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Me, Myself, and...... Why?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
On a side note, I realize I haven't been here in a very long time, but the box on the top right is telling my that my last visit was in 1969!!!! I'll take that as a bit of sarcasm!

Well, howdy folks! Been a heluva long time since I've been here. Any minor amount of web surfing time I've had, I've been spending on MTBR (mountain biking).

So here's my cunundrum (Did I spell that right?). Those of you who know me, may remember my rants about the state of ski instruction in the local area (mid atlantic) and at my resort. I've been at this thing called ski teaching for about 21-22 years, never having taken a season off, but not trying to make a living at it since 1989. So I'm seriously debating not teaching this year. If I do take the year off, I'll be able to ski with my 3 year old (assuming she wants to ski), be able to ski and go home when I'm done, instead of getting home around 11:30 at night, ski when the snow's good, and stay home when it's raining.

The major disadvantages are that I'd have to pay to ski (as would my wife), and I wouldn't get to teach or take out clinic groups.

So how do you weigh these things? For those of you that have taken time away from teaching, how difficult was the decision for you, and how did your season(s) go while you weren't teaching? Were you glad you did it? Did you go back? Why/Why not?

Why do I feel guilty about this? It's not like my SSD places any more value on me than if I were a 1st or 2nd year part timer that has never been to a PSIA event. He!!, they haven't even given me a raise in something like 8 years!

On another note, it's good to see a lot of familiar "faces" here. Hopefully, I'll spend a bit more time here as the season comes closer.

Later!

-JohnH
post #2 of 11
JohnH - it comes down to what you get out of teaching (beyond the obvious season's pass considerations.) I taught for about 14 years at a variety of resorts (one local, night teaching, all day teaching, low paying and three major destination resorts), worked for PSIA as an examiner, coached at an academy...then walked away from it all. Initially, I missed the camraderie of the locker room, the training opportunities (I have kept up my certification, but otherwise haven't attended any clinics in the past 8 years)... the benefits were that I could ski when I wanted, not ski when I wanted and didn't have to report in to anyone when I arrived at the hill. I still have not returned to teaching, but have done some freelance clinics at the request of our local ski schools and have also done some coaching of friends. If you don't feel that you can make your ski school better by being there, then it's probably time to take some time off. For me, I felt that my attitude was no longer 100% and therefore, I was probably not the asset that I once was.

Hope that helps!
post #3 of 11
Yea it sounds like you just have to go with your heart in this situation. I personally would ask my family what they would prefer I do, but that's just an idea.
post #4 of 11
Hi John, welcome back. I retired from ski teaching 19 years ago after actively teaching for 25 years. My wife who is a Level II certified taught a couple of years longer. Since then we spend 3-4 days a week skiing during the day before the buses with kids arrive, naturally being retired helps.

As you may remember from previous discussions, our ski school gives any teacher or ski patroller with 20 years of contnued service a gold retirement benefit card which allows us to ski free for life. We were kind of leary when the ski area was sold but the new owners still honor the card.

Even after all this time, when I see a skier from the chair who is nearly there and with a little help could get over the hump I have to restrain myself from giving him the needed help, instead, after explaining to him what I see, I strongly suggest he take a lesson and may even recommend a particular instructor.

But the freedom of coming and going at will is priceless if you can afford a couple of season passes or buy a 'pick-a-day' pass that allows you to ski one day a week with six more days of your choice. Our pick-a-day no longer requires that you pick a particular day, just any one day a week. My son and his wife who can only free up one day a week do this, one pass which he uses and the extra days which she uses. If more days are required they just buy a day pass.

....Ott
post #5 of 11
John, knowing you're a smart & thoughtful guy, I'll wager that you already know this, but...

go with your heart. listen to what it tells you about how to maintain your passion for skiing. if that means quitting instruction for a season (or 5) then by all means do it. lost opportunities are never recovered, and are not susceptible of easy calculation (i.e., what you lost).

you will make the right decision, I"m sure.

good to see you back here.
post #6 of 11
You can leave the job, but you'll be teaching forever, John.
post #7 of 11
hey, I know someone who's just like that, nolo!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts. The longer I've had to think about this, the more appealing it gets. Plus, I'll still be able to attend my favorite PSIA events and hang out here and offer my $.02, which may be able to get me some of my fix for teaching.

The big motivator, but also the big unknown, is the ability to spend time teaching my daughter (4 yr old), who seems really anxious to learn to ski with Mom and Dad. The unknown part is whether she'll actually follow through. She has a history of saying that she wants to do something, then as soon as it's time, she backs out and can NOT be persuaded to try. I found some Rossi Princess skis new on eBay a few months ago, that we're going to give her for Christmas (need to find some matching jr bindings - anyone got some pink or purple jr bindings they're looking to get rid of?). I'm hoping that when she see them, it'll motivate her a little. I also need to find her some boots (probably will do a seasonal rental from a local shop).

Cheers!

-John
post #9 of 11
Can you talk the wife into teaching? I knew a couple who alternated seasons teaching while the other got a discount spouse pass and the kids got employee's kids deal.

Might be fun if she taught the kids class, and your daughter in that class? You would save a bunch of $ and more freeskiing, and kid gets to interact w other 4yr olds.

Your wife would get a lot out of instructing, too, as you have.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
Can you talk the wife into teaching? I knew a couple who alternated seasons teaching while the other got a discount spouse pass and the kids got employee's kids deal.

Might be fun if she taught the kids class, and your daughter in that class? You would save a bunch of $ and more freeskiing, and kid gets to interact w other 4yr olds.

Your wife would get a lot out of instructing, too, as you have.
Is that Rockin Rod from Liberty back in the mid 80s????

My wife has absolutely NO desire to teach. I bring it up at least once a year. She doesn't see the point, since I can get her a dependent pass for free, and she wouldn't have to make any sort of commitment. She does, however, ski better than about half of our ski school.

Actually, my daughter won't be 4 until after the ski season, so she isn't old enough to get into lessons.

It's probably going to cost me a fair amount to ski this year (compared to what I'm used to), but I'm thinking that it might be a good reality check.
post #11 of 11
Yeah, I'm that 80's rocker! Hi John, I thought you would figure that out. I'm tempted to try out for ski school, the on-line community here often reminds me of those good times. But most likely, I'll get a season pass.
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