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What's YOUR philosophy?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Instructors, do you have a general philosophy about teaching that guides your work with students? I'm not really talking about a "teaching model" because those tend to be recipes for a lesson format.

For example, my philosophy is that in every student is an expert skier, and my job is to bring it out. I think of it as similar to what a sculptor does--removing all of the extraneous movements that are not conducive to expert skiing. When everything that doesn't need to be there is gone (leaving only the movements that are functional and relevant to the task) my job is done.

I also believe that every student who comes for one lesson intends to come back for another. Whatever brought them there in the first place is sufficient to bring them back again, if I give them what they came for and then some. The "and then some" is enlarging their vision of what skiing can be and placing them in that picture. The trick of repeat business is dialing in a student's aspirations.

I'm curious how others look at the job of ski teaching, both students and instructors.
post #2 of 36
Great question!

I work hard to create a relationship. I try to make a friend. In honor of Fred Rogers I guess it is something along the lines of "won't you be my neighbor?"

As an aside, Fred Rogers lived next door to my parents. For those who have ever wondered, what you saw on television and what existed as a human being was one and the same
post #3 of 36
. . . and now, sadly, he's gone. He made this world a better place to be, just by being there himself.
post #4 of 36
Nolo, what an awesome idea for a thread. I love what you've said.
I concur so much with your insight into your students' true nature and how you help them eliminate what is extraneous. I appreciate how you help them see their own, special identities as "skiers".
Rusty's response revealed as well how our "philosophy" spawns our self-created "role" in the learning process.
Every once in awhile that student appears for whom skiing really is not enjoyable but they're not yet clear as to what they really want for themselves. Interestingly, some of my most powerful connections in the guise of "ski instructor" have occurred as I help them explore their feelings around the experience so they can make a truly clear, empowered choice (which could include not to ski anymore). Some words that come to mind there on role include "facilitator" and "ally".
Snow continues to fall, so I'm going skiing. I hope this great discussion continues. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 36
Good topic Nolo. Being that I coach racers, and environment in which you have the same students for multiple years, many hours a week. This allows for unique teaching models and philosophies.

First, I believe that to be successful as a racer you must first be an ultra skilled skier, so developing great skiers is my main objective. I refuse to take shortcuts designed to foster short term success, I take the time upfront to extensively develop and refine fundimental skills. Doing so pays dividends long term.

But proboby the philosophy that most quides my actions is the belief that I am doing much more than simply teaching kids to be good ski racers, I am planting the seeds that will help them develop into high achievers who will excell at an pursuit they undertake for the rest of their lives. I introduce them to the principles of success: commitment, work ethic, dedication, persistence, sacrafice. And I lead by example, if they do 300 sit-ups I do 300 situps. If they do an 8 mile run I lead it. If it's raining and the lifts shut down the gates go over my shoulder and the drill goes in my hand and we hike. I look at myself primarily not as a teacher of skiing, but a teacher of life, I simply us the forum of ski racing as my classroom.

Finally I redifine success for my students. I show them how to reject societies association of success with winning and help them understand that true success comes on an individual scale. Winning a race does not neccessarily reflect a successfull day and coming in 20 could very well accompany an individual breakthrough.
post #6 of 36
As usual Nolo, your questions teach one to look within.

So, I looked and found this .......

I try to give them more than they expected from me.

I try to help them discover more than they expected from themselves.

Rather than just be a teacher in the conventional sense,
I try to be a guide for their learning experience.

When I guide at my best, I inspire learning and minimize my interference with it.

When their destination is known, I show a learning path (or two), and guide the way.

When their destination is uncertain, I guide the adventure of discovering choices of paths.

My goal is not their change, but their learning how to make changes.

I do not try to teach people the “Right Way to Ski”.

I try to guide their learning: “How to Learn to Ski, any way They want to ski”.

I try to guide the learning of optional solutions to the mountains puzzles.

I share concepts of: less is more, just enough, playing catch, trying softer, and letting go and guiding the energy flow.

I convey that how one then chooses to ski is but their own expression of what they are learning (or not).

I attempt to inspire that learning how to learn provides a process for reaching any destination.

The very experience of teaching is part of my own ongoing learning process.

Roll'em, bend'em, grin when it feels good! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ February 27, 2003, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #7 of 36
Each minute that I spend with them is to take them as far as they can and want to go ...... and hope that I have it in me to get them there.

Great! Now you have got me in touch with the "fears and doubt" thing that I go through before each lesson. :
post #8 of 36
"Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."

That's what nolo and Bob Barnes did for me at the EpicSki Academy - gave me stuff to keep, to think about, to try, to practice, to aim for. It has continued to be effective after the 2003 Academy came to an end, and it shall continue to teach me.

No, I'm not an instructor and I don't play one on TV - but I WANT to become an instructor, and I'm seriously working on that. My philosophy will be the first two sentences quoted above. In other words, I'll emulate those who have most skillfully instructed me. When I'm successful, I'll be planting seeds of learning.
post #9 of 36
To share the myriad opportunities of sensory joy when playing with snow, skis and gravity.
post #10 of 36
Nolo, I would have to say that you summed up my philosophy just about to a T. I can't add anything to it. What teaching model to use is where I am having some struggle.
post #11 of 36
Wonderful thread- Pierre, many good teaching models. They all have the same basice elements. Whichever one you choose will be good if it fits what you want to accomplish.

6 point lesson plan- review, input, model, guided practice, independent practice, evaluation, review. (That's 7, but review is a repeat.) Review #1- where you find out what they know already. (assessment) Input - what you pplan to teach which is new to the student. Model- show how. guided practice - they do it with your help. Independent practice- they do it alone. evaluation- 'test on Friday' (This can be in any form you choose. they demonstrate, Q&A, etc.) review (summarize what was learned, mention what comes next.)

ITIP- Instructional Teaching into Practice - Same basic items. During evaluation you notice, perhaps, something they didn't get, or not doing. you go back and teach that item.

Of course through all this... praise, praise, praise.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
Nolo, I would have to say that you summed up my philosophy just about to a T. I can't add anything to it. What teaching model to use is where I am having some struggle.
You don't need a defined teaching model or methodlogy, Pierre, since you already have the mojo. [img]smile.gif[/img] Just continue to BE who you ARE and the details how to teach it will follow intuitively.
post #13 of 36
Nolo: Great thread. I do two things with them. I push them beyond they're envelope every chance I can and I make them all practice as slowly as it can be done. I also make them focus on a little saying we have at Loon:

" It's not the Destination that Counts,
It's the Journey that Counts."

Whtmt

PS: Thanks for a great thread.

[ February 27, 2003, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: whtmt ]
post #14 of 36
I want people to find themselves enjoying skiing more than they were previously. I want them to discover things they can do, and how easy it can be.
post #15 of 36
I want to give my students a gift they can take with them when they leave. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
From them to me, the gift is inspiration. That's no small change either.
post #17 of 36
I'm out there on the snow to help people find out or remember that skiing is fun, learning is fun, and sow seeds that will continue to grow outside of the lesson. We're all want to bloom. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #18 of 36
I start with the belief that everyone has the potential to become a better skier. How much better is determined purely by their own limitations.
My goal is to instill that belief in them, then inspire them to break through those limitations and experience some of that improvement. Once the process has started, it just snowballs forward, driving through previously held barriers!

Arcmeister has jotted down a thoughtful list of great descriptions, with I fully concur with.

:
post #19 of 36
Nolo,

As usual, you provoke thought. Thanks.

A new student is a potential new friend. In order to develop this new friendship, I have to work very hard to be sure that this new friend is being satisfied as to why he/she has taken a lesson with me. I will facilitate the new student's learning to the best of my ability.
post #20 of 36
Nolo,

As usual, you provoke thought. Thanks.

A new student is a potential new friend. In order to develop this new friendship, I have to work very hard to be sure that this new friend is being satisfied as to why he/she has taken a lesson with me. I will facilitate the new student's learning to the best of my ability.
post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
From the student's point of view, is a lesson a transaction or a gift? Initially, at the ski school desk, it certainly looks like a transaction. How do you, the teacher, transcend the cut-and-dried monetary exchange to make the experience worth more--that is, VALUED more by the student than what the money would buy elsewhere?
post #22 of 36
What's YOUR philosophy?

Love and connection based on mutual respect.

Oz [img]graemlins/angel.gif[/img]
post #23 of 36
Kewl thread

Good stuff.

I Teach for Trust. Everything I say, do and decide during a lesson can either build, maintain or erode trust.

Go with the Glide. I Teach people to do this and make sure to keep them in places where they can learn this so they don't go 'defensive.' If they go with the glide they can always control where it goes.

During their lives everyone has made the movements that define good skiing, just not on skis yet. It is my job to find out where, and provide a link to those movements.
post #24 of 36
Interesting topic Nolo.

My philosophy, really my goal, when teaching a lesson, is to make sure the students actually go away with something new that they can use to become a better skier and enjoy skiing more, while at the same time enjoying the time spent in the lesson. If I can get them interested enough, they are a lot more likely to go out and practice and use what they learned in the lesson. And that is what will make them better skiers, and make them want to come back for more.

One of my philosophies about skiing in general, is that skiing is recreation. Expensive (if only perceived) recreation. It needs to be fun. I tell this to my students and let them know that I'm there to make their experience on the hill as much fun as possible, even long after the lesson has ended.
post #25 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Roto:
During their lives everyone has made the movements that define good skiing, just not on skis yet. It is my job to find out where, and provide a link to those movements.
That's an excellent philosophy, Roto! I agree.
post #26 of 36
give back to the moutain a little bit of what the mountain gave to me.
post #27 of 36
Make myself unneeded! Teach and allow the student to be there own coach thru movements, sensations and awarness. I then become just a mentor.
post #28 of 36
Gosh, Todo, "planned obsolecense"! I totally understand. Some pros feel the need to create attachment to themselves or a students reliance. Others know that their is time to set them free....knowing they will come back to feed when the time is right.
Great thread, Nolo! Makes me re-evaluate my purpose....when I figure that out, I will let you know!
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally posted by Todo:
Make myself unneeded! Teach and allow the student to be there own coach thru movements, sensations and awarness. I then become just a mentor.
Todo, super responce, I so much agree with that philosophy!!! Read closely and absorb fellow instructors. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Todo, maybe you should start a thread and clue us in on why you assign such signifigance to this objective and the techniques you use to reach it.
post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 
How long does it take to not be needed? About four lessons? I'd imagine that four lessons would give someone a good start. Todo has me thinking: I have students who've been skiing with me for YEARS. Is this because I'm creating a self-serving dependence on lessons from me?

I must acknowledge that I get a lot out of teaching and I think the people who ski with me do too, because they can tell that a lot of forethought and planning goes into trying to top their experience the previous week.

Truthfully, by the four lesson standard, none of these people came to my classes needing me. They don't need me now. However, and I am opening a vein of honesty here, when they arrived they were people that I would have to be paid to free ski with and today they are people I would enjoy taking up to Canada and being in their group, having paid the same admission. In fact, a number of them are coming along on my trip next year.

So, the philosophy I practice (as opposed to that I might publicly espouse) is to bring people to the level where they would enjoy skiing the same terrain I enjoy skiing.

I will say that the class I took up to the Ridge last week are skiing my kind of terrain, but you know, they could ski it better with a bit more coaching.
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