Teaching in general
Originally Posted by nolo
So this topic's a slam dunk?
Why are PSIA examiners so obsessed with candidates' skiing then? Wait--that's a rhetorical question.
I'm not buying it. If you're teaching accounting, you should be a good accountant yourself. A good ski teacher must be two things at once: a good skier and a good teacher. They go together and nourish each other. One cannot compensate for the other. That's my opinion, anyway.
Nolo, this response is about teaching in general. As I've mentioned before, I am an academic teacher, but things that apply there are also aplicable to ski instruction. I think that your statement about needing to be both a good skier and a good teacher is accurate, however, being a great skier does not automatically qualify one as a great teacher. Just as some people are very book smart, but can not teach, there are skiers who look great and have nearly flawless techniqe that can not teach.
Being a teacher in any field takes a special quality. There are classes that people can take to learn teaching techniques and there are various certification programs to say that they have learned the techniques, but if they do not have what it takes to be a teacher no class is going to make them a great teacher.
I once taught (team taught) with a man who was very book smart, he had a masters degrees and a doctorate and many professional development courses on his resume. He knew many great literary works and could recite several famous passages on demand. With all of this academic power, the man couldn't teach. He did not have what it takes to be a teacher. He could not get the message across to his students.
At the same time, we had an instructional aide in our room that was a great teacher. She had never had the teacher training courses and she had never even been to college. She was not academically gifted but the level she was teaching at was well within the limits of her knowledge.
There are some intermediate to advanced intermediate level skiers out there that are great teachers. They work mainly with beginners and novices. There are also advanced skiers that are rather poor teachers. Working at a ski area for the past 20 or so years I have seen many ski instructors come and go.
While skill are important, I feel there are some critical elements that are often overlooked. The first of these elements is desire. If one wants something bad enough they can often achieve it. Good communication skills is another crutial element. The ability to clearly communicate is essential to all teaching. The other element is patience, it takes a lot of patience to teach any skill.
Many people can do...but few people can teach.