So, you want to be a ski instructor, eh?
Here's some advice from an Ex-ski instructor:
I taught at Okemo for a couple years. It was mostly a whole lot of fun. I loved teaching others to ski and I got to work with a lot of great people. The staff there was very nice and were very accomodating to my need as a part timer to work a pretty odd schedule. A lot of places won't let you do that.
I simply called up there in the fall, spoke to the ski school director, and she said come on up for training in November.
Apparently there is a lot of turnover, and if you're not a great skier, nobody will notice when you're teaching SKIWEE.
You'll probably end up teaching SKIWEE at first, no matter how good you are depending on the Ski School.
I was about a level 9 skier and started out mostly teaching levels 1-4 adults and older kids. Fun, but very hard work on a busy weekend or holiday. In my second year I began to work my way up to levels 5-6 after passing my PSIA Level I exam. That was a lot more fun.
One of the biggest benefits I saw though was how much my skiing improved by skiing with some of the best skiers there, and by taking lots of clinics. The PSIA has fantastic clinics, and that's reason enough to give it a shot, if you want to improve your skiing.
I certainly didn't make any money doing this, but I'm sure you know that already. You have to be around for quite a while if you want to survive as a full timer.
Unfortunately, I couldn't keep it up. I live too far away, and my wife had enough of my shennanigans. My biggest complaint though is that even though the Ski School Directors were very nice people, the Big Resort Management doesn't give a shit about you. They couldn't care less about losing experienced instructors. They give you the season pass, but you really think you're going to get to free ski with it? Not much. I was obligated on my free skiing days to check in with the ski school to see if they needed help. Guess what? They always seemed to be shorthanded.
Ski with the family? You better wear a face mask mask so they don't recognize you and yank you for SKIWEE.
It's all very short sighted. It costs the resort $0 to give you a ski pass. It's a piece of plastic. Don't even try to argue their side of it. If they only asked for 20 days from you as a part timer, that would keep a lot of people from quitting. Maybe you could get 10 days in yourself, with the family.
But of course, they have to milk you for about 30 days. That's a lot for many part timers and because of this, many drop out.
They drop out because it's too much to ask from a poor slob who works M-F all winter long. They lose people just as they're beginning to get some experience. Bad for the ski school - Very Bad for people taking lessons. They'll just hire another new guy, milk him dry, and throw him away in a couple of years too.
IMHO, a big reason why people don't continue to take lessons.
They don't realize that if they hired more instructors, gave them a few more free days, a few more plastic passes, and didn't suck them dry it would be better for everyone and the quality of instruction would improve. Unfortunately, they seem to treat most part timers as if they're trying to scam them out of imaginary lift ticket dollars.
Of course, all resorts are different, this was just my experience.
But I still say DO IT, If you have the time. It's a very rewarding experience, and if I can ever find enough free time, I might be back myself.
>>Rant completed at 01:45 EST.>>
[ September 09, 2002, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: Carvemeister ]