I'm a new ski pro. Perhaps because of my lack of experience, I have to do more experimentation with my guests than those of you who have been doing this for (much?) longer. For example, this week I had an ultimate 4 group of kids aged 7-11, level 3's. I spent a couple of hours working with them to get them parallel on the poma. I tried a bunch of stuff -- garlands, J turns, wedge christies, thumper turns, etc. What was interesting was that what worked for one didn't work for all. So while I could see that as I gain more experience with "what connects" most often to students might lead to a preferred progression, I can't see how getting locked into a progression is likely to work very effectively. It seems to me that we have to continually adapt -- is the primary issue stance width, fore/aft, foot to foot, or rotary? Getting from a wedge to parallel seems to me, so far, to be the biggest hurdle in the progression of students.
I've also found that you have to mix it up. While the students might benefit the most from continued practice on flat terrain, they get bored, and you risk them becoming unengaged. So, I've been taking them out to explore the mountain even though it means challenging them with terrain that they will likely not be able to use the new maneuvers on. But giving them something to engage their sense of adventure allows us to return to easier terrain and work on the new stuff.
I took up ski instruction to become a better skier. I thought given the vast amount of instruction that I personally have received it'd be far easier than it is. But I've also found that the real payoff is not in improving my own skiing, but in the reward of sharing my passion for skiing with my clients.
I could see pros becoming jaundiced with teaching. Getting stuck in the progressions they've used and have had varying degrees of success with. it seems to me, at this naive stage of my (part-time) ski instruction career, that it's important to remember why we are doing it. Get passionate about it. Be patient and innovative. Don't be afraid to experiment. Give the guest an experience they'll remember and treasure for a long time. And if it isn't working, question what you are doing and what the guest really wants out of the lesson.
I teach at Breckenridge. I've hoped for more clinic opportunities. Some of my lack of participation is my own fault -- it always seems that there's a conflict in my schedule. That being said, I sure wish there were more clinics available than there are. For example, there are no training opportunities from now to the end of the season. I flunked my level 2 ski last week (very close even though I didn't prepare at all). So now I'm left to train on my own. I think I won't have an issue with passing in April, but it'd be nice to have some opportunities to practice MA and have someone look at the 3 maneuvers I failed to get me on the right track.