Ok, I know it sounds mean and that's not how I mean it. But I just came across a website about dog training and I've learned so much about my dog, and then I started to think about my students, and found a lot of similarities. Not between the dogs and the students, but in how we train them, how to be accepted as a (pack)leader, as an authority figure, what and how to allow things. This is the website: www.dogbreedinfo.com For example: dominant behaviors that are not so obvious to everyone - claiming space: dog jumps on the couch or bed. he's claiming that space and shows the owner that he's the leader. student sitting not in his assigned seat, even though he knows he's supposed to. He looks innocent, but he's testing to see if he can get away with it. If he can, he just got a little bite out of the power-pie. - barking / growling. No dog should growl, that is a dominant behavior. This is similar to students back talking, or even talking out turn. Or even just blurting out answer without raising their hands, even though they know the rules. That is a way to assert dominance. - we're not supposed to lower ourselves to our dogs (as far as status goes). This will confuse the dog as to know who the leader is. Most dogs are born as followers, and it's natural for them to follow one leader (human or dog). Anytime we do something (usually out of love) that lowers us to their level, it confuses them. It's the same thing with students. When we feel comfortable, (especially with high school age this can happen) and talk to them like equals, we blur the lines. This confuses them, and they're not sure who the leader is anymore. I think I'm guilty of this. I have a good connection with the kids (my P said that is one of my strengths, that I connected with them right away), but sometimes I overshare. I don't share personal information that they shouldn't know about, but I do share about my past experiences when we have discussions (usually this is in small groups). I still think this is ok, but I need to make sure they know that I choose to do this to help them (learn from my experiences), and this only happens when I choose to, not because all of sudden I'm one of them. I still need to maintain that I'm the pack-leader. It's the same with dogs. If I lay down with him on the floor, he needs to know that I'm still the leader. He can only jump on the bed or couch with me when I invite him, and he must get down when I tell him to, otherwise he'll be jumping there all the time, thinking we're equal. Thoughts?