Small but DedicatedI work at the best area in the Midwest for a SS instructor. We have no confining rules except as in any business there are a few such as no drinking etc. but as an avid skier and instructor; the world is my oyster. I teach as I see the skier ski or not ski. We do have an excellent boilerplate new skier lesson, developed by the SS training group which I am a very small part of, for those instructors lacking experience or creativity. We also have several magic carpets for our new skier terrain which help immensely new skiers and timid skiers making that little leap to the chairlift.
As a supervisor, within reason, I have virtually no limits on how I work with my Associates and pay them. Be there and be fair and I will make sure you have as many lessons as available for your level of teaching. Yes, I will “hold” my better instructors on busy nights for upper level skiers. That is only fair to the customer and the instructors. That hold is a limited gut feel on what is happening on a given night. On my night we have the “zoo” so in general my gut works out in the long run. If I happen to be wrong I may create a training session and then of course you get paid. Yes, as someone said, I do have my favorites. Guess why? They are by my side ready to help when I need them. Not personalities, almost fired one of my best last season, not gender, not level of ability, just there to bail me out when I need them. Do anything and go anywhere!
Children are taught through all our calls but on the weekend we have a kids group that handles the smaller children. Labor laws are a big part of this. On the shift I supervise, I do not have that luxury of this group but refuse to put out kids with adults if I can at all help it. (Unfortunately there are exceptions to every rule you make.) It is not unusual for an instructor from my crew to be paid a group ticket to take out a child. I do what is best for the customer 1st, within reason, and the instructor at the same time if at all possible.
While we are small in comparison to the mountains, we have a lot of great teaching instructors, SS trainers, DCL’s, and examiners. A large portion of our staff is Level 2 & 3 certified and yet we do not require a PSIA certification or membership for that matter. Yes, we have the others too but we fired about 16 part timers last year and from each shift it was the supervisors’ final comments that made the decision to dismiss along with comments from all the supervisors sitting around the meeting room, as to effort from the instructor in question.
Our terrain is limited but in the Midwest we do have Level 3 certified terrain. Most of all we have the best of the best because they care to teach. I can’t thank any of this dedicated crew enough!