structured 6-8 week classes with a set curriculum. We offer drop in at an intermediate level but by then everyone has the basics down. There has been an interest in a drop in beginner class. Some of the people have taken beginner and want a few more weeks before moving on to CGC class or something more advanced or they want to occassionally drop in and brush up on skills. Others have never taken a beginner class. I know some places do this and it is just a constantly rotating class schedule but I am a tad confused. I want to make sure everyone gets what they need and at the same time that no one is bored. Any suggestions??
Jen and the crew!
The only problem I see with a drop-in beginner obedience class is you will likely get a lot of people with "good intentions" that because they haven't made any real financial commitment as they would for a 6-8 wk class that you will see a lot of "drop-outs" and people coming back sporadically looking for quick fixes and frustrated by you when you try to explain it isn't a quick fix. Drop in for the follow up to beginner seems ok, since those owners will likely have a better appreciation for the worth of a course -- period & have learned enough in the beginner's course to be able to have more flexibility with the drop-in option.
Thanks! That's the "target" audience ~ the people who have taken beginner and need a refresher etc. I just didn't want to exclude the newbies with good intentions... idk ~ seems like a fun idea in theory but not sure if it will work... We also thought about doing one just for singles! Thanks for the reply!
Jen and the crew!
Once someone has graduated from one of our Beginner classes, we do not allow them to repeat. They move onto intermediate automatically. Beginner is an awful lot of basics -- this is a dog, this is a leash, here's how to use a collar, here is heel position -- that once learned, don't offer a lot of benefit in repetition. Sometimes that intermediate class involves a lot of review for brushup purposes (which is where we assistant handlers come in!), but it's always moving forward.
So a drop-in beginner rate doesn't apply.
The only time I've seen our instructor allow a repeat of a beginner class is if a handler has gotten ill or injured and missed more than half the 10-week classes.
Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]
"Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)
Thanks! We are going to give it a go on a trial basis and see what happens.... our Basics are very basic too but we seem to have some people that finish it and for whatever reason can't get into next class until fall or whatever due to their schedules. This is just an option for them to drop in once a week or once a month to keep with it until the next class. I guess worse case scenario is it will get confusing if we get a real "newbie" and then others who want a refresher. I'm thinking that I might break them into small groups enabling some people to work on real basics like sit while others throw in a wait or add distractions. I guess I'll see how it goes! We are offering it on a trial basis with the potential of putting it on the "real" schedule in the fall if it flies... Thanks again for the advice!
Jen and the crew!
I've never been involved in the teaching side of a newbie class, but have taken a handful over the years, so this is coming from that perspective only.
I think a drop in option for someone that has either graduated from the beginner level or has previous dog training experience sounds like a good idea. I think a drop in option for a real newbie is a recipe for disaster. I think they would need too much instruction. I just remember having brand new, first time dog owners in my classes and how much time they required for the very basics....and how frustrating that can be for the people that want to start learning more.