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A question for those qualified by the CSIA

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm a recently qualified Level 1 (April of this year) and am heading out to teach at Grouse Mountain in early February. My question is will I be expected to teach on my own straight away or will I start off shadowing another instructor. I know that I have been taught all of the theory I need to teach beginner skiers yet the thought of jumping straight into teaching a group on my own is still a little bit daunting!

Many thanks!
post #2 of 26
As I have never taught at Grouse I can only venture a guess, but in my experience most newly hired level 1 instructors are not fed to the lions on their first day.. As a level 1 and a new hire, you'll probably start off teaching kids, school groups, and very entry level skiers. Also, your employer may have you join a couple of professional development sessions with other instructors before you actually begin working. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The worst case scenario would you to be handed a group of 8 five year olds that never skied before and in that case just show them how to use their equipment, how to wedge, stop and turn, and make sure they have a lot of fun!!
post #3 of 26
I think you understated the worst case: It could be eight three year olds. Depends upon how much daycare costs at Grouse. Sometimes "lessons" are cheaper babysitting.
post #4 of 26
Rhys -

Most snow schools will have you rookie under a more experienced instructor for your first few lessons as long as they aren't so busy as to be short on staff. The CSIA Level 1 leads you right up to being able to assess your clients for skills that need improving, but may leave you a little shy on a toolbox of drills to help them out - and that's where the rookie session comes in handy.

Also, as Powerderhoudin' suggested, be sure to take part in any professional development sessions that Grouse happens to offer.

Cheers,
Bryan
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Some quite relieving responses there. Canuck, you are quite right. I wouldn't really have a problem taking a group of 8 or so 5 year olds (or 3 year olds - thanks Kneale Brownson!) yet would probably struggle to remember a good number of exercises or drills to keep them interested and learning. I think that just comes with experience. That said, I'm still looking forward to it! Roll on February....


Ps: Powderhoundin, are you CSCF? That's what I'm gunning for in the end, once I've built up my certifications!
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys
Ps: Powderhoundin, are you CSCF? That's what I'm gunning for in the end, once I've built up my certifications!
Yup.. Working on my level 3.. Should end up doing exams in april if everything goes as planned. If you're thinking about getting into coaching and want to learn more about it and the CSCF check out www.snowpro.com in the CSCF section. The e-prep for the level 2 is quite a useful resource and you can even take a little test to see how much you know.
post #7 of 26
My money is also on the off to teach the wee tykes option. In the perfect world shadowing might happen first but in practice around here that doesn't occur. Out with the kids is no biggie and fun if you have the right mind set. From there it's likely you could build up to adults maybe by shadowing and also with eager and regular attendance at 'sessions'.

You should enjoy the CSCF quite a bit more than the CSIA level 1. I used to deliver them and enjoyed them quite a bit as did many of the candidates I had and still see around.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks Powderhoundin. Just tried the test under the 'Canadian Approach' section. Managed to get 57% (some guesses!) so still a bit of work to do! Thanks for your posts everyone. Very useful indeed......
post #9 of 26
Hey, good for you! at least you have some training and knowledge. i was lucky enough to have a week's excellent training (thanks Keith at Mt Snow) and then had my very own level 3 group. First, don't panic! (you have your towel, right?).

Get them moving, and watch them. Right away, you'll see exactly what you need to teach them, and then you will be right. Don't come to the lesson with your head full of rigid curricula; just watch them. It'll be very plain where you go from there.
post #10 of 26
Its been a long while since I was a member of the CSIA/CSCF. I did my 3 in both and quit. It will be up to you to ask to shadow, but if it gets busy, you might not have that option. Invest in a waterproof jacket. Even waterproof pants and gloves will come in handy. Notice I did not say water resistant (gortex, entrant, etc) but waterproof (rubber, plastic, etc)
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer
Its been a long while since I was a member of the CSIA/CSCF. I did my 3 in both and quit. It will be up to you to ask to shadow, but if it gets busy, you might not have that option. Invest in a waterproof jacket. Even waterproof pants and gloves will come in handy. Notice I did not say water resistant (gortex, entrant, etc) but waterproof (rubber, plastic, etc)
Betaracer, thanks for your comments. Sorry if I'm being a bit naive here but you've lost me with the waterproof/water resistant thing. Can you elaborate please (am I going to look stupid now?! )
post #12 of 26
Look - go teach in USA.... you can be teaching level 6 soon...

Quote:
I'm having a lot of fun in my first season as an instructor. FWIW last week I taught level 1 and this week it is level 5 and I taught level 6 (open parallel to carving) the week before that so if you show that you're a good teacher and not a complete gumby you won't spend your whole life on the bunny slopes. This is at a fairly big US resort.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Look - go teach in USA.... you can be teaching level 6 soon...
Was there an element of sarcasm in your comment there, Disski?!
post #14 of 26
Yes Rhys - if I paid for that level 6 lesson I would be VERY annoyed if I knew that I had a first year out instructor....
post #15 of 26
It can rain at Grouse Mountain. Not just any rain, but good oldwest caost BC RAIN!!!. Ski wear is water resistant and if it breathes it will eventually soak though.
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer
It can rain at Grouse Mountain. Not just any rain, but good oldwest caost BC RAIN!!!. Ski wear is water resistant and if it breathes it will eventually soak though.
Ah ha! I get you! Thanks for the advice, Betaracer (even though it's not good to hear that it can rain up at Grouse... )
post #17 of 26
There was a story a in the 90´s (SKI or SKIING) about a lawyer who bought a private lesson in a ski school. She got a ski instructor with only 10 hours of practice. When she broke her leg she sued the school and won. The price should have been about 33,000 USD...
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
There was a story a in the 90´s (SKI or SKIING) about a lawyer who bought a private lesson in a ski school. She got a ski instructor with only 10 hours of practice. When she broke her leg she sued the school and won. The price should have been about 33,000 USD...
Are you trying to scare me?!
post #19 of 26
I wish he could scare the ski schools into being sensible about the instructors they provide.... how can you sell a "professional lesson" when a new instructor is taking level 6 lessons?
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I wish he could scare the ski schools into being sensible about the instructors they provide.... how can you sell a "professional lesson" when a new instructor is taking level 6 lessons?
I can't vouch for the PSIA but in the CSIA the system allows you to teach accordingly to what level instructor you are and this is adheared to quite well. Level 1 can teach 'never ever'/beginners to intermediate standard, Level 2 can teach intermediate up to strong intermediate/advanced, Level 3 can teach strong advanced/expert skiers and then Level 4, well, they can teach anyone! I think this system is effective. It allows you to improve your own teaching skills, without going out of your depth, whilst improving your own skiing skills by attending the PDP (proffesional development programme) sessions....
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys
I can't vouch for the PSIA but in the CSIA the system allows you to teach accordingly to what level instructor you are and this is adheared to quite well. Level 1 can teach 'never ever'/beginners to intermediate standard, Level 2 can teach intermediate up to strong intermediate/advanced, Level 3 can teach strong advanced/expert skiers and then Level 4, well, they can teach anyone! I think this system is effective. It allows you to improve your own teaching skills, without going out of your depth, whilst improving your own skiing skills by attending the PDP (proffesional development programme) sessions....
I can't say anything for CSIA, but it's not PSIA that is out at lineup giving instructor assignments, nor do students call the PSIA office when they book a private.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I wish he could scare the ski schools into being sensible about the instructors they provide.... how can you sell a "professional lesson" when a new instructor is taking level 6 lessons?
The origional poster did state that he was a good teacher. At my hill 98% of new CSIA level 1's will teach level 1-4, mostly kids. But we do need more good instructors for the higher levels, so anyone who shows they "have the stuff" will get higher level lessons. These people will have demonstrated to the senior staff that they can effectively teach higher levels, and are likely on a fast track to getting thier level 2, they are not just thrown on an unsuspecting higher level customer. In the 4 years that I've been teaching the level 1 prep sessions at my hill, I have come across 3 instructors that fit in this catagory.

Rick
post #23 of 26
Skirrr - this is not unusual... these kids on J1 visas (aussies) are always boasting that they get higher level lessons - this one just did it in writing....

Meanwhile I understand that some (also large resort) ski schools are letting private lesson requests for high level instructors be "handed on" to UNQUALIFIED instructors (may have been part time teaching for a couple of years - no intent to be qualified - NOT FAST TRACKED to zip) rather than full certs.... Of course this guarantees the original requested instructor will look better than the substitute who is not qualified or trying to be doesn't it.... but is hardly in the interests of the CLIENT... so much for GUEST CENTRED instruction when this is accepted practice by high level PSIA certs & a major ski school....
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys
Are you trying to scare me?!
By no means!
I just wanted to show how good I am at reading the US mags and remembering their stories...
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skirrr
The origional poster did state that he was a good teacher. At my hill 98% of new CSIA level 1's will teach level 1-4, mostly kids. But we do need more good instructors for the higher levels, so anyone who shows they "have the stuff" will get higher level lessons. These people will have demonstrated to the senior staff that they can effectively teach higher levels, and are likely on a fast track to getting thier level 2, they are not just thrown on an unsuspecting higher level customer. In the 4 years that I've been teaching the level 1 prep sessions at my hill, I have come across 3 instructors that fit in this catagory.

Rick
I have a question for you, Rick. With enough hard work and dedication, how long do you think it takes to reach CSIA Level 3, from Level 1 (obviously!) As a new cert reaching Level 3 is my first real goal as it is the International Cert as well as the Canadian level 3 (as I'm sure you well know). I can see how this is a tricky question because people progress at different levels. Just wondered if you know any instructors who have progressed to this level and how long it took them?!......

Many thanks!
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys
I have a question for you, Rick. With enough hard work and dedication, how long do you think it takes to reach CSIA Level 3, from Level 1 (obviously!) As a new cert reaching Level 3 is my first real goal as it is the International Cert as well as the Canadian level 3 (as I'm sure you well know). I can see how this is a tricky question because people progress at different levels. Just wondered if you know any instructors who have progressed to this level and how long it took them?!......

Many thanks!
Rhys,

This is actually a very difficult question to answer because like eveything in skiing, it depends. It depends on how dedicated you are, how strong a skier you are before you start the process and how much time you put into it once you start.

The best I can do is to give a few examples:
I took 4 seasons. I did my level 1 at Christmas of one season and did not teach that season. I started teaching the following season and took my level 2 mid season. Then I did level 3, 2 seasons later. If I had taught my first season I could have done the 2 at the end of that season. I could also have taken a year off the level 3 time, but instructing is not a full time job for me and life got in the way the first season after my 2, so it took and extra season to get to 3. So I potentially could have done it in 2 seasons if I had really tried. But, I was a very strong skier, over 25 years skiing 30-50 day seasons, before going into instructing. I was really dedicated to improving my skiing for my level 3, took every opertunity I could to get training with level 4's, and trained with drills and slow skiing (not free skiing) a LOT, to the point where most of my co-workers at the hill began to question if I could really ski.

There is a program called Ski Le Gap at Mont. Tremblant that has skiers from the UK on their Gap year. The intent of the program is to get from 0 to level 1, in 3 months. Many of the participants get to level 2 at the end of 3 months, and a couple have tried the exams but not gotten level 3. This program is very intense, continuous intruction from level 4's, and a fair bit of teaching time during peak holiday weeks at Tremblant. It would be hard to progress this fast anywhere else.

I know another part time instructor who got to 3 in 4 years.

I've taught a few people in the last few seasons that will get to level 2 in 2 seasons, I'm not sure when they will do the 3, but it could be within 4 years of starting.

With the exception of some x-world cup racers, who have done 1-4 in 2 years, the above examples are probably the shorter end of the spectrum as there are many many who take 10 or more years to go from level 1 to level 3.

Rick
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