" I was mostly impressed with the ski school at Taos and enjoyed how hassle-free it was for the most part. I did have a negative interaction on one of the days with an instructor who I felt didn't really work with the kids and instead loafed and let the kids learn by skiing on their own." - Lofcaudio
These words echo in cyberspace. Your message has been heard by a Children's Instructor at Taos and forwarded to our Director. I am but a minion. First, however, let me apologize for the negative experience. I did not ski last year (double hip replacement surgery following an errant life of bump skiing). In the best of all possible worlds, after a failed ski class experience, you might have spoken to me - in which case you would have determined that Taos Children's Instructors might not be lazy, just insane.
May I offer an ounce of perspective? "Rueggli" (sp?) ... the beginner hill named after a long ago employee, has a fascinating triple pitch that allows children the option of launching themselves over or through a decrepit snowfence into either a building or a stream. This is called, in the business, "terrain based learning". Advocates of this approach adopt a more laissez-faire attitude toward classroom management (the strong survive). The "student centred" learning experience (of which you are currently enamoured), stresses instructor use of a hankie ... although Mr. Barnes may quibble on this point.
At Taos, focus upon the student is somewhat ancillary to the mission at hand, which is to survive "Rueggli", negotiate "Idiotenhugel", and launch a final assault of "White Feather" The second mentioned slope was subject to rename (Strawberry) sometime in the mid 70's as Vail was peaking along with warm, fuzzy, and flat. It is the first "learning hill" I ever worked on since Mad River Glen, where students attempt the Stem Christiania right beside a slalom race course. The hill is insanely steep for beginners, offering landing zones with buildings (different ones) and a stream (the same one).Terrain Based Learning 1.2.
Given this conundrum, your daughter likely slipped through the cracks in our system, which aims at a late morning or early afternoon negotiation of "White Feather", a mile plus trail of considerable challenge. A foible of our Children’s School is that admin will say our curriculum is “student centered” or “skills based” when in actuality every parent and every instructor measures success in the terrain negotiated rather than skills mastered … i.e. “Have you skied West Basin yet? Kachina Peak?”) It sounds as though your daughter succeeded in the “White Feather” rite of passage because of or in spite of her ski school endeavor. She is to be congratulated. I hope we have not lost your faith.