Teaching AdultsLisamarie, Sorry I hope I,m not too late. I am a L I instructor at Silver Mt. Idaho. I instuct adults 90percent of the time, my choice. Adult never evers, beginners and low intermediates always bring some level of fear with them. Fear of injury, fear or speed, steep, snow, moguls, trees, others, snowboarders from behind, failure etc. etc. I believe in is necessary from an instructor to be able to read body language to correctly gauage the fear level of his pupils. Yes mechanics, drills etc. are important however if you don't get past the fear stage none of the drills etc. will be sucessful.
As background I was a hostage/crisis negotiator and ran the crisis unit of a large police dept. for over 20 years. EMPATHY is very important when dealing with bad guys, mentals, druggies, Emotionally Disturbed People, etc. It is necessary to differential between sympathy and empathy (sincere understanding). To be sucessful in teaching adults it is crucial to empathize with their fears, aspirations, hesitancies etc.
Without writing a book: Usually I do the following: l) before leaving the lodge or ski school area we have a talk and stress "we are a team, we need to interract, share do's and don'ts etc. (the main thing here is to look them right in the eyes up close and say:"We are a team, we will work together,l will take care of you, I will not take you anywhere beyo nd your ability, we are going to have a good time etc." 2nd) I maintain close contact with my students often times verbally reassuring them and maintaining close contact with them.
A good example of this can maybe best be illustrated as follows:
In a clinic one day. paired instructors. One blindfolded had to ski down the hill, the other instructor had to tell him how to do it, where to go etc. When performing this task as the instuctor I kept very close verbal contact with my blindfolded student and she skied right down with no problems. Other pairs had a lot of problems. Why? Trust, some instructors did not keep CL0SE contact with their blindfolded student andd the student didn't know what/who was in front of them etc. Later whenI was the blindfolded student, my teacher sounded as if he as 100 yards away. I lost close contact and constant personal feedback and lost trust in my instructor on his keeping me safe. This example really illustrated to me what sometimes a beginning student feels.
I believe in EMPATHY, TRUST, RAPPORT, KISS AND DOING IT. Adult students obviously come with different skill levels and personalities. I use the above in differing degrees AND relate them to having fun.
LisaMarie, some of the other benefits of this approach to teaching adults is that the above methodology fosters repeat busines and especially the start of a lover affair with the sport of skiing. The realization, "hey this is fun".
Sorry if I misread your intentions on this post. For what its worth the above description just scratches the surface of good people techniques involved.