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Safety, Fun & Learning -- Let's Fix the Math!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

In judging the Successful Coaching contest, Bob Barnes made the following remark in a PM to the panel that he's allowed me to share, because I think it's brilliant and that we at EpicSki should mount a campaign to get the unofficial Ski Instructor's Credo mathematically correct.

 

 

Quote:
Many of the posts touch on some form of the cliche "safety + fun + learning," with which I've also long had a problem. To me, the arithmetic signs are wrong--it should be "safety X fun X learning"--meaning that if any of the three is a zero, the lesson is a failure. Too many instructors think that "as long as they had fun, it's enough--it was a great lesson." I know that if I took a lesson, and all I got out of it was a fun day, I'd want my money back!

 

Agreed? 

 

post #2 of 27

Hmm - I've always been taught "safety, fun and learning". The main emphasis has been consistently presented as the order represents the priorities for decision making. My opinion is that the key learning point in the axiom is that it is the instructors job to manage the trade offs between those 3 aspects of the lesson. You can't have fun without taking some risk, but getting hurt is no fun. Exploring the trade offs is one area where teaching skill can be developed.

post #3 of 27
It's a very interesting example of the "polarity-vs.-problem" notion that Weems so eloquently speaks of, isn't it? On the one hand it is true as you say, Rusty, that you cannot learn, or have much fun, without some risk. Seems like a trade-off, a balance--more of one means less of the other(s). There certainly are plenty of things that are fun but very dangerous, things that teach us a lot but that are not much fun, and things that are safe but boring and useless.

But is it not also true that a good instructor can increase the fun factor, the learning component, AND the safety, all together? To me, that is the imperative of good teaching.

They must all be there, elevated. There need be no compromise in any of the three elements. And if any one is missing, you multiply by zero, and the lesson is a failure.

Best regards,
Bob
post #4 of 27

What is your definition of "FUN"?

 

I am asking myself this question and realizing fun to me is finding exhilaration in my turns, runs, day.  This could be speed, or steepness, or snow condition based?  Fun could come in other forms based around personalities jiving and enjoying each others company?  Others it may be exploring new terrain or areas of interests.   

 

For a child it may be something else, for a senior yet another form?

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

I think learning is fun and safety makes both more likely to occur. I also think there should be some mention about having your biological needs satisfied. A hungry learner is an oxymoron in this sense. 

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

It's a very interesting example of the "polarity-vs.-problem" notion that Weems so eloquently speaks of, isn't it? On the one hand it is true as you say, Rusty, that you cannot learn, or have much fun, without some risk. Seems like a trade-off, a balance--more of one means less of the other(s). There certainly are plenty of things that are fun but very dangerous, things that teach us a lot but that are not much fun, and things that are safe but boring and useless.
But is it not also true that a good instructor can increase the fun factor, the learning component, AND the safety, all together? To me, that is the imperative of good teaching.
They must all be there, elevated. There need be no compromise in any of the three elements. And if any one is missing, you multiply by zero, and the lesson is a failure.
Best regards,
Bob

 

I'm thinking back to my first ESA (where Bob Barnes was my coach) at Big Sky, MT.  For those who weren't there, there was a safety-bar-less chairlift, which scared me as I am terrified of heights.  Then there was a long traverse, which I didn't like because I was convinced I was about to slip off and go on a slide-for-life into the bowl below.  And then finally there was a chute, which I never did like pointing my tips into.  And we did that a bunch, a couple times a day, for four days.  I hated hearing the question "who wants to go chute-ing?".

 

The 'fun" of going "chute-ing" was pretty much zero.  The perceived safety of doing that was, in my mind at least, somewhere around "suicidal".  Using Bob's formula above of multiplying the three factors, you'd get an awfully low score.

 

Now, to be fair, we definitely did other things during the ESA as well (something about "right tip right to go right" most likely...).in terrain that was far less intimidating.

 

However, looking back on my skiing career, I've often considered that Big Sky ESA and "The Chute"  to be exactly what I needed.  The breakthrough certainly wasn't there, and it wasn't immediately afterwards, but it was the "initial push through the door" (and it was definitely a "push", not a "walk") to get me to where I am today.  (Not to say that I'm in any danger of starring in the next TGR production, and I still have eek.gif moments, but they don't control me like they used to).

 

So, basically, a lesson experience where Fun x Safety x Learning scored a big fat zero was one of the most important lessons I've ever had.

post #7 of 27

If you don't like the rules, change the rules:

 

Make a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best and 1 the absolute worst (as in I'm going to ask for my money back).  No more zeros.  Problem solved.

 

You now have a scoring system that goes from 1 to125 and the math works.

 

Fun  5 * Safety  5, Learning  1 would get you 25

 

 

(sorry. fixed the math  redface.gif)


Edited by L&AirC - 8/3/12 at 4:25pm
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

...Agreed? 

 

Absolutely. It's just like in any other industry. You have to have a product that people want to buy, which complies with all regulations, at a price that people are willing to pay that allows a profit. Miss any element, and you fail.

post #9 of 27

I've been teaching skiing for five years now and I've found that if I'm not having fun the my students usually aren't. If I don't feel safe I can guarentee that the student does not feel safe, and if I feel like I wasnt teaching then I probably wasn't teaching. The easiest way for me to know if I have encorporated all three of those things is if I feel like I learned something new from the lesson.  

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

It's a very interesting example of the "polarity-vs.-problem" notion that Weems so eloquently speaks of, isn't it? On the one hand it is true as you say, Rusty, that you cannot learn, or have much fun, without some risk. Seems like a trade-off, a balance--more of one means less of the other(s). There certainly are plenty of things that are fun but very dangerous, things that teach us a lot but that are not much fun, and things that are safe but boring and useless.
But is it not also true that a good instructor can increase the fun factor, the learning component, AND the safety, all together? To me, that is the imperative of good teaching.
They must all be there, elevated. There need be no compromise in any of the three elements. And if any one is missing, you multiply by zero, and the lesson is a failure.
Best regards,
Bob

 

I think the key to the safety/fun/learning balance is the clients perception of all those things, the same run may seem incredibly safe, and not very fun to a skilled skier, an exciting challenge with a hint of danger for an intermediate and a terrifying ordeal full of danger for a beginner. Some clients will enjoy risks more than others, regardless of skill level. As always it's imperative to work out what your students desires and abilities are, that will result in a successful lesson. 

 

The idea of there being 'no compromises' on any of the elements is helpful in that obviously instructors must be encouraged to strive for high standards of all three, but again, in the end all that matters is the clients perception of the lesson. I've certainly made some poor decisions in regard to terrain choice, and taken people on terrain that was objectively dangerous for them, but the vast majority of the time they have been fine, enjoyed it and just seen it as a challenge. Because the lesson was 'dangerous' doesn't mean it was a zero in the eyes of the client. Skiing's a dangerous sport, and to learn you have to take risks. This isn't to encourage reckless behaviour, just a more realistic evaluation of lesson success or failure.

post #11 of 27
Good stuff, all!

Emphasis on the perception of the student has become a clear theme here, and it's another interesting point to ponder. Clearly, the perception of "fun" varies widely among individuals, and even for the same individual, depending on circumstances, mood, and goals.

I submit that "fun" is not a simple concept--that there are also different "levels" of fun, or perhaps different categories of fun, that can co-exist at the same time. In other words, an experience can be fun on one level, while less fun or even miserable, on another level. As Kevin suggests, some of our experiences that, on looking back, or in total, were incredibly "fun" were actually difficult, painful, cold, frightening, or otherwise brutal in the moment. Perhaps it's the difference between "fun" and other notions like rewarding, satisfying, productive, thrilling....

Sometimes long-term "fun" requires short-term sacrifice. Winning an Olympic gold medal must be fun, but the effort, pain, and sacrifice of preparing for it may not always be fun. Does this possiblility conflict with the thought that a ski lesson should be "fun"? Freedom is fun, but as champion skater Elvis Stojko once pointed out, it is discipline (ie., hard work) that sets you free.

There is a fine line between "exhilaration" and "fear"--and for some people, the two are inseparable and define "fun." But it is also worth noting that not everything that seems frightening or creates an adrenaline rush needs to be particularly dangerous. Indeed, I suggest that the instructor's job is often to create the perception of danger and the excitement that accompanies it, without actually putting people at excessive risk. That's the key to many "adrenaline activities"--roller coasters, whitewater rafting, zip lines, and such. Taking people out of their comfort zone for brief excursions into what Mermer Blakeslee calls the "Yikes Zone"--where perceived risk and perhaps discomfort rises, but real learning accelerates--is part of the science of instruction, in any realm. Doing it while assessing and managing the risks to keep people out of true danger is the art, and comes with great experience. The result, for the student, can be breathtakingly "fun." (And safe, and with intense learning!)

Learning entails risk. Fun often involves risk. Learning can be fun. None of these requires abandoning safety.

Best regards,
Bob
post #12 of 27
Quote:
I submit that "fun" is not a simple concept--that there are also different "levels" of fun, or perhaps different categories of fun, that can co-exist at the same time. In other words, an experience can be fun on one level, while less fun or even miserable, on another level

 

The Three Levels of Fun:  http://kellycordes.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

 

I do believe that a lot of "real" learning (although not necessarily "at the time learning") occurs at "type 2" on the scale.

 

 

Quote:
Taking people out of their comfort zone for brief excursions into what Mermer Blakeslee calls the "Yikes Zone"--where perceived risk and perhaps discomfort rises, but real learning accelerates--is part of the science of instruction, in any realm. Doing it while assessing and managing the risks to keep people out of true danger is the art, and comes with great experience. The result, for the student, can be breathtakingly "fun." (And safe, and with intense learning!)

 

So that's why you kept taking us down that damned chute.  wink.gif

 

Edit to fix the link


Edited by KevinF - 8/5/12 at 6:28pm
post #13 of 27
Good find, Kevin--but your link doesn't seem to work for me. I did a little searching and found it:

http://kellycordes.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

(Actually, the links appear identical--I think it must just be the period at the end of yours that caused the problem.)

(Scary, huh? wink.gif )

Best regards,
Bob
post #14 of 27
>>I guess you never really know what sort of fun you’re getting yourself into once you leave the couch, which is fine, because it doesn’t always have to be “fun” to be fun.<< (Kelly Cordes, from the blog Kevin linked to)

Now that I've read Kelly Cordes's blog about the Fun Scale, I like it! It's exactly what I meant in my post #11. "Levels of fun." Yes!

Best regards,
Bob
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post


But is it not also true that a good instructor can increase the fun factor, the learning component, AND the safety, all together? To me, that is the imperative of good teaching.
... There need be no compromise in any of the three elements. 

I absolutely agree on the first part. The question is how they do that? My 2 cents is that 2 factors on the safety side are accurate risk assessment and effective risk mitigation.

 

I absolutely disagree on the second part, but believe it is mostly semantics. By my definition safety is always compromised. The fact that a student did not get hurt does not indicate that safety wasn't compromised. It's only after measuring the injury rate over a large number of opportunities that one can objectively measure the relative safety of an activity. An instructor makes hundreds of choice decisions in a lesson. Every one of those decisions results in taking some measure of risk. As soon as we start moving away from the lesson meeting area we have increased the level of risk taken versus staying in the lesson (for most of us at least). To the extent that the level of risk stays below an undefined level, most would say that safety has not been compromised. I choose to retain the distinction to help focus the risk vs reward decision making that should be done even when the risk is "minimal" (i.e. below the undefined level). The problem here is defining that "undefined level". It is naive to think the level is defined as zero injuries. Safe activities have injuries over millions of opportunities. If a student experiences a "one in a million" injury was the pro being unsafe if the injury occurred during the first 10,000 opportunities? Would if make any difference in the injury happened after 2 million opportunities? One could argue that it is possible to have no more injuries in a lesson than what a student would normally experience instead of taking a lesson. That supports the argument that safety does not have to be compromised. But there is an equally valid case to make that instructor behavior is a contributing factor to any injury in a lesson. All I'm doing is conceding the point in order to focus on what actions an instructor can take to improve the results of the lesson.

 

A good example is "over terraining" (like Kevin's story). There are times when a student's learning has begun to plateau on "appropriate" terrain.  In some of those situations learning can be accelerated by venturing to the next level. The student may have the skills to safely navigate the more difficult terrain, but there a lot of additional factors involved in risk assessment. To some extent, safety is always compromised when "over terraining" a student. But when they are mitigating factors for snow conditions, mental condition of the student, crowds, size of the group, etc. and risk mitigation strategies of the instructor (e.g. pacing, positioning, line choice) one could say that the choice is safe enough to be considered not a compromise. There are many instructors that believe any over terraining is not safe. If we focus on risk assessment and risk mitigation skills we can have a learning opportunity instead of an argument.

post #16 of 27
Rusty--I suspect that you are being a bit pedantic here. Whoever said that skiing is, or could be, a zero-risk, zero-injury activity? There are, of course, always risks, and the safest possible lesson ever cannot completely eliminate them all. I cannot imagine that anyone would ever equate "safety" with "zero risk." Risks are a given in skiing, as they are in most things, and injuries are not, in and of themselves, evidence that a lesson was not conducted with utmost safety in mind--given the risks. To me, "safety" implies that the instructor never exposes anyone to an unnecessary level of risk, and that an excellent instructor can reduce the risks that are given in virtually any situation--any condition, any terrain, any exercise, any trail, any movement. If there is an equally effective and equally satisfying, but less risky, alternative to a high-risk activity or exercise, for example, the instructor's job is to go there, or at least, to advise it.

Are there safer tactics? Movement patterns that put us at less risk? A better route with less traffic? Times of day that offer better visibility on this run? A safer way to do that exercise? Perhaps all you need is a reminder to wear sunscreen, that the light is flatter now than on the last run, that there is an exposed rock just below that little knoll, that you need a spotter before attempting that jump, that we should move and stop in a safer spot, that fatigue may be becoming a factor in ourselves and others, so perhaps we should back it down a notch for this last run, that your boot setup puts a lot of stress on your knees, that you might want to remove your pole straps before we ski these trees, and keep your partner always in sight, that we should ski this chute one skier at a time, that there is a dangerous intersection around the next bend, .... The list could go on forever. These are the kinds of things a safety-conscious instructor will do as a matter of course. They all improve safety. They all decrease risk. None of them guarantees that injuries and accidents will never happen, and when one does, it does not mean that the lesson was not conducted safely, or that the injured skier was not still safer--all things considered--in the lesson than not. None of these involves "compromise" of any sort.

You want to do something inherently dangerous? An instructor's job is to help you do it as safely as possible, to eliminate unnecessary risks. You cannot possibly ask for more, without simply not doing the activity. That would be a compromise, and it is rarely necessary. Yes, there are times when we need to educate students about risks they may be unaware of, and perhaps to encourage a different course of action. Almost never does "safety" require that we flat-out refuse to allow a student to pursue his or her goals.

Indeed, trying to avoid injury can, itself, be dangerous! "Trying not to fall," skiing defensively, and so on can actually increase risk.

I maintain that all these thoughts are inherent in the "Safety X Fun X Learning" side of the lesson equation. If the instructor sucks the lifeblood out of the lesson, compromising fun or learning in the interest of "100% safety" (ie. no possibility of an injury--an impossible goal in itself), it is a failure. But constant vigilance, awareness, and understanding of risks--without compromise--must take place. It is a three-poled polarity--all three points must be fully embraced. Where is the compromise there?

Best regards,
Bob
post #17 of 27

When I went heli skiing, after the guides got to know us, they explained that they selected terrain based on the behavior of the group. If the group was good about following instructions, then they would be allowed to go to more challenging terrain. Normally they would not tell guests either way. Were they compromising safety by not enforcing following instructions? It was cool to watch them manage this.

post #18 of 27
Good example, Rusty. When the risks become extreme, and clients literally put their lives and trust in their guides' hands, risk-assessment and decision-making become super-critical. It is similar for many backcountry or "extreme sport" guides--whitewater, wilderness expedition, climbing, scuba, and such. I have spent many years as a guide for whitewater canoe expeditions in extremely remote, inaccessible, and largely unknown rivers in Canada's Yukon, Northwest, and Nunavut Territories. In those situations, survival and any sort of reasonable level of safety is hardly a given, and rarely do the participants come with the experience and skill set to make reliably and consistently good decisions. Sometimes, you have to lay down the law in the interest of both individual and group safety. Most people who sign up for trips like that understand their role, and the roles of their guides, and willingly count on the guides to make the critical decisions that help keep them out of trouble. It's another example of both extreme risk and uncompromising safety happily co-existing.

To me, it paints a vivid picture of what "teaching safely" entails--not the total elimination of all risks at the expense of the experience itself, but acceptance of the inherent risks, combined with relentless awareness, skill, and vigilance in dealing with them as safely as possible. It means eliminating unnecessary risks. It entails assessing individual skills and capabilities, as well as individual risk tolerance, and providing appropriate guidance accordingly.

The more critical the situation, the less room there is for compromise. That is the difference between "polarities" and "problems," between embracing "both/and" and compromising between "either/or." As "fun" and "learning" intensify, risks may well increase, and "safety" must therefore likewise intensify!

The only working definition of "safety" for ski lessons that makes sense must refer more to behaviors, skills, and attitudes than to actual injury count. Only with that definition can Safety and Risk rise together, rather than each one compromising the other.

Best regards,
Bob
post #19 of 27

I like the X better than the +.

 

As a fun cat once said, "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how."  The brain learns better when you are having fun.

 

Obviously you have to be "safe" and make a decision on what is safe enough.  Perceived safety of the learner is also important in the math; the brain shuts down under fear.  It's a hormonal response.

 

An instructor's task is to make the learning "fun"and keep the student happily reaching while keeping the content of the lesson within the student's grasp.

 

Student safety is a shared responsibility.  I am ultimately responsible for my safety, and it took me a while to learn the truth of that statement.  However, it may well be best for all concerned if instructors consider themselves responsible for their student's safety, and I humbly suggest they do just that.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I like the X better than the +.

 

As a fun cat once said, "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how."  The brain learns better when you are having fun.

 

Obviously you have to be "safe" and make a decision on what is safe enough.  Perceived safety of the learner is also important in the math; the brain shuts down under fear.  It's a hormonal response.

 

An instructor's task is to make the learning "fun"and keep the student happily reaching while keeping the content of the lesson within the student's grasp.

 

Student safety is a shared responsibility.  I am ultimately responsible for my safety, and it took me a while to learn the truth of that statement.  However, it may well be best for all concerned if instructors consider themselves responsible for their student's safety, and I humbly suggest they do just that.

 

Full responsibility or to point out to the student, we're going to share it as you pointed out that it took you a while to learn that?  I would offer as the trained professional, the Instructor has the lions share, but the student needs to be an active participant in their own safety.

post #21 of 27
So now, a curveball: How, if at all, does the formula change when teaching children? Adults can, presumably, take on a share of the responsibility for their safety, and their fun, and they should have the discipline to recognize that sometimes ultimate fun requires moments of sacrifice and real effort that may not be as immediately fun. What about kids?

So many new issues arise with kids. Stages of development--cognitive, affective (emotional, moral, social, motivational), and physical/psychomotor--all enter the decision-making and responsibility equation. Legal issues change. Parental needs--balancing the parents' expectations--reasonable and educated or not--for "progress" and certainly safety with the kids' perception of "fun" brings a new challenge. Keeping them safe and in control (as much as necessary) without stifling their curiosity, adventurous spirit, creativity, and innate ability to learn through "play" is both science and art.

Here's a start at the complex formula for a successful kids' lesson:

Safety X Fun X Learning X 2 [students & parents] X Legal Standards of Care X Company Protocol X (more?) = Level of Success

Go ahead--add, subtract, multiply, or divide as needed. Integrate and differentiate. Any way you look at it, it ain't easy!

Best regards,
Bob
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Sometimes, you have to lay down the law in the interest of both individual and group safety. Most people who sign up for trips like that understand their role, and the roles of their guides, and willingly count on the guides to make the critical decisions that help keep them out of trouble. It's another example of both extreme risk and uncompromising safety happily co-existing.

 

What amazed me about the heli ski operation was the extreme emphasis on safety up front, followed by skiers being mostly oblivious thereafter. We rarely had "safety" intrude on our experience (e.g. one at a time skiing, no fall zones, debris fields, ski cuts, buddy up, nagging), with one exception. On our first day, our guides were called away to assist with a nearby avalanche rescue. There were 6 dead in a debris field over 30 feet deep. They were part of a large group of snow machiners that had been highmarking on an aspect that we weren't allowed to ski on that day. Compared to what the snow machiners were doing, we were extremely safe. But that slide could easily have happened where we were at. We were definitely compromising safety to have fun.

 

 

 


To me, it paints a vivid picture of what "teaching safely" entails--not the total elimination of all risks at the expense of the experience itself, but acceptance of the inherent risks, combined with relentless awareness, skill, and vigilance in dealing with them as safely as possible. It means eliminating unnecessary risks. 
 
Probably semantics again. I take unnecessary risks all the time. Just because a potential reward makes taking a risk justifiable doesn't make the risk necessary.
 

That is the difference between "polarities" and "problems," between embracing "both/and" and compromising between "either/or." As "fun" and "learning" intensify, risks may well increase, and "safety" must therefore likewise intensify!

When you say "safety" I think risk mitigation.

 


The only working definition of "safety" for ski lessons that makes sense must refer more to behaviors, skills, and attitudes than to actual injury count. Only with that definition can Safety and Risk rise together, rather than each one compromising the other.

Alas my engineering training betrays me. Injury rates are the ultimate indisputable measure of safety. Behaviors, skills, attitudes (and equipment, etc.) are ultimately the only things than can change the level of safety, but they can not be objectively measured. At my ski school the definition of what is safe and what is not safe changes with every change in management. The ultimate purpose of the axiom "Safety, Fun and Learning" is to foster discussion and understanding of behaviors, skills and attitudes so that instructors can increase the level of all 3 in their lessons. I also use the axiom as a decision making aid. If I'm going to do something, what else do I need to do to cover the other two bases as part of that activity? Every teaching activity should have all 3 elements incorporated. That's not easy. If we stopped asking what "Safety, Fun and Learning" means, then the axiom has lost most of it's power.

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

So now, a curveball: How, if at all, does the formula change when teaching children?

The axiom does not change, but the behaviors, skills and attitudes, etc. do. 

 

There are so many things different about kids, one could write a book in response to this question. I'll note just one aspect. Kids have a lower center of gravity. Some of them seem indestructible. Yet others can be hurt at the touch of a snowflake. Some get hurt for the sole purpose of getting attention. The instructor behavior of checking the student's risk tolerance/injury risk is the same. The techniques for doing this will vary and the range of results will be wider than for adults.

post #24 of 27

The whole risk assessment topic has so many levels. Kids at play on one end of the spectrum and ski guide / patrol / trail maintenance crews on the other end. Guests generally don't see all of the work being done by the patrol and the slope maintenance crews. Neither do most instructors. Not over terraining their group and avoiding possible collisions and crashes is just about as much as most instructors ever think about risk management. At least until they go back country and suddenly all of those additional safety concerns are their primary responsibility and concern. Lose a guest / student out there, or have one hurt to the point of needing SAR help and fun gets relegated to the background pretty quickly.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Not over terraining their group and avoiding possible collisions and crashes is just about as much as most instructors ever think about risk management.

Wow, I'd sure like to think that that is not true, JASP. But in today's resort world, where so many ski instructors get hired over the phone with no prior experience, and then teach with very little training, I'm afraid you might be right!

Nevertheless, I submit that this thread is about GREAT teaching, professional instructors, and what can and should be. Let's not bring mediocrity into it!

Best regards,
Bob
post #26 of 27

I was responding to The Rusty's comments about heli guides and adding my opinion about most in bounds ski schoolers, Bob. Although since you mentioned it, IMO familiarity leading to poor decisions is more likely to occur among experienced pros than those new hires who quite frankly seldom have a class that leaves the beginner zone. Does that make those otherwise great pros mediocre? Hardly, it just means they are capable of getting caught up in the moment and making judgement errors. In any case, I see things much like TheRusty and didn't mean to hijack the thread. Safety, fun and learning are just like the skill pools, they exist in varying degrees in everything we do on skis. Exactly how much we need to focus on any one of those elements depends on the group. That is why no one standard works all the time.

post #27 of 27

I'm SOOO glad that this is starting to come up.  Over the past several years I've been very unsatisfied with the lessons my kids have gotten, (I'm changing hills because of it, which does not come lightly as I was an instructor there).  The hill had emphasized fun over all else and when I complained that my kids were not learning anything, the usual response was "did they have fun?".

 

I'm putting my kids in ski lessons to learn to SKI!  Yes, I want to them to enjoy it, but I'm not paying for a "fun lesson", I'm paying for a ski lesson.  A "fun lesson" where no skiing is learned is just babysitting, and I can get cheaper babysitting elsewhere.

 

The hill I was at was definitely using FUN + safety + learning = a good lesson.

 

I think they get away with it a lot with the kids because most parents don't know that the kids are not learning much.

 

Rick
 

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