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What makes the ideal student (or group of students)?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well?
OK, I know Weems will talk about 36-24-34, or whatever, but if you (Mrs/Mr Instructor) could have an ideal student, what would it be about them that makes them ideal? (and what if it is a group)
My thoughts (for what it's worth), in no particular order:
1. Willingness to learn.
2. Enthusiasm
3. Ability to think for themselves.
4. Asks questions

(in the group scenario... fits in with others, and can encourage, is not self-obsessed...)

What else?
post #2 of 26
1 and 2 tend to go hand-in-hand, and are the instructor's dream, as far as I'm concerned. Give me them, and all else is good.

Er ... bearing in mind the financial structure of being an instructor in the US, which I'm about to be, I would like to add: 3 - really, really rich and profligate with tips.

But that may just be me.
post #3 of 26
no no no... as a SINGLE instructor you should hope like hell they are filthy rich and have a hot looking daughter.... then you can hook up and be set for life
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandgroper61 View Post
...

Er ... bearing in mind the financial structure of being an instructor in the US, which I'm about to be, I would like to add: 3 - really, really rich and profligate with tips.

...
Hard to argue with that!

Athletic students, perfect world: never been on alpine skis, but everyone in the class either ice skates, rollerblades or x-country skis (I have had 1 class like that - no instructor could ask for more.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski View Post
no no no... as a SINGLE instructor you should hope like hell they are filthy rich and have a hot looking daughter.... then you can hook up and be set for life
Back in reality, I'm a short, squat 45yo who looks, for some reason, as though he has made drinking and eating too much his main goal in life since the age of, oh, let's call it, 18 months of age.

I'll go with the tips ...
post #6 of 26
My canadian instructor seems to place a reasonable amount of importance in having a student that actually LEARNS... he seems to get some great thrill out of seeing a student make progress each season :shrug:
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandgroper61 View Post
Back in reality, I'm a short, squat 45yo who looks, for some reason, as though he has made drinking and eating too much his main goal in life since the age of, oh, let's call it, 18 months of age.

I'll go with the tips ...
so settle for the ugly daughter
post #8 of 26
It depends. Sometimes an instructor needs a good challenge. Sometimes we need an excuse to just ski. Sometimes we need a kid that will tell Mom "That was the best lesson I ever had". Sometimes we need a big tip. Sometimes we'd be happy with someone over 18 who's sober. Sometime's we're happy with anyone under 10 who won't complain. Sometimes we just need somthing different to break the monotony. Sometimes we need someone, anyone with a problem we know how to fix. Sometimes we need first timers to watch the joy of discovery unfold upon their faces. Sometimes we need someone with an opinion. Sometimes we need someone who knows when to shut up.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Athletic students, perfect world: never been on alpine skis, but everyone in the class either ice skates, rollerblades or x-country skis (I have had 1 class like that - no instructor could ask for more.
My instruction career was brief, but I couldn't agree with this more. Skaters were the best, as they were used to balancing on something that wants to slide out from underneath them. But I found that students who had participated in all kinds of athletic activities were pretty good.

i.e., I liked tennis players (another sport I have played) a lot. The tennis serve receiving position is uncannily similair to basic posture on skis (ankles, knees, hips all flexed, back straight, arms out front -- sound familair?). When I'd ask why they receive serve from that position, the answer was invariably "so that you can get to the forehand or backhand position immediately" and I would just instantly see a light bulb go on. Gravy from there on out... I had a family of tennis players once. Easiest lesson ever.

I tried to find some activity they engaged in (other then eating doritos while watching football... : ) that involved some sort of "ready" position from which all movements were possible. Happened far too rarely.
post #10 of 26
therusty: deep, man. Deep.
post #11 of 26
Ideal group or individual to me ,would be ones who want to explore the mountain, people who want to try new things, are somewhat comfortable in a sliding type sport. They don't have to have all the great athlethic skills such as skaters, soccer players etc. ( those ones are pretty easy to teach ) just a desire to want to be out on skis and have some fun. They don't care if they fall down, don't get deathly afraid of sliding or going down some trail a little bit steeper than they are used to every so often. Just want to be out sliding and having fun , and trying to improve so they can access more terrain.
post #12 of 26

A good lesson

Where I come from the list is somewhat short or my expectations are low. I would just be happy if everyone in the lesson spoke english.
post #13 of 26
1. Someone that actually *does try* to do what you ask of them (as opposed to just carrying on doing exactly what they were doing the run before).

2. Someone that can actually make the change (physically and mentally) that you ask of them.
post #14 of 26
The ideal student or group is one that comes back!
post #15 of 26
Being sober was always a good place to start. :
post #16 of 26
Warren Miller talks about the nearest place to ski being a great place to ski. Students are like that. If I do a good job we both have fun, and that is the real reason for teaching. The perfect student isn't the issue. If I have a good attitude almost any student is great. I have had a few down experiences that were due to the students, but those are once or twice a season events. I can think of one occurrence in 11 years where my lesson just didn't do what it should have for the student, and the student ended up getting twice as much lesson time for the same price, and still was not that happy at the end. Right now I usually teach a multi-week program, and it looks like my group may be closed to additional students because too many students requested me. I may end up teaching a group on Sundays as well as the group I usually teach on Saturdays. I thrive on the group dynamics, and apparently the students do as well. It does help if all the students can ski the same terrain and if they can ski at comparable speeds. It does not cause me any difficulty if there are dramtic skill splits. I just give different students things to work on, and try to generate enough mileage to make it stick, and give very succinct feedback.

I think I see other instructors trying too hard to "earn" their "pay." I don't feel compelled to talk on every run (other than class control). If the studnets are working on the task I gave them that run or earlier, and are making progress, I don't want to mess them up with more thoughts. If they are starting to have a problem with an exercise, then I give a little quick coaching and it is back to mileage. The group dynamic helps to reinforce the teaching point. For example, if I teach whirlybirds, then the students do them until they get dizzy and laugh and joke with each other about the consequences.

If my teaching has a weak point it is in private lessons. I just can't seem to get a good rhythm if I only have one student because I usually teach groups very briefly and try to generate a lot of mileage through games to make the exercises stick. In a private, the student is expecting a lot more constant feedback, which ends up being counterproductive.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
Well?
OK, I know Weems will talk about 36-24-34, or whatever, but if you (Mrs/Mr Instructor) could have an ideal student, what would it be about them that makes them ideal? (and what if it is a group)
My thoughts (for what it's worth), in no particular order:
1. Willingness to learn.
2. Enthusiasm
3. Ability to think for themselves.
4. Asks questions

(in the group scenario... fits in with others, and can encourage, is not self-obsessed...)

What else?
Many years ago, we negotiated with the seasonal program director. She said that she needed 6 students to break even, so 6 high level all-mountain skiers got together, picked an instructor (who was also a friend and great skier), and signed up for the program. 4 hours every weekend, we skied aggressively all over the mountain, cutting lift lines. When the weather was crappy, we did drills. How would you like that class.
post #18 of 26
2-turn

my canadian has a bunch like that every weekend.... they frustrate the crap out of him because they have no desire to LEARN... they use him as a ski guide/lift queue cutting implement.... and as he says - they ski exactly the same as they did last season and the season before that etc etc... because they think doing the stuff they need to do to improve is BORING...
if he can get them to do anyhting it is half-hearted and it never lasts because they instantly revert to skiing "how they know" .....

as he said - it can be more rewarding teaching beginners - at least most of them improve!
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Nice story disski. Glad to see you are in total agreement with my first post, now back to the instructors...
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski View Post
2-turn

my canadian has a bunch like that every weekend.... they frustrate the crap out of him because they have no desire to LEARN... they use him as a ski guide/lift queue cutting implement.... and as he says - they ski exactly the same as they did last season and the season before that etc etc... because they think doing the stuff they need to do to improve is BORING...
if he can get them to do anyhting it is half-hearted and it never lasts because they instantly revert to skiing "how they know" .....

as he said - it can be more rewarding teaching beginners - at least most of them improve!
I understand what you're saying, but I think you didn't get the "high level skiers". These skiers are the few on the montain that people dream of skiing like. The instructor knew, when accepting the position, what he was getting into, and when he couldn't be there a particular day, Top instructors were lined up to take his place. Including Mike Rogan.....Although Mike did make it a clinic when he sat in....
post #21 of 26
oh I got the "high level" bit just fine.... that masters group are the TOP level masters skiers.... they are supposedly race training amongst other things....

he just hates that they have no desire to work to improve themselves
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
OK, so, disski has an example of a group of students who aren't ideal. i.e. the opposite of what this thread is supposed to be about. Thanks. Now back to what makes an IDEAL group.
post #23 of 26
Fox, a desire to learn is all that's necessary to make a student ideal. It's a variation on the adage that when the student is ready a teacher will show up. If students "show up" it brings the best out in any teacher.

A great student is one that can learn from anyone.
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
A great student is one that can learn from anyone.

I think that's also true of a great teacher - one who can learn from anyone.
post #25 of 26
If I was to truly paint a picture of the ideal student ....

She would be about 40.

She would come by herself (at least for additional lessons).

And get your minds out of the gutter ... Yuki is a happily married guy ...

Most women of that type are self motivated (they want to learn to ski for them, that is something positive to do with their lives; they don't have all of the "jock baggage" lots of guys come with and they have the ability to listen.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
If I was to truly paint a picture of the ideal student ....

She would be about 40.

She would come by herself (at least for additional lessons).

And get your minds out of the gutter ... Yuki is a happily married guy ...

Most women of that type are self motivated (they want to learn to ski for them, that is something positive to do with their lives; they don't have all of the "jock baggage" lots of guys come with and they have the ability to listen.


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