Positive Reinforcement


little yellow boat

In the world of education (which is my world) there is a lot of talk about positive reinforcement as opposed to punishment. As a teacher, an administrator, and a mother, I’ve never felt there was a whole lot of value in making a child feel guilty. It sure hasn’t made our chihuahua stop peeing on the floor, though he sure appears to understand his culpability. We’ve tried repeatedly “rubbing his nose in it,” then swatting him on the behind. He lowers his head, flattens his ears, and most certainly, the look on his face says, “I know. I did it. I’m bad.” We’ll find another yellow puddle tomorrow, just the same.

The reason I bring this up, is that positive reinforcement is the reason I’m starting this blog. You see, if you don’t want to read my stuff, you have only yourselves to blame. My big sister, who has regularly written a blog since her cancer diagnosis two years ago, recently honored me by making me her guest blogger for the week. The responses I received were so rewarding, that here I am, starting my  own blog.

Blogging guides generally suggest that a writer categorize her topics. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. I don’t like being hemmed in. I don’t even like appointments on my calendar, because they force me to adhere to a schedule. I’ll write what I feel like writing and I won’t keep to a schedule. If I feel I have something of value to say, or if I feel like I have a story to tell, I’ll write. Otherwise, I’ll keep quiet, just as I do during meetings in which I feel my input isn’t valuable. And Carole Anne, if you don’t want me to have a seizure, don’t point out any mechanics or usage errors.

I’m calling my blog www.littleyellowboat.com. If you know me at all, you know why. I’ll tack back and forth with my words, probably making very little progress one way or the other, sometimes just heading so far into the wind that I make no progress at all and other times, letting out the sail and zipping along so fast I can hear the centerboard humming.

I hope sometimes you’ll come along for the ride.