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What makes a great Instructor?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
My answer: Great teachers are great learners first, they look, listen and learn about their student first and foremost - what they need to know at that moment, and then how they learn.

The great instructors I've had first off have fantastic eyes, they see what I'm doing and what I need to do differently.

Secondly they don't overload me, they focus on one or two things only.

Finally they learn what gets the point across to me, how I learn.

This is why a group lesson is so much more challenging for an Instructor needless to say.



By the way, I want to add that I spent a day skiing with ssh today (not taking a lesson, just having fun) however he did teach my fiancé and I some things, and he has these qualities. Thanks Steve, you should be Instructing – you've got it!
post #2 of 39
PASSION
post #3 of 39
disski hit it on the head.
case closed.
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
Oh really? I've had some passionate Instructors who just spewed information passionately. It felt great, (for them too, I'm sure) but did I LEARN?
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Oh really? I've had some passionate Instructors who just spewed information passionately. It felt great, (for them too, I'm sure) but did I LEARN?
that's not passion.
let me know when you'd like some instruction. make the trip to jersey, and i'll cover the lift-ticket, as well.
post #6 of 39
Truely...

those that are passionate about teaching and passionate about skiing will go to extraordinary lengths to work out how to teach you to ski....

they talk to previous instructors to get a handle on the student..
they research medical conditions...
they try skiing blind to show you they understand that you have lost a form of input...
they email other ski schools/instructors to get a better handle on what to expect and how to help...
they will invent new ways to teach and give anything a go to get a grasp onn the situation...

they do not think they know everything (& hence spew forth reems of useless information because it worked for them or someone else) nor do they belittle students that they do not understand... THOSE people are egotists - not passionate about teaching itself but passionate about being SEEN as teachers(different animals)...

I do not believe there are many of them around... but they appear in the weirdest places... i found one driving a bus in a ski resort... and another hitching a ride.... another working in the rental shop (she was actually a biathlete training for competition and the shop helped pay her bills - I rode the chair with her one day and would have skied with her in a trice... so much passion for her sport and teaching of it...)
post #7 of 39
Meeting a student's expectations.
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
that's not passion.
let me know when you'd like some instruction. make the trip to jersey, and i'll cover the lift-ticket, as well.
did he say jersey.........as in new jersey?

when i make my ohio ski trip i'll try to swing east for a few days.
post #9 of 39
A few great mentors.
post #10 of 39
From the Student's point of view, someone who improves their skiing in a way that they can feel and in a way they want, plus make the lesson enjoyable.

From the resort's point of view, someone who sells lots of private lessons.
post #11 of 39
Ski,

Quote:
Finally they learn what gets the point across to me, how I learn.
I agree, and to make a breakthrough in your skiing and movement, move you through the corners of the sports diamond. It is the other learning types that everyone needs to develope to be a brilliant skier.

RW
post #12 of 39
Great topic! For me, I would have to say empathy. I don't care how high their certification is, if they cannot understand how it feels to struggle with a task, or to have any issues with fear, I can't relate to them, and they usually can't relate to me.

Often, I have done better with instructors who are working on a specific skill for themselves while moving up the cert ladder than I have with people who just seemed to bounce to Level III by the time they were 20.

About a month ago, I dropped in on a class taught by a Level I. She had torn her ACL a few years ago, and had a complete understanding of why I was making specific defensive moves. It actually was a somewhat effective lesson.
post #13 of 39
How about a student with the capability of doing a search?

No offense meant...
post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
How about a student with the capability of doing a search?

No offense meant...

?????
post #15 of 39

I agree with LisaMarie - Empathy

I had a real humbling experience this year when I learned how to snowboard. At our ski area, our director would like to have all of his instructors trained to teach both skiing and snowboarding.

I've been skiing for 36 years but I suddenly gained a very fresh perspective of exactly how it feels to learn something completely new. I was amazed when I got to the top our our advanced beginner run on my snowboard and suddenly felt my knees shaking because I was so high up!: I could amlost go down this run with my eyes closed on skis, but because I'm new to snowboarding, the hill seemed like a double black diamond run to me.

I think that this helped me gain a whole new sense of compasion for the newbies I teach on the bunny hill who are terrified when they get to the top of the hill!

-Snowmiser-
post #16 of 39
Great story Snowmiser. I think that every instructor who was a skiing natural should force themselves to try another sport, or at least another activity that they know they will find challenging.
post #17 of 39
The ability to see the skier in every student.
post #18 of 39
Oh, SMJ, we have this discussion every so often here... usually with the same results. I had to point it out. It is a good topic, but one that gets re-hashed more than not...
Later
GREG
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
Great story Snowmiser. I think that every instructor who was a skiing natural should force themselves to try another sport, or at least another activity that they know they will find challenging.
In fact, there's a cover article in the current TPS about this very thing...
post #20 of 39
SnowMiser said it perfectly... if one forgets what its like to be a beginner, then its going to be much more challenging to be able to relay information to your students in a meaningful way. I used to work at a hill where at the beginning of the season the snowboard instructors would teach the ski instructors to snowboard and vice versa, while the "students" gave feedback on what was working aand what wasn't. Those nights alone taught me more than any clinic or examination ever did- plus it was a great way to break down the wall between the disciplines.
post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 
Greg, I kind of thought you were doing an Atomicman impersonatioan

On that subject I have to say that I don't like the vBulletin search function. I put in a search and get the threads, but not the posts I'm looking for. Then I have to search the thread for the post. Either I'm doing something wrong or I just don't like it. I'd like to search for something and find all the relevant posts, not threads.
post #22 of 39
These are good definitions. I would add that a great instructor, has the ability and versatility to collaborate with the student in creating an environment (or doorway) for real, compelling, and sustainable growth. This is in contrast with bandaid tips, panacea moves, or dogmatic progressions.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
On that subject I have to say that I don't like the vBulletin search function. I put in a search and get the threads, but not the posts I'm looking for. Then I have to search the thread for the post. Either I'm doing something wrong or I just don't like it. I'd like to search for something and find all the relevant posts, not threads.
I agree with you, SMJ. I'm taking a look, but probably not until after ski season...
post #24 of 39
I think that a passion for teaching skiing is what's important. If an instructor has that, over time they will be able to gain everything they need to be a great instructor, such as a great eye for movement, and vast understanding of movement patterns to understand cause and effect, empathy (knowing what it's like to be a beginner), great communication skills (this is a biggie, because it means knowing how to read your students as well as how to impart information quickly, in a way they will understand and be able to translate to movements), patience, a huge bag of tricks for when the first method doesn't work (which would be rarely), a friendly demeanor and all the other things that make someone a great instructor.
post #25 of 39
Quote:
What makes a great Instructor?
#1---Knowledge of the topic.

#2---Ability to learn what the pupil needs.

#3---Ability to express and demonstrate the knowledge the pupil needs to the pupil.

Without the knowledge, it's just talk, not teaching. If you want talk without knowledge, watch Faux News Channel.


Ken
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Greg, I kind of thought you were doing an Atomicman impersonatioan

On that subject I have to say that I don't like the vBulletin search function. I put in a search and get the threads, but not the posts I'm looking for. Then I have to search the thread for the post. Either I'm doing something wrong or I just don't like it. I'd like to search for something and find all the relevant posts, not threads.
Use the advanced search function. You have a choice of displaying your results as threads or posts..

Or were you looking for something else..

DC
post #27 of 39
What makes a great instructor? Somebody willing to give up their agenda for their students sake....

L
post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
Use the advanced search function. You have a choice of displaying your results as threads or posts..

Or were you looking for something else..

DC
Well waddyaknow? I've used advanced search plenty, but never saw that button. duhhh.:

Thanks DC.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
In fact, there's a cover article in the current TPS about this very thing...
I'd better go and empty my PO box. amoungst the supermarket spam and that awful mob who flog fake statues of things, there might be a TPS!

Being a wobbly beginner again is always good. Just grab some light touring XC skis and leather boots and stagger up the bunny hill. At the top, you'll be considering taking them off and walking down.
post #30 of 39
What makes a good instructor?

Continuous Improvement.
- Knowing that you are but a student yourself.
- Always looking for a better way to present information.
- Being open to new ideas and techniques.
- Having an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Confidence in yourself as an instructor.
- Not being cocky, but displaying a calm confident demeanor.

Being an effective communicator.
- Being able to present concepts and ideas to your student clearly and concisely, verbally and nonverbally.
- Being able to listen in all its forms, verbal and nonverbal.
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