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School visits local hill, asked to assist

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm helping running a local hill. Everybody works for free and the local non-profit sports club owns the stuff.

We're buying some gates and are going to try to get some training started.


In a few weeks a school has rented the hill and was told we can set a course if they like.

Now I was asked to help them with some kind of instruction.


Normally I don't have any problems recommending drills and assist with stuff, but I'm thinking that in a bus load of school kids, only some will probably be interested, and the levels will probably be very different.


I'm thinking about how this scenario would be dealt with the smartest way. Do you guys have any suggestions what I should do? I don't want to become a booring teacher spoiling their fun day away from school.


In a way I'm not sure the kids need me at all. But as I was asked, I think it's best to be there and try to be of assistance in some way. But how? :)


Note: I was a ski instructor in the 90's. I'm not asking for drills. I'm more asking for how to approach this, not knowing if my services are wanted by the students.



(Hope my english is comprehensible)

post #2 of 4

First, I would contact the school personnel who will be accompanying the kids.  Ask them about their expectations.  They may be reluctant to tell you because you're a volunteer and they don't feel like they can order you around, so if they are not clear, keep at it until you understand what they want.  After that, you should have a better idea about what you should be doing when they show up.


Have a plan of what you intend to do.  If you don't have a structured plan in place before they get there, you will not be able to build one after they have arrived.  As soon as you let them loose, you've lost control of the situation.  This may be just exactly what is the best thing to do, but just don't expect to corral them after you've let them go.  Be flexible, though.  Often those structured plans have to be changed or thrown out completely when you're faced with reality, but if you don't have a place to begin, you won't start at all.


Also, if you decide to have some kind of structured activity (lessons, races, etc.) you should let the school know so that they can prepare the kids.  They will be much more receptive if they have an idea of what is to come (in educationese it's call an "anticipatory set") and they won't just blast off of the bus and scatter.  Make sure you tell the school that you want this information disseminated, they have a lot of stuff to do in a day and this may be way down on their list.  Email them some kind of written document about what you'll be doing that they can easily give to the students.  It should not be long and verbose, just a few details to let them know you're there and have a plan.  It will make the school's job easier if you put it in Word and attach it to your email so they won't have to do any editing.  Make their job as easy as possible and you will get more of what you want.


Lastly, relax.  Being confronted with a bunch of kids who may not all be there by choice can be daunting, but you will survive, and so will they.  Have fun and enjoy the "ah ha!" moments.  It should be a blast.

post #3 of 4



It depends on what you get. If there are kids on the bus that have never skied before, you won't have much choice. Those kids get a lesson while everyone else skis. Depending on how long the kids are there, you may be able to set a lesson time later on for when experienced skiers can drop by for instruction. If everyone has skied before, you'll have to do triage when kids show up for lessons. The fewer kids you have, the more you will be able to take one group out with mixed abilities and still be successful. The more teaching experience you have, the better able you will be to teach different lessons to different people at the same time. Other than that, you'll need to choose who will be able to teach. You'll probably be able to get a good first cut just asking questions. You may need to do a ski off and send the kids who are too good to go ski on their own. On a worst case basis, you end up taking everyone together on a tour of the hill and you just teach the stragglers as a means to keep the group together.

post #4 of 4

Carl - we have the exact same thing going on with the schools where I live. Kids are accoustomed to winter and snow. Usually when a school goes on a trip like this the kids that own downhill skis ski on the slopes and the ones that dont ski crosscountry. I allways flet like the request for instructors in situations like this was more a quest for disiplinary and safety reasons. But you should check with the school and ask them for example how many have their own stuff and how many are going to rent if you have renting. Then you should be able to get a confirmation how many are interested in instruction. I bet there are not many but you will have to give a price. School will not pay so its the students. And the students rather buy a RedBull from the cafeteria than waste it on instruction.


You are right. They are there to have fun. Dont spoil it for them with booring lessons. Supervice them if you are payed for.

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