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Instructors - Talk or Silence?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by FOG View Post

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...
This is from another thread. I didn't want to take it OT, so....

....which do you prefer, spending a lot of time "instructing," or "mileage" with your students? Tell us why.
post #2 of 22
Would someone please supply the proper quote from the Tao--

I hear and I forget...yaddayaddayadda..I do and I understand. Most lessons suffer from over teaching and under practicing with feedback.
post #3 of 22
I like talk when I need talk... and mileage when I need to ski... and plenty of feedback (that can be nonverbal or simply a single word)...

usually we aim for talk on chair as it allows for both talk and mileage... but sometimes we need snow to talk on...
post #4 of 22
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Would someone please supply the proper quote from the Tao--
What I hear, I forget.
What I see, I remember.
What I do, I understand.
post #5 of 22
Depends on the student.

I a student that after I've shown him a new move and he tried it once, he want me to stand on the side of the trail and explain all about it for about 15 minutes. Most would consider that that bad lesson but that's what the customer wanted; he's learning mode was "thinker", I gave him what he wanted.

Most of the time, it's an minute or two talking so show something new, the practice. Repeat for next step in progression. Usually about three steps per lesson. Offer feed back when needed; a few words at stops.

There's always lift time to explain more to the thinker between runs.

But, if the student want to ski, ski. If the student wants to talk, talk. If you have a mix, ski on the trails, talk on the lift.
post #6 of 22

the tao is up two points in todays closing?

Nolo ... lots apply ..

The first line is always a good one ....

"The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." ....

or ...

""Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing, teaching no-talking."

post #7 of 22
Any talk should be pertinent, relevant and have a purpose.

Last year, I did an experiemental lesson with 2 other instructors where no one was allowed to talk. It allowed us to see that there are times when talk is necessary but there are many times when talk is used when it is not.
post #8 of 22
Talk needs to be for teaching and for boosting confidence. Tell each person the one thing each one needs to do better at that moment, and let them know what they do right. When they get that one point right, tell them the next most important thing for each person to do. Don't chatter and don't tell more than one thing at a time. Allow time for them to think and practice that one most important move. If they're doing something wrong attempting that move, break in and correct them.

post #9 of 22
I did not mean to imply that I never talk, just that I try really hard only to talk when it is absolutely necessary, and to avoid the temptation to try too hard to introduce a new topic or an eleaboration on a previous drill on every half run. It takes patience to let the students run with an exercise long enough to really get it. Sure, I help with minor details, but the main thing is to give a lot of practice time with a task, although with kids I may play several different games all of which emphasize the same skill and movement. If you give the students enough time to perfect a task then by definition you will avoid talking too much.
post #10 of 22
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Most lessons suffer from over teaching and under practicing with feedback.
I absolutely concur!!

I just spent three days with two Level 7 skiers at Copper. We worked on a few simple mechanics the first morning then it was:


We beat the DIRT model to death skiing top to bottom-in a variety of conditions- for 2 and 1/2 days (kinda of nice in early November). But they now have a rock solid turn they can take into any terrain or conditions.

Teach less longer!!!!
post #11 of 22
Some of my best lessons with the greatest positive feedback from the client has been the ones I've talked the least in. (I'm a analytical type so that can be a challenge to me. I love having engineers in my class!)

These lessons have followed the form of:
- Ski a bit - so I can do some covert MA
- Do a nickel lecture and demo on one item - I keep it short and concise. If its over a minute, its too long.
- Practice with positive feedback - Get them to feel the move and do it. Again, a short session.
- Allow them to ski it by themselves. - I'll tell them to practice and ski. Just ski down to where I stop. Then I blast off down a good bit so they can do it without them thinking I'm watching their every move.
- Then check for comprehension and questions.
- Do some more free skiing with a focus on what we just did. - This reinforces what they learned.

I think the real key is that people can only absorb and comprehend so much at a time. Give them what they need, when they need it, and allow them to make it their own.
post #12 of 22
I'm a cognitive do-er, so I tend to teach that way. I need to know what we are doing, why, how, and what I should feel. But I get very restless wtih too much talk. So I tend to set the scene at the start, what we're working on, where it's going, and how we'll get there. While doing tasks on the hill, early on I'll stop about half way down and give quick feedback to each person, and then continue to the bottom. As things start to improve, each person gets their own personal tasks, and we might do the whole run, with feedback at the bottom.

I prefer one point per "talk". Succinct as possible, guest understands (they might clarify with a question). If there's problems happening, we might ski 100 metres and re-group. Then as it starts to come right, we reduce stops and go longer.

Even in low level lessons (levels 1 to 3), I find this approach has us lapping other classes at the same level.
post #13 of 22
Me again.
Mulling on this subject, my pet hate is when I get a 'private' which is The Family.

Why is it that parents, who live 24 hours a day with their kids, haven't realised that kids and adults learn in a totally different way?

I give them the heads up: "Kids, your parents are going to want information about what we're doing, which means a bit more talking than you want. Parents, the kids learn this stuff by doing it, and they're doing to start shuffling and kicking the snow while you get the information and explanations you need".
Then when the kids start zoning out during the talk bits, I can refer to that and keep things moving a bit more.

It's invariably a bit of an eye-opener for the parents (the kids don't care!). I can also explain why kids' ski school groups are often accused by adults of "just skiing, not learning anything". I can tell them that kids learn by following and doing, and our challenge is to have them doing the things that will teach them the things they need, without them realising they're learning something!
post #14 of 22

use the time on the lift..........

i have ridden the quads hundreds of times with an instructor and student and rarely....almost never....heard the instructor use the time to teach, or teach the student how to observe others at their level and do some ma
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
You can ride with me and my students you want. Just don't expect me to talk to you - I'm too busy teaching.
post #16 of 22
talk, show, then do, do, do , do
talk only when needed to help direct, coach, redirect or to instill confidence through appropriate praise, not empty praise
then do some more....
post #17 of 22
For practice, take a group in which no one speaks any of the languages you do...
(Been there, done that - of course, some might say that I don't speak any language very well! )
post #18 of 22
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
Depends on the student.

We have a WINNER!!!

How much to talk (and how much to listen) depends not only on what will make the student a better skier, but also on what will make the student a satisfied customer that will ask for you on their next visit and refer their friends to you too.

One "rule of tongue" I was taught early on is to follow every "talk" with at least one turn for evey word you just spoke.
post #19 of 22
I have to agree with L2T and Stache here personally, often there is definately too much talk and not enough skiing. However, depending on students and terrain, sometimes more talking is required.

A general guideline I like to use for an all day lesson is teaching in the AM, discussion at lunch, and feedback and terrain exploration in the afternoon (rolling everything together).

My favorite "lessons" though are the one I teach my brother, luckily I know how he skis (and it appies to clients that you know or ski with multiple days) when we can simply terrain explore and then provide feedback/ideas for difficulties.
post #20 of 22
as much as possible ...

- talk on the chair
- ski on the snow

sometimes it's the learners that are too talkative and it takes some skill to move the lesson into skiing mode without being off-putting.

I used to teach an all-women's group. They were chatty. Every morning there was a basket of candy kisses and the women were told to take some and give it to the instructor when they wanted "less talk/more ski". On the hill I reminded my group that it worked both ways! :-)
post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by mikewil View Post
Teach less longer!!!!

To be fun, we need to be skiing. The lift rides are long enough for discussion. Hill time is for a quick thought, then skiing!
post #22 of 22
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
The lift rides are long enough for discussion. Hill time is for a quick thought, then skiing!
Only problem here is when working with a group that does not fit on one chair.

However, I have had these situations where I just sum up the conversation and work it into an idea to work on that run (or a couple).
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