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Pass rates on PSIA level 3 exam? - Page 18

post #511 of 538

this isn't an exam into the majors of a sport.  Its a TEACHING profession.  What you are saying above is that only athletically gifted people should become L3 ski instructors, and everyone else might as well forget about it.


Edited by borntoski683 - 10/31/14 at 10:14am
post #512 of 538
Quote:
The question is whether the organization truly wants to figure out how to fix the process or do they just want to blame the candidates some more?

 

The problem with either or questions is that you don't offer "neither" as an answer.

 

PSIA is not "the" organization. It is a collection of 9 divisions (which are separate organizations unto themselves) and one national organization. While there is a set of national standards for certification, each division administers certification making their own decisions. It's easy to argue that organizations don't want to improve things when the steps they take to improve things don't have significant impact on the problem, but in order to make that argument you have to call the leaders that take these steps liars when they say they intend to improve things when they take those steps. If you ignore the steps that some organizations have taken to improve pass rates if you are trying, then it is a lot easier to argue that the organization does not want to fix the process.

 

Are the organizations just blaming the candidates? If you want to believe that, then the discussion is already over. Is it that hard to believe that at least some candidates come to exams unprepared? Have you heard the story about the guy who dropped out of a level 1 exam on the second day? The story goes that his friends signed him up for the exam as a joke (he wasn't an instructor) and it took him until the second day to figure it out.  Can you believe that? How many people can we find who have taken an exam and not personally seen a candidate who was not prepared? I've seen many.

 

Long ago, most divisions broke up the skiing and teaching segments of upper level cert exams into 2 separately passable pieces. The Eastern division just changed the cert process this year to allow "banking" of passed segments of the L2 and L3 exams for life. The skiing and teaching exams each have 3 segments that can be passed individually instead of requiring to pass all 3 segments at the same time. Although this is intended to make it easier to pass, one could easily argue that this change will encourage more candidates to take an exam when they are not fully prepared and thus lower he pass rate!

 

I'm going to submit the idiotic opinion that pass rates are low for many reasons and that raising the pass rates without lowering the standards is not something that can be easily done.. My question is "What am I going to do about this"?

post #513 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

this isn't an exam into the majors of a sport.  Its a TEACHING profession.  What you are saying above is that only athletically gifted people should become L3 ski instructors, and everyone else might as well forget about it.

Was your high school p.e. instructor completely unathletic?
post #514 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

this isn't an exam into the majors of a sport.  Its a TEACHING profession.  What you are saying above is that only athletically gifted people should become L3 ski instructors, and everyone else might as well forget about it.

Was your high school p.e. instructor completely unathletic?

I had one who played AAA ball, and another who played D1 football. I'm going with your argument here.

post #515 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

I'm going to submit the idiotic opinion that pass rates are low for many reasons and that raising the pass rates without lowering the standards is not something that can be easily done.. My question is "What am I going to do about this"?

 

I agree Rusty, at this point, the pass rate will not change easily without compromising the standard, which I personally don't think is the right solution either.  But the pass rate can be improved in the future IMHO with improved process.  But please, CANDIDATES ARE TRYING VERY HARD!  That is not an acceptable write-off.  In some ways they are literally banging their head against a wall, often times in the wrong ways, its such a trial and error process for them.  

 

Leadership from above can adjust training practices, it can also adjust the general culture of what it means to be involved in ski instructor training, such that mentoring and active involvement with ongoing coaching of ski instructors happens more pro-actively and more productively.  Some people will deflect that comment by saying that is the resort's job, but its actually not and while Vail or Aspen might do it, or some more of them THINK they are doing it pretty well, they evidently are not doing it effectively.  We pay dues to the PSIA to provide that.  Resorts have little incentive to help instructors earn a higher wage.  While they might give lip service to the idea that better instructors will be good for the resort, the truth is that it makes little difference to their bottom line and they know it.  Its actually not at all in their best interest to build an army of L3 instructors.  PSIA on the other hand, exists for the sole reason to provide education and a certification of noted education to ski instructors, independent of the resorts and the money making process there.  PSIA, divisions and national, are the ones that are responsible here.

 

I have sat in a big room with 100 other instructors at a major resort and listened to the TD tell us all that we have to take ownership of our own cert process, ie.....don't expect mentoring.  Sure they provide a couple cert clinics during the season, but that clearly isn't enough.  

 

I hear what you're saying about national vs division, but nonetheless, national is the top leadership and they set the tone for divisions to follow.  Most divisions are trying to follow national leadership as it makes sense.  Didn't they just meet at Copper for exactly this kind of thing?

 

How can the process be improved?  Consistency for one thing.  Absolutely clear messaging about the standards and requirements, which some of you will think are fine, but I don't think they are fine.  They are vague and subject to too much personal interpretation and subjectivity.  I personally take issue with the skills concept on its own, also not providing enough information for how to be an upper shelf skier.  The skills concept IMHO is a pretty decent framework for teaching single lessons to visiting guests and clients that only have time for small improvements.  Its not a good long term coaching strategy on its own merits, and that is part of why ski instructors are not advancing to higher levels of skiing much more quickly then they are.  (I smell the gas on the fire now).

 

Mentoring has been mentioned already, but its sorely absent.  Leadership can effect ski instructor culture so that mentoring happens a lot more then it currently does.  My observation is that peers are often afraid to approach each other and have productive learning situations because of perceived pecking orders and things like that.  This makes it difficult for ski instructors to practice teaching each other.  Of course once someone is finally L3 and beyond to trainer, then people will gladly accept the pecking order and take their guidance.  So pre certs, how do they get to practice their higher level coaching?   How does an instructor approach the more experience instructor (who is also very busy) and expect to get honest and continue mentoring towards certification?  The resorts mostly don't provide it and PSIA itself is not either.  I've been to many division clinics, At least 3x the credit requirement.  They all present almost the same information, regardless of the title, and the mystery of how to pass the cert exam still persists.

 

What can I do about it?  Not much right now because i'm not in PSIA leadership and if I ever will be, it won't be any time soon.  What I can do is what I'm doing right now, pointing it out.  Otherwise I have to hope that current leaders will take some of this feedback and try harder to improve the system from their end.  Otherwise we continue to wait for new leadership I guess....

post #516 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Was your high school p.e. instructor completely unathletic?

 

here come the red herring arguments again.  I did not say that "completely unathletic" people can or should be L3 or even L2 ski instructors.  I pointed out the fallacy in your own arguments which seem to preclude all but the athletically gifted from attaining full cert status.  There is a vast grey area between athletically gifted and "completely unathletic".

 

"completely un-athletic" people do not make up 85% of the skier population and by my reckoning, maybe less then 1% of people attending an L3 exam are completely un-athletic.   Your numbers just don't add up with that argument either, which is red herring anyway.

 

You gave yourself as a great example of a football player who could not play college ball even though you had great coaching and know a lot about football and probably played pretty decent football before college.  Do you think you would be incapable of coaching high school ball?   I don't think so, I think it would be very well within your realm to coach football with the right coaching skills, even at the college level if you got good enough.  You don't have to be ex pro or collegiate athlete to coach it.  However, in football culture, for better or worse, its proably true that in order to gain respect from the players you are coaching, they need to see a resume that you played serious ball once.  Do you seriously think ski clients need an ex racer or some such thing to know they are getting L3 level teaching?  for that matter do you believe L3's have to ski like a racer?

 

Or if the belief by all is that only 10% or 15% of ski instructors or only the athletically gifted (maybe that is even less then 10% I don't know), should become L3 instructors and we need to filter out the rest, then let's document that belief formally and I know a whole lot of people that will stop banging their head against the wall any more and probably breathe a big sigh of relief that they don't have to attempt such a lofty goal.


Edited by borntoski683 - 10/31/14 at 11:46am
post #517 of 538
Here's what I find, I hesitate to say, questionable, when we talk about "the standard"... It is not standard across divisions... nor do I believe it can be... The environment varies quite a lot from region to region, the terrain and snow, of course, but also the instructor community.... One region may have large numbers of experienced, full time career instructors, while others having larger percentages of, shall I say, non-career instructors.... Now, it is what it is.... and I don't have a solution.... But, I've witnessed a very low pass rate in the west... both on the ski, and teach.... and not for lack of training and preparation... especially for the teach exam, where the candidates have passed the ski already, usually the prior season.... contrasted with a 100% pass rate of candidates, who having been unable to pass the ski exam despite multiple attempts, travel to another division (pnw)... and come back with their pins after a single weekend... again, it is what it is... and I don't have a solution.... but what I have witnessed is not lack of prep, but lack of willingness to spend the time and money to travel to another division for the exam... again, just what I've seen over the past several years....
post #518 of 538
BTS, you've attributed a quality to me that I don't posses, namely that I'm not athletically gifted. Athletically competent, sure. Gifted, no.

FWIW, my most important three days for prep last season were in order of importance: skiing with a level 2 colleague and showing her my 'tricks'. She's a tough nut, and if something doesn't float well, she'll matter of factly sink it. As it was, she said that day was the best 'lesson' she had all season, including clinicing, so I knew I was on to something.

The other to days were both div. exam prep stuff. Both clinicians asked what my goal was in preparing for the exam, and I said," controlling my head space". Both were helpful for me to get my head in the game. There are many others who've taken time and effort to help me, but often the things that stand out aren't the ones you'd think. 'Taking ownership' doesn't mean 'suck it up, you're on your own.' It means figuring out how to optimize your experience and preparation above and beyond what any single individual can help you with.
post #519 of 538

I was not calling you athletically gifted, that is my whole point!  :)Thumbs Up  We should not have to be.  Competent yes.

 

your mentoring to your peer is admirable, KEEP DOING THAT.

post #520 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouD-Reno View Post

Here's what I find, I hesitate to say, questionable, when we talk about "the standard"... It is not standard across divisions... nor do I believe it can be... The environment varies quite a lot from region to region, the terrain and snow, of course, but also the instructor community.... One region may have large numbers of experienced, full time career instructors, while others having larger percentages of, shall I say, non-career instructors.... Now, it is what it is.... and I don't have a solution.... But, I've witnessed a very low pass rate in the west... both on the ski, and teach.... and not for lack of training and preparation... especially for the teach exam, where the candidates have passed the ski already, usually the prior season.... contrasted with a 100% pass rate of candidates, who having been unable to pass the ski exam despite multiple attempts, travel to another division (pnw)... and come back with their pins after a single weekend... again, it is what it is... and I don't have a solution.... but what I have witnessed is not lack of prep, but lack of willingness to spend the time and money to travel to another division for the exam... again, just what I've seen over the past several years....

I've seen one case of this where I really didn't think the skier in question should have passed either part of the exam. He was from CA. I have no idea about that. I'm also sure every division has it's ' surprise ' passes. I also don't know that it should take multiple days to figure out if someone is skiing/teaching to standard. I'd say it should be apparent pretty quickly, no?
post #521 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
 

 

I agree Rusty, at this point, the pass rate will not change easily without compromising the standard, which I personally don't think is the right solution either.  But the pass rate can be improved in the future IMHO with improved process.  But please, CANDIDATES ARE TRYING VERY HARD!  That is not an acceptable write-off.  In some ways they are literally banging their head against a wall, often times in the wrong ways, its such a trial and error process for them.  

 

Leadership from above can adjust training practices, it can also adjust the general culture of what it means to be involved in ski instructor training, such that mentoring and active involvement with ongoing coaching of ski instructors happens more pro-actively and more productively.  Some people will deflect that comment by saying that is the resort's job, but its actually not and while Vail or Aspen might do it, or some more of them THINK they are doing it pretty well, they evidently are not doing it effectively.  We pay dues to the PSIA to provide that.  Resorts have little incentive to help instructors earn a higher wage.  While they might give lip service to the idea that better instructors will be good for the resort, the truth is that it makes little difference to their bottom line and they know it.  Its actually not at all in their best interest to build an army of L3 instructors.  PSIA on the other hand, exists for the sole reason to provide education and a certification of noted education to ski instructors, independent of the resorts and the money making process there.  PSIA, divisions and national, are the ones that are responsible here.

 

I have sat in a big room with 100 other instructors at a major resort and listened to the TD tell us all that we have to take ownership of our own cert process, ie.....don't expect mentoring.  Sure they provide a couple cert clinics during the season, but that clearly isn't enough.  

 

I hear what you're saying about national vs division, but nonetheless, national is the top leadership and they set the tone for divisions to follow.  Most divisions are trying to follow national leadership as it makes sense.  Didn't they just meet at Copper for exactly this kind of thing?

 

How can the process be improved?  Consistency for one thing.  Absolutely clear messaging about the standards and requirements, which some of you will think are fine, but I don't think they are fine.  They are vague and subject to too much personal interpretation and subjectivity.  I personally take issue with the skills concept on its own, also not providing enough information for how to be an upper shelf skier.  The skills concept IMHO is a pretty decent framework for teaching single lessons to visiting guests and clients that only have time for small improvements.  Its not a good long term coaching strategy on its own merits, and that is part of why ski instructors are not advancing to higher levels of skiing much more quickly then they are.  (I smell the gas on the fire now).

 

Mentoring has been mentioned already, but its sorely absent.  Leadership can effect ski instructor culture so that mentoring happens a lot more then it currently does.  My observation is that peers are often afraid to approach each other and have productive learning situations because of perceived pecking orders and things like that.  This makes it difficult for ski instructors to practice teaching each other.  Of course once someone is finally L3 and beyond to trainer, then people will gladly accept the pecking order and take their guidance.  So pre certs, how do they get to practice their higher level coaching?   How does an instructor approach the more experience instructor (who is also very busy) and expect to get honest and continue mentoring towards certification?  The resorts mostly don't provide it and PSIA itself is not either.  I've been to many division clinics, At least 3x the credit requirement.  They all present almost the same information, regardless of the title, and the mystery of how to pass the cert exam still persists.

 

What can I do about it?  Not much right now because i'm not in PSIA leadership and if I ever will be, it won't be any time soon.  What I can do is what I'm doing right now, pointing it out.  Otherwise I have to hope that current leaders will take some of this feedback and try harder to improve the system from their end.  Otherwise we continue to wait for new leadership I guess....

I agree with you about many things here, mentoring, clear goals and consistency are all things that can be improved, but where I have a slight issue is your continued assertion that candidates are trying VERY HARD, and still failing. How hard are they trying really?

 

As an example, I already have my level 3 from NZ, I would like to teach in France, in order to work there I have to pass a race within a certain percentage (as well as other additional courses). I know this is going to be hard, so I have been gym training and getting in the gates when I can whilst in Chile over the summer. Now I am heading to Switzerland to begin a 6 week GS training block before hopefully taking the test in December. How many people do you see failing their PSIA L3 that have trained like that? When I worked in CO there were some people dedicated to training, but generally not to that extent.

 

Just to be clear, I am not an exception, everyone has to do this, I know people that have been training this hard for a number of years and still failing narrowly, most likely I will fail the test a number of times as well. The people I see pass L3 are the ones who take responsibility for their training and invest time, money and effort into it, it's not rocket science. 

post #522 of 538

Jim, 

 

I applaud what you are doing and wish you the best of luck in France, but that is way beyond what the PSIA L3 certification represents, so no, candidates should not have to train to that level in order to obtain it.  So you feel PSIA L3 certification should require all of that?  We will have very few full cert instructors in the future if so.

post #523 of 538

Thanks for the encouragement BTS :) . No my point is not that PSIA instructors should have to ski to the same level as the French, but that people who are struggling to pass L3 shouldn't look for the system to change, but just try harder (or perhaps smarter), the people I know who have L3 have all applied themselves to the task and reached the level, it is attainable. As I said, I agree with you that the process can be improved, but personal development is always going to come down to the individual, not the organisation or their employers. 

post #524 of 538

well no argument that all individuals need to try hard and apply themselves.  I just don't think its productive to blame the candidates for low pass rates.   "You're not banging your head against the wall hard enough, bank harder!"  It is in fact a failure of the system.  If a university had its graduation rate to drop to such a low level I would say the same thing.  Sure, everyone can try to work harder and a few exceptional people will overcome ANY system, but nonetheless, the current pass rates are too low, people are in fact trying very hard and while some super stars will definitely get through any block no matter how tall, we do need to look at a system that is turning out such a low pass rate and ask questions about why.  Its not productive to just tell people to bang their head against the wall even harder or refer to the super stars, if they can do it then anyone can.  that isn't true.  There are many peers I know that work hard and have been trying a long time and I can say honestly, they never will pass as things are.    

 

At the same time, I don't want to see the standard lowered below what it is now.  If anything, I think it could be even higher then what it is now, but only if it is more focused, more concisely defined, more consistent and if the education and instructor development programs are improved to help people get there.

post #525 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

 

What can I do about it?  Not much right now because i'm not in PSIA leadership and if I ever will be, it won't be any time soon.  What I can do is what I'm doing right now, pointing it out.  Otherwise I have to hope that current leaders will take some of this feedback and try harder to improve the system from their end.  Otherwise we continue to wait for new leadership I guess....

My question was "what can I do about it"? I'm not in PSIA leadership. But I did get added to a committee because of comments I posted on LinkedIn. I guess that is somewhat of a start. I am a trainer at my resort. I got that job mainly by being in the right place at the right time and getting positive feedback. That job has been easy because I've been able to steal from the best. Since I've become a trainer I've always had my "pet projects" (people coming to me for mentoring and people I've actively sought to fix) outside of regular clinics, done informal clinics off the books when there wasn't money to do "official ones" and just gone skiing with folks. But there's always room to up my game. Last year I started shadowing official cert prep clinics vs just helping people on the side. This year I'm planning on attending a PSIA-E resort trainers clinic instead of going to Pro Jam/Master's Academy and skiing with a demo team member. My theory on leadership is you have to earn your way in, but that path is not always clearly labeled. If you stomp hard enough you can make your own path. But if you stomp on the wrong things or stomp too hard, you'll just break things. I learned (the hard way) a long time ago in my day job that being full of actions gets more results than being full of ideas and opinions. I'm not a big fan of "there's not much I can do". Your mileage may vary.

 

I'm not worried about who's responsible for cert prep/training. It should be a team effort. That TD was right that individual candidates have to take ownership for their own certs. It's also right that SSM has to take ownership for growing the ranks of certified pros on their staffs and PSIA owns increasing the pass rates. As a trainer, I have to take ownership too. I'm going to work as hard as I can to support the team. That can mean "stepping up" to cover for other parts of the team that need help.

 

Aspen, Deer Valley and Stowe seem to be doing fine with an army of L3's and examiners. At other resorts it seems there is more of an opportunity for L3s to make the resort wish "I had more staff like x". There are a lot of people arguing that we can bring a lot more to the table than rookies and that we are more profitable employees for the resort. Stuff that goes way beyond just showing the lesser experienced how things work. If the other resorts think that it is in their best interest to not have more L3's on staff, that is an opportunity for us.

 

I've always laughed at SSM that has said the best cert prep is teaching your ass off. But I've also laughed at the candidates that focus on clinics so much that they don't get enough teaching in. If one looks at the suggested reading list and only does that because that is all that matters, one is missing the point of the program. For those of us who don't have the inherent raw talent, we have to work all the angles. I got my experience teaching higher level lessons by showing up for a lot of line ups. Sooner or later you're going to be the best choice for the upper level lessons. If you have the skills and work hard, you have to believe you will get the experience one way or another. I got my skills by getting higher level coaching and watching higher level coaching while I was getting it. Pros have enough trouble with conflicting advice from those higher in the pecking order. I don't blame anyone for not seeking out peer advice when more skilled help is available. But I do see peer on peer coaching happening at my home resort. I get approached for help because I make myself available and people see me helping other people. I develop trust because I get results and I work hard to earn people's trust. It's not always easy telling someone things they don't want to hear and still remain positive, but it is always possible.

 

There's been a big fight going on between the divisions and National. There are several divisions that are not happy with National's attempts at leadership. Despite the feel good stories out of Copper, we still have a herding cats problem here. I've been vocal to both National and my division. Although I recognize the difficulty in diametrically opposed sides coming to agreement and I don't have a solution, this fight detracts from our ability to work on more important problems (like this one). If you go on LinkedIn you can get more info. Neither the info coming out of National or the Divisions tells the whole story (and neither does the LinkedIn info).

 

One can believe that how to pass the exam is a mystery. Or one can choose to believe that the reason for falling is learning how to get back up again. We can all do a better job. You've highlighted a number of areas that can be improved. We all can do a lot more.

 

 

 

post #526 of 538

I think you are making a difference Rusty and you're way ahead of many of us.  Its a process.... 

post #527 of 538

And yes - low pass rates are a failure of the system. I agree that is a systemic failure. Candidates are a part of the system.

post #528 of 538
I am one of those in the Deer Valley army, Rusty. Full cert or/and PSIA ed staff make a huge difference in customer satisfaction. People pay $800.00 bucks a day for my services and the resort needs no complaints about those lessons and seldom receive any. Not so from the less experienced teachers. But those folks don't have the opportunity to teach nearly as many privates. So, level 3 is a goal. Deer is trying to grow their own and had fair success until last season. Still they have no choice as there are not apparently enough full certs or for that matter level 2's to go around. As noted earlier in this thread not many made cert 3 last winter in Intermountain. It needs to be difficult but the pass rate is abysmal (USSA pass aside which does not help the ski areas staffing issues.) Still, growing your own is the answer. So yes Deer has a lot of full certs , ed staff but has trouble hiring from outside and as those leave they are not being replaced.
post #529 of 538

Thanks Jimidee. One of my theories is that if an idea has merit, then sooner or later someone will try it. To the extent that they have success with it, someone else will copy. To the extent that the success is reproducible, the idea will spread. To the extent the idea is universal, the spread will be universal. So far as I can see, a high concentration of L3 certs seems to be working at high end resorts and high end prices. DV, Aspen and Stowe seem to be proving the success of the concept, but that success does not seem to be enough to drive higher compensation for L3s nationwide or a growth in L3 certs because of higher demand for L3 certs.

 

Sorry - this is a bit off topic...

Here's a personal example. I've quit my day job and have more time available to teach. I'm committed to working at my local hill in PA for this season, but I'm considering working the March/spring holiday season out West. I have L3 cert alpine and L2 cert snowboard. Would DV hire me? Is their interest in L3s enough to make the decision of which SLC resort to work at a no brainer? Do you know why the certs are leaving DV? Are they getting poached by other resorts after you "grow them", is the problem that you can no longer grow them fast enough/find enough people like me to replace them or is it something else?

post #530 of 538

Rusty,

 

The odds of being able to work at DV in March are very high. But come ready to work all day at least 6 days a week, the seventh day is optional. Snowboard cert obviously is no help.

 

fom

post #531 of 538

Working all day is not a problem. You slackers get a lunch break and don't have night skiing. I was thinking a resort like Snowbird might want me more because of my cross dressing ability (and DV want me less - who wants to hang out with a cross dresser?).

 

note: cross dressing refers to ski instructors needing to change clothes to teach baggy pants snowboarders 

post #532 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Thanks Jimidee. One of my theories is that if an idea has merit, then sooner or later someone will try it. To the extent that they have success with it, someone else will copy. To the extent that the success is reproducible, the idea will spread. To the extent the idea is universal, the spread will be universal. So far as I can see, a high concentration of L3 certs seems to be working at high end resorts and high end prices. DV, Aspen and Stowe seem to be proving the success of the concept, but that success does not seem to be enough to drive higher compensation for L3s nationwide or a growth in L3 certs because of higher demand for L3 certs.

Sorry - this is a bit off topic...
Here's a personal example. I've quit my day job and have more time available to teach. I'm committed to working at my local hill in PA for this season, but I'm considering working the March/spring holiday season out West. I have L3 cert alpine and L2 cert snowboard. Would DV hire me? Is their interest in L3s enough to make the decision of which SLC resort to work at a no brainer? Do you know why the certs are leaving DV? Are they getting poached by other resorts after you "grow them", is the problem that you can no longer grow them fast enough/find enough people like me to replace them or is it something else?
Hi Rusty. I am going to send you a message. Yes Deer Valley will hire you in March, although I am not a part of the process experienced ski teachers are always needed and certainly during peak times such as March. A lot of the older instructors are simply leaving reaching and in some cases skiing. L3's tend not to move around as once they establish a client base it is too costly to start afresh somewherd else, so not a lot out there and some years the attrition rate is higher than the replacement rate. A few, but very few are poached. A small number try Deer for one season and find it's not their cuppa coffee. On balance it is an older staff on the top end. Geezers, but geezers that can get the job done, until they decide they cannot.
post #533 of 538
Oh yeah Rusty, you'll earn good green at Deer. No doubt about it. So yes, in my opinion a " no brainer ". Check out the pm I sent you and follow up, love to see you here in March!
post #534 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

I was not calling you athletically gifted, that is my whole point!  smile.gificon14.gif   We should not have to be.  Competent yes.

your mentoring to your peer is admirable, KEEP DOING THAT.

I actually thought of it as her mentoring me. She's not one to pull punches. If anything sucks, she'll let you know. I known her well enough to not take it personally (and visa versa) so it works as a gut check.
post #535 of 538

Shifting the thought and comments on this forum just a little but still on topic.

 

I have to say that my concern with the whole ski instructors program is that I feel there has been a drift from the original idea of what the primary focus was suppose to be.

 

I've always viewed certification is method to verify and establish an instructors level of skill to, introduce, teach, and improve ones ability to ski.

 

If we agree that this is the premise, then the BASIC order of priorities to assess an instructors skill set and ability should be:

 

  1. Teaching and it's subset of skills.
  2. The skill to ski and demonstrate these techniques on the terrain your teaching.

 

However, what I slowly saw over the my 15 or so (part time) years of participation in PSIA was:

 

  1. The skill to ski.  
  2. Then teaching and it's subset of skills with the confirmation of the skill sets to demonstrate these techniques on the terrain your teaching.

 

I'm not minimizing the importance of skiing well and that this may seem a trivial difference to some, but what I get out of this is... ski and boarding associations are sending the message to aspiring instructors, to consider teaching as secondary. I believe recognition for teaching skills should be first and paramount, and then the skiing skill set recognition... keeping the primary focus on the original instructor purpose...to teach.

 

I do not have serious problems with the pin system other than feeling that during the certification, teaching skills should assessed first, THEN skiing abilities showing that you can put in to practice the concept of the instruction.

 

What worth is a level III who is a 'hell of a skier' but is innately a marginal teacher? I personally would rather it be the other way around if I'm the student. 


Edited by scadvice - 11/12/14 at 12:41pm
post #536 of 538
A marginal teacher shouldnt pass.
post #537 of 538
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

A marginal teacher shouldnt pass.

I agree, I'll back out 'marginal' replace that with 'borderline'.  But, I argue that, in my observations, a borderline teacher is more likely to pass than a borderline skier. ("Borderline" meaning that one is on the line and could go to either side depending on the examiner.)

 

It's possible that I've been out of the instructors loop for too many years and things have changed. Though I saw the 'pass and not pass'  levels seeming to vary quite a bit during those years. In comparison, my level II group had a higher pass rate than expected, we had three examiners at our home resort who would only sign us off if they knew we would and they were a bit miffed as to number of people from the different resorts who they felt should not have passed. The next year, (At Mammoth, Calif), the pass rate was very low and it was hinted/rumored that it was a response to the prior year. We had three go for LII two for LIII and they all passed, so that does say something for the systems response in general.

 

I understand I really shouldn't compare LII to LIII and that there is maybe a little more leeway at the LII. FWIW - I never knew someone who went for and passed LIII that I felt shouldn't have, and I can say that I have met only a few (two in my 15 years of PT teaching)  who were already LIII's that I wondered how they passed. One the teaching side the other the skiing and teaching.

post #538 of 538

Certification tests your current level of skiing and teaching and that only. When I used to participate in hiring clinics with my peers, doing the grading during the process. We almost always graded alike and were very close to the others doing the grading and comments. Mind you all of us were very experienced with a lot of coaching and teaching in our background. At exams it is much the same. Most pass that deserve to pass ; most fail that deserve to fail.

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