td6: Now I have to put up or shut up. (I was going to go out and start digging a space for a cement slab for the patio), but given my constructive criticism above and the 10 hour time difference, I owe you a timely response before I head outside.
Your question does not really fit in my teaching universe. I don't teach a wedge Christie or a Parallel Christie. I go from Wedge to Parallel. If a Christie happens, it happens. But it is not a goal. It is not a noun. It is not a thing to be thought of or even considered by the student or me.
I reserve the right to revise my response, but here goes the E350: "How I Teach Wedge Turns":
I will use only one student in the example but it is repeated for all students in the class, but individually one at a time.
I start my beginner lessons by immediately teaching the Braking Wedge to a wide Wedge Stop. *
Then I tell them "If you want to survive, come with me!" and I lead them to the base of the magic carpet.
Then the class practices wedges down to the base of the carpet and back up and back down.
I spot the strongest student, ski next to them and say "Stand with most of your weight on your left foot and look to your right and tip your left knee in a little." Then, after they turn to the right, I yell "Stop!" Then I ask, "When you ride a bike, do you push 50/50 on both pedals at the same time or 100% on one pedal and then 100% on the other? And when they say "100% on one pedal one at a time." I say "Right! That's how much weight I want you to push on your downhill/outside ski to turn - 100% !!! got that?"
Then, I am off to help others, usually one student at a time. They do that for a few runs going up the carpet and back down.
Then I return and I ski up to the student and ask "Can I touch your pant leg at the knee?" When they say "Yes" I gently push their downhill/outside ski knee in slightly and ask them if they "Remember when we did this to our downhill ski to side step up the hill in the beginning the lesson?" ** Then I tell them that putting the downhill/outside ski on edge will tighten up their turns. "So, practice it by turning uphill at the end of your turns." Then I am off to help others in the class who are at various stages of learning on the Wedge turn continuum.
Next, I ski up to the student and yell "Stop!" And ask them "What happens to your edges when you stand up tall? Do your skis go on edge or do they go flat?" If they say "My skis go flat when I stand up tall." I say "Right!" If they are confused I show them and tell them that their skis go flat when they stand up tall and say "So, to turn the other way, first stand up tall to go "edge-off/flat on the old downhill/uphill ski."
Now we have learned the Wedge Turn at the carpet.
Now we go to the chair and line up with one partner and do the "Chair Watch and Talk."
Then onto the slope for the first time where I explain to them that the reason I taught them to turn to the right first is because we have a compound fall line to the left on our beginner run and they need to have become comfortable putting all their weight with a little edge on the left ski (most of our students are right handed) to turn to the right to compensate for where a basketball would otherwise roll ("fall line") into the trees.
I rarely teach parallel turns in my beginning classes unless the student has previously skied or is a true athlete and is up to it. Beginning Parallel is taught on our easiest intermediate ("Blue") run which has quite a few steeper sections than our beginner chair.
To teach parallel, I have the student stand sideways on the hill and ask "Can touch your coat?" and then I ask them to "Stop me from pulling you downhill towards me." Then I slowly pull on their coat until their uphill ski is in the air and then I tell them "That is how much weight and edge I want on your downhill/outside ski !!!" "!!!" "!!!" I do this one-on-one with the entire class.
Then I will introduce "Airplane Turns" with the students touching their downhill/outside ski hand to the front of their downhill/outside knee (bring CoM over knee and laterally over downhill/outside ski) with their uphill shoulder/hand up, parallel to the slope. Then I ask "Do you see the letter "C" my body is making?" "What is it doing to my skis edges?" "See how it puts my skis on corresponding (as opposed to "opposing edges") edges?" Then we do edge-on, edge-off and say it and repeat it. Then we traverse, edge-on, edge-off.
(You can see that by this time I have transitioned from full-on "comedy/entertainer" to short-sentence with emphasis "task-master."
Then we ski a few traverses with edge-on/edge off. Then I ski in front for them to follow my demo through some dynamic turns to the right and left etc. Then I ski behind them and yell "Now look to the left! Put all your weight on the right ski !!! Tip your right knee in !!! Stand up Tall !!! Now look to your right !!! Now put all of your weight on your left ski !!! Now, tip your left knee in !!!" Then, I am off to do the same with other students in the class.
On the chair I explain that the letter "C" is called "lateral angulation."
And I want those movements to become ingrained for one-footed skiing. Teaching two-footed skiing (i.e., adding inside leg steering) comes later.
So, in essence, my teaching is student focused. Not technique focused.
My best friend in teaching is my student's anatomy.
The human anatomy is already forward facing ("parallel," as it were).
I let the student's body passively bring the inside/uphill in and down to parallel by the use of great lateral weight shifting including by use of "airplane turns."
Once a student has passively experienced an event, I explain what happened and why it happened, then I add an "active"/input technique/movement with the goal of making that event/outcome more effective/efficient.
Now tear my approach apart! But make it better...
Off to dig in the yard...
* Aplologies to Bud Heishmann and to razie. I love the Braking Wedge for beginners. I experimented one season with and now don't believe in Direct-to-Parallel for our compound fall-line, narrow teaching terrain.
** When we were sidestepping up the hill sideways ("Like a crab") I have already shown them that although rollerblades and ice skates are always on edge, skis can be on edge or flat (i.e., "edge on/edge off" Karate Kid style).
Edited to correct a little left/right dyslexia which NCSki caught and pm'd me about.
Edit: I have never written my progression down before. Hmmm... I am going to copy this to my Instructor Notes file. It may help me reflect on it, and to annotate it with other instructor comments from here or student comments from class...
Edited by Tim Hodgson - 9/18/16 at 10:41am