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Feedback on Instructor Performance

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I just started at a new ski school.  Finished four days of training for new (to the school), experienced instructors yesterday.  I won't name old or new schools.

 

Here is a thing that I noticed and invite you folks to comment on:

The introductory training was fun, informative, and collegial.  There was a bit of feedback on personal skiing early on but almost none the last couple of days.  And on the last day when we were actually doing some teaching to one another, there was none whatsoever.  Obviously, people get rusty during a summer away from the slopes, but I saw some pretty bad demos - following the tips around, hands at the thighs, the usual stuff.  The kind of thing that doesn't really require much more than bringing to your attention to make you drop it like the hot potato.  But nothing.

 

At the old school, if the clinician didn't point it out, one of your peers certainly would.  and that was ok, expected and, for the most part welcome.

 

Have I gone from some anal, fascist culture to one which is more like the rest of the world ?  Or have I gone from the norm to some hippy-dippy if-you-can't-say-something-nice-don't-say-anything at all, PollyAnna place ? Or something else.  What is your school like?

 

If it matters, this was training for part-time instructors.  The old (seemingly stricter) school has nothing but part-timers, who tend to be middle-aged professional adults with full time jobs otherwise.  The new (seemingly more lax) school has part and full time staff, many of whom are in their teens and twenties.  From my knot-hole, it seems like if there was going to be a big difference, it would be the other way around.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by molesaver View Post

 

At the old school, if the clinician didn't point it out, one of your peers certainly would.  and that was ok, expected and, for the most part welcome.

 

 

 

Well, you're in the PNW. Poor performances where probably discussed at the bar beyond immediate earshot in hushed voices. smile.gif  

 

Seriously though, there's a lot of information for everyone to get through in these situations. You might not be privy to additional comments from the TD or Clinician to the individuals who weren't performing to standard. They're also letting you learn from each other. Who's an effective communicator? Why? You can talk anything to death. At times, it's better to err on the side of action. The school probably also sees this as an ongoing process. That's why managers and the TD are often found floating around in proximity to new instructors. 

post #3 of 6

Often people resist giving feedback unless asked to. It bubbles out of us sometimes and we need to firstly respect the desires of the skier . It needs to be received as wanted information and done privately . Request feedback as part of your learning style. some don't like much and others want all they can get. You'll find your happy place with it but it takes a bit of communication on your part 

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by molesaver View Post

Obviously, people get rusty during a summer away from the slopes, 

 

 

Pfft, I am Rusty year round!

 

 


Have I gone from some anal, fascist culture to one which is more like the rest of the world ?  
 

I don't often teach ITC's, but when I do, I drink ... Kool Aid!  No - that's not it. Well, I at least try to make sure each of the candidates gets a light bulb moment for their personal skiing or riding. At our school, personal improvement is on the agenda for an ITC. My opinion for doing it is that candidates at least walk away with something if they don't get hired and at best they start their teaching career with a "stoked" feeling that they can use a goal for what to accomplish in their lessons.

 

What you've described is certainly an understandable position for an SSD to take if one views an ITC as a hiring interview. There is a common attitude for hiring = "We can teach you to ski better a whole let better than we can teach you to teach better". You can't blame an SSD for focusing on the urgent need (putting the right warm bodies in the uniforms) first. You can share the opinion that improving performance in an ITC is a great "how to teach" demonstration that improves staff quality and the lesson product delivered to guests. It does not make a lot of difference whether that training is done in early season clinics or in ITC. Or you could share the opinion that a nag free school is one that has better morale and thus a higher quality lesson product delivered to guests. I'd be surprised (and disappointed) if a ski school could not make either of those opinions work. If your new home is turning out to be the nag free zone, it looks like you have an opportunity to become a popular clinician. A school that has clinicians that can't/won't teach is either a problem or an opportunity, depending on whether your outlook is half empty or half full.

post #5 of 6

I've worked at schools on both sides of this equation. It sounds like the clinician didn't set peer feedback and reciprocal learning as part of that training segment. Perhaps because it was a pre set agenda and they were simply following that clinic outline. I would offer the idea that discussions and reciprocal learning (peer feedback and review) takes time and often causes some other portion of the clinic to be dropped, or abbreviated due to time constraints. Considering that this seemed to be occuring on the last day of that training, I suspect that was part of the reason for so little feedback. Although without discussing it with the clinician, it's really hard to say for sure. If you want feedback about your personal performance, I would be surprised if the clinician and  maybe the SSD couldn't share some of their impressions of your teaching and skiing. As far as how others performed and if you should have offered them feedback, I think not doing that was a wise choice.

It would be interesting to read about your impressions of your new school at the end of the season though.

post #6 of 6

I just finished most of my INHT and would say my school is much more like your last one than your current one.  I did not think the amount of feedback was overwhelming and there is a definite emphasis not to use judgmental terms (especially when teaching guests, but even with each other), but if someone had there hands at their side, immediate feedback was usually provided.  

 

Overall there was more feedback being provided regarding demos than someones overall skiing, but our clinician definitely pulled a few people aside individually and talked about stance and other issues with them.  I think everyone in our group appreciated the feedback (although one of the guys may not have believed he was in the back seat until he was told separately by 3 top pros). 

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