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What's YOUR philosophy? - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Again, awesome thread nolo.
Todo your response gets to the heart of a great potential discussion. What are our ethical obligations? What kind of educational experience should ski instructors provide? (Implicit to experiential ed is the assumption that a student's journey should be facilitated from dependence to independence.) Are those mutually exclusive to running a business?
Perhaps if our vision of our work includes more than one possible role for us and those who lay down their money at the desk to hire us, we might more comfortably encompass several answers to those questions.
As an educator, one tenet of my philosophy certainly is to instill effective tools for self-coaching and independence. Yet, as a companion, guide, facilitator, mentor, ally - I might work on a regular, continual basis with a mutual friend, client or "guest." The answer (for me, anyway) lies squarely within what my employer (the latter) truly wants, as well as my integrity in delivering that.
post #32 of 36
Wonderful posts by all.
I've thought for a few days before undertaking this moment of self-revelation. So here is what guides my teaching:

For me it has to begin with an open heart.
I owe my students unconditional regard. It's the foundation for our partnership. For some reason I just can't get away with less and feel good about the work later.
My life mission is to learn to give unconditional regard as much possible so I can learn to live a little more in compassion and less in fear.
Teaching is how I practice doing this. It's wondrous to me that my medium for practice gets to be skiing.
Some students sure can be harder to regard unconditionally than others. I sometimes have to search hard to see those things inside them Nolo and Arcmeister speak of - those seeds of beauty, curiosity, mastery within them that compel us as teachers, that we believe in often before our students even believe in themselves.
I had one guy last week for instance, a pushy, obnoxious, loud, cheap guy from Jersey. He tested me, the ticket scanners, cashiers and lift ops for five days. I took a full day off after he left. ("Do you think I'm difficult?" he asked me mid-booking.) You'll get whiners, people who won't take responsibility for themselves, feet-welded tail swishers who ski watching a movie of themselves in their heads, instant gratification with no effort types....
What a motley, exasperating, hilarious crew of people who become my teachers - they masterfully hold up the mirror everytime I get caught up in attaching a label or hanging on too long to irritation. With them I have to truly stretch my heart - sometimes I really wish it were Lycra.
Without the stretch though, learning usually seems less for both of us. When I stretch, most of them will too.
post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 
Ahh, the problem child needs the most love. The ones who need constant stroking may have little intrapersonal intelligence and are asking you, the teacher, to guide them to a closer connection with self.

Compounding the emotional disconnect is that relatively few people are acquainted with their bodies underneath all those layers of clothes. My job is also to help people grow out of their bodily-kinesthetic inhibitions.

Another philosophical point, and this may be the mission-critical one, is to get close to the customer. I email my students all season long and send along training tips out of season. They email me all season long too, sometimes to remark on the latest lesson, sometimes to tell me about their field trip to another resort, sometimes just to share a good joke.
post #34 of 36
OK, OK I still want to have a job! Maybe become UNNEEDED was to strong, My real point is the old saying "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time". I think the more we can have our clients, students, athletes become PART OF the learning and very active in there own learning the more succesfull we will ALL be. I like my clients to tell me what works better for them, how they learn best. Then regardless of that I have my own believe that the more we can get our students to feelers and doers the more successful we are.

Although I have skied for many years and am my own best coach I LOVE the oppurtunity to ski with others that will give insights observations or new twists to what my own thoughts or sensations are. I have no doubt that those students of NOLO would do much better up on the ridge with her than with out her as would I.

The difference to me on becoming unneeded is I have stoped "spoon feeding information" and started to take the guests own sensations and observations and guided them to use them to learn and in turn teach themself. I hope I am always needed as someone fun to ski with that shows a nice image and can help be a sounding board and observer.

Any sport I do be it basketball, tennis, golf I enjoy playing with better people as I feel it raises your own game. I think as coachs we can fill that need for some. While others maybe we will not be able to ski as well as a client but we have the local knowledge or the encourage word or insightful comment that makes us a valuable peice of the guests experience that they could do with out BUT chooses not too!!!
post #35 of 36
In this thread is so many great descriptions; love of skiing is in every one, and this is what we are passing along.

Prayer of the skier

I go to the mountain to seek serenity,
I ski down to feel freedom,
I place my faith into the hands of nature,
I seek friendship and love.
Love for freedom, love for harmony.
I ask God to give me the courage, the strength and the skills,so
I can ski where I want to ski,
I can dream what I dare to dream,
I can achieve what I want to achieve,
And always have friends by my side.

post #36 of 36
agreed, Nolo, great topic... and thank you for asking questions that engage people and promote self-exploration!

I am in the camp of "give them what they are looking for". We are faced with something new every hour.

- 28 year old man tells me - "I want to ski better, I can take criticism, I expect a lot out of this lesson."
- 9 year old child says "can we go catch air in the terrain park?!".
- 56 year old woman says "I just got new shaped skis and they feel so weird."

Therefore, my Goal/Philosophy is two-part:
- meet their expectations
- AND, improve their skiing

IMHO, accomplishing my goal is ALL about delivery models, technique, teaching style.

and now it's time to ski!!
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