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Level 3 teaching report from Hunter

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

my scores were this

12/16 on the teaching

and 80 percent on the written.

 

I passed woo hoo!!

 

here is a detailed report

I did not study at all for this. My only preparations have been teaching alot of lessons, alot of instructor clinics that I ran, and reading on epic.

Let me first state I hate the exam format. The issue with it the people arent real, and without being real its very hard to connect to something thats not really there. even though I passed 3 outta of 4 examiners I feel I teach much better lessons when I am actually just teaching REAL people. I actually felt so bad I was sure I was going to fail as I told JRN on the end of day one. That mindset of already being out of the running may have actually helped me get though Day 2. On day 2 I was alot more relaxed and did alot more things that I would actually use in 'real' lessons.

Day 1 Module one "Creative Teaching"

the skier profile I drew was this

"middle aged doctor who want to ski softer deep snow on his trip out west"

skills profile

"dynamic parallel with a pivot point ahead of the boot"

yeah so I was suppose to correct a rotary problem while creatively relating to a middle aged doctor who apparently has no hobbies or other interest other than being a doctor. the ironic things was I have taught this exact lesson before but to be honest, he is a dynamic parallel skier his hobby is skiing!! On the lift I actually called up my client Rich who I taught how to ski powder and ask him what the most important thing he learned from me was. He response was a drill I like to call the "the visable fall line drill". then I asked him how could I related to that to a doctor. He had no clue and neither did I.

Going back to original 'problem" of a pivot point being ahead of the boot I could fix that and IMO the guy still couldnt ski powder or I could talk about and show constant COM movement which not only tends to get people to ski powder and other rough conditions better but also tend to fix 'rotary" problems with out ever teaching rotary.

Going to shorter this alot but basically I pretended on of the other candidates was the doctor and ask him this.

me
"where are we going while we ski"

student
"down the hill!!"

me
"thats right lets learn how to always ski down the hill"

I drew a line straight into the fallline on a blue slope, and then talked about how when we ski powder we always want to ski the fall line and how we always want to keep our bodies moving down the hill with the fall line.

I then demoed how we were going to make symmetrical turns down the fallline and focus on the fallline and keep moving our bodys along the fall line.

Its amazing what changes in peoples skiing when they do the "Ski the line the drill". COM movment is constant and flowing, which then makes the skis get up on edge right in the fallline, it also tends to cause people to square up to hill and even causes retractions turns with out ever talking about it.

Ironically the group actually improved their own skiing with this drill. Being that I have taught this I know it works, I also know it wasnt creative at all. i couldnt creatively relate this concept to a doctor with no other know hobbies or interest and I wouldnt change a thing in my Method of operation in a actual lesson.

the examiner asks me this

"how did this creatively relate to the fact the skier was a middle aged doctor"

me

"The doctor is a dynamic parallel skier, his hobby is skiing, this lesson has worked in the past, I wouldnt try to be creative because I feel the that creativety here would convolute the actual easily understandable idea. If that fails me I am ok with it.

I did fail him, and I was ok with it. Like I said the exam format is whack and I wouldnt change how I taught that lesson to a real skier. Chances are Id have much more to go on than 'middle aged doctor" in a real lesson as well.

At the end of the exam(after day 2) he actually commented that the line drill was more creative drills he had seen and is something he himself might start to use. He said thank you and I understand that I didnt relate to the doctor enough to pass.

Day 1 module 2

Movement Analysis


this is going to be alot more shorter then the first right up.


I really like this, I actually failed this at L2 but this time around I was much better prepared.

This module for alot of the exam was run as open forum and with only a little time of being 'in the hot seat'

when it was my turn in the hot seat I was asked to MA 2 of my peers doing lane changes.  they both had noticeable edge set at the bottom of their turns and werent making dynamic turns because of it. I felt that even though their poles use was decent it could have been better, and had a chance of moving their bodies down the hills. I talked about how our poles should always be moving to helps us move our COM into our next turn. simply enough while coaching within the tasks I asked them to start their pole swing as soon they finished thier last pole plant. The skiing got noticeably better and I guess that coupled with my Movement Analysis of the general public we did thoughout the afternoon was enough for 4 passes.

 

teaching children and youth module is next.


 


Edited by BushwackerinPA - 3/8/2009 at 08:46 pm
post #2 of 20

FKNA!!!  Congrats Josh!!!

post #3 of 20

First, congratulations on the pass, BWPA!

 

While your exam format is somewhat different from ours in Rocky Mountain, the standard we are looking for at Level 3 is also "Creativity" (on top, of course, of basic, sound teaching principles). We aren't necessarily looking for you to invent a new, never-before-conceived drill (are there any?) or something, but mostly to creatively apply and tailor your teaching concepts to the unique student's needs. Our exam candidates watch a video of a real skier/student, with a brief interview usually on a chair ride, and a couple minutes of their skiing--so there's probably a bit more to go on and a "real" (on video) person to deal with. But either way, I think you may well have accomplished the hard part, and missed the easiest part of the lesson in your exam performance!

 

It seems to me that, if all you have to go on is "middle-aged doctor," you will have to make some assumptions. We do that all the time in teaching, and everywhere else. The mistake is to act on our assumptions without first verifying them. That "middle-aged doctor" could be a former World Cup racer who is fitter and stronger than most athletic 20-somethings. Or he could be a couch-potato who has never been athletic in his life. I would want to find out at least what kind of doctor he is (orthopedic surgeon? psychiatrist? pediatrician?), what are his goals, what is his understanding of "how to turn" (his forward pivot point may simply "stem" from a misunderstanding that he should lever forward on his boot cuffs, or use a lot of knee angulation to tip his skis on edge), what's on his skiing resume, and what other (if any) athletic experience he has had. While you may not find the specific answers to these questions in a hypothetical situation, part of the skill of teaching that we would want to evaluate is your ability to identify specific needs. I'm as interested in your insights and questioning technique as in how you respond to the answers.

 

What we would expect our candidates (Rocky Mountain) to do is describe what they need to know about the person, and how they'd go about finding out. We'd expect them to state their assumptions and describe how they would verify them before proceeding. Generalizations about a "middle-aged doctor" that seem reasonable (but still need verifying for any individual) might include "intelligent," "goal-oriented," "achiever," "non-athlete" (with certainly many strong exceptions), and so on. Creativity in your lesson could simply involve stating a few of these generalized assumptions, as well as how you would verify them (questions, observations), showing and describing how you would tailor the pacing, explanation, teaching styles, and so on of your progression, and explaining why you thought this particular focus (which may be "standard" for you, but still must be made specifically relevant to your student) would work well for this hypothetical person. That's creative teaching! You already got "points" for using a unique focus, but if you could have simply shown why that focus would work particularly well for this student, and how you make it come alive for him, I'll bet you'd have nailed it with the one examiner whom you did not pass.

 

(Perhaps!)

 

Anyway, you did it, so the point is moot as far as your passing this exam. But I've always thought that we should have two goals for attending any exam: one is to pass, of course; the other is to learn something. Exams are always different from our everyday teaching. They can never fully reveal how an instructor really teaches--how you "connect" with your real students and seek and react to the often-subtle feedback that keeps the lesson on target. But they can usually reveal your "hard skills"--your grasp of basic teaching theory, communication skills, technical understanding, demonstrations, and such.

 

Thanks for telling the story--and again, congratulations! It's a great accomplishment!

 

Best regards,

Bob


Edited by Bob Barnes - 3/8/2009 at 08:35 pm
post #4 of 20

Congratulations, Josh -- and nice reply, Bob.  These posts give a student insight into the teaching method.

post #5 of 20

Josh,

 

Congratulations.

 

I was working 7 miles away during your exam.  I hope it was a learning experience that you can benefit from.  My goal after earning L3 was and is to become both a better teacher and skier.  You are now able to take higher levels of PSIA clinics, as a L3. Hope you take advantage of that.

 

RW

post #6 of 20

Congradulations Josh, you join the ranks at the top.

post #7 of 20

Good job Josh

post #8 of 20

Well done Josh.

post #9 of 20

Josh,  Enjoy the moment, it is a great feeling and a testament to all the hard work you did. Great job!

post #10 of 20

Congrats Josh...or Bushwackin.....You got balls for keepin it real in the exam.       That is what I did for my skiing part.....lets see if teaching holds the same, though for me likely not...I am a "thinker".    I do have to agree that I feel 100% confident in my teaching skills to real people.    Its quite hard to do this in an exam type setting.    During the clinics I teach, I love it and my peers respond they really enjoy what I have to share.    

 

Congrats again...

post #11 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

I passed woo hoo!!

...

Let me first state I hate the exam format. The issue with it the people arent real, and without being real its very hard to connect to something thats not really there.

...

Day 1 Module one "Creative Teaching"

the skier profile I drew was this

"middle aged doctor who want to ski softer deep snow on his trip out west"

skills profile

"dynamic parallel with a pivot point ahead of the boot"

On the lift I actually called up my client Rich who I taught how to ski powder and ask him what the most important thing he learned from me was. He response was a drill I like to call the "the visable fall line drill". then I asked him how could I related to that to a doctor. He had no clue and neither did I.
....

i couldnt creatively relate this concept to a doctor with no other know hobbies or interest and I wouldnt change a thing in my Method of operation in a actual lesson.

 

First off - welcome to the party Josh. Now you're ready to learn how to ski and how to teach. So let me get this straight, this first thing you do when you get in trouble in an exam is cheat (call a former student)? Congratulations! Cheating is an element of effective teaching!
 

 

The thing about artifical stuff in exams is that examiners are usually pretty good about understanding that exam teaching (and skiing) is usually far less polished than real teaching. It helps to remember that they are looking at the mechanics of how things are done. The second thing to remember in these artificial set ups is that the lack of info means you have creative license to fill in the blanks.

 

With respect to creative teaching, one of the reasons we do this to "teach for transfer". This does not work for everyone, but it often is very effective. The big problem is that it is very hard for us to relate outside of our own personal experience base. The next problem is that it takes practice to make it an automatic part of our teaching. Practice helps to defeat that "OMG I need to be creative now" mental block. In your case, your problem was obvious and so funny it left me in stitches.

 

Literally. Stitches! Get it? You had a line drill you needed an analogy for. So here we have a nice straight line (the cut - more creative license) and nice even stitches (turns) around the line. How do we get the even stitches? Use the same principles for skiing. I bet you could even figure out a stitch analogy to fix pivoting too.

 

I once had a 65 year old doctor for a "first time" (he had skied once 10 years prior) lesson. The guy was 6 feet 6 inches tall and >300 lbs and literally had a hard time just standing on skis. But by the end of the hour he was making perfect stitches down the slope. Perfect. The analogy was not my idea at the time, but it was obvious that was what clicked in his head to change him from total clutz to thing of beauty in one run.

 

Be open to changing your methods for we are just beginning our journey.

post #12 of 20

Really great thread on this topic!    Thanks for sharing this BushWack and congrats!

 

post #13 of 20

Stitches, duh! Why didn't you think of that? Why didn't I, when puzzling over your assignment? Seems obvious now. I think doctors don't stitch the way baseball makers do though, each surgical stitch is a separate pieces of thread, not linked like turns, but the examiner probably would have been snowed with that 'teaching for transfer'. On the other hand, he admitted the drill was one the most creative he had seen, and you were relating to one of the student's hobby, albeit skiing, so what was the problem? Whatever, you passed. Congratulations! 

 

Maybe calling a former student was cheating, but having your student's number and having that much respect for your student to ask his advice tells me that you have a great relationship with your students and that you involve the students in their learning. That kind of give and take where the teacher and student share ideas leads to better learning, for both of you. A+ for making that call. 

post #14 of 20

This is the most retarded thing I've ever heard.  What if your student was unemployed? What are you supposed to say?  "Stand up tall while you ski--just like you stand up tall while waiting in line for your unemployment check..."

 

How does this have anything to do with teaching skiing?

 

I can't believe they made you do this.

 

For the doctor, you could have said "learn to transfer your weight--just like you transfer your patients from one specialist to another." You might have failed then too....

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 20

Zin,

 

Do you teach? There are dozens (hundreds?) of teaching theories. In one sense, they are all retarded because they over generalize. No one student is ever as black or white as the theory states. Yet all these theories arise from observations and experience with large groups of people. They get propogated and repeated because they work at least in some small way.

 

In the creative teaching portion of the PSIA-E level 3 exam, scoring is based on 4 components:

-The power of transfer

-Technical validity of the teaching concept

-Group handling skills

-Communication skills

 

The power of transfer section requires:

Quote:

The coaching should create a bridge from the experience/activity to the
skiing movements to be learned.

 

 

This is an example of the theory called teaching for transfer. It's not something invented by PSIA. Institutions of higher learning like Harvard even promote this. These ten tips for teaching for transfer from Harvard probably also sound retarded. Metacognitive reflection sure sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo to me.

 

We don't teach for transfer in every lesson with every student. But this can be a very powerful teaching technique. You'll find that highly skilled teachers will use this method more often than lesser skilled teachers. In the case of the unemployed student, it's hard to associate that experience with movements, but it's not hard to keep exploring with more questions until you find an activity that the student is familiar with that can be related to skiing.

 

post #16 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

 

Zin,

 

Do you teach? There are dozens (hundreds?) of teaching theories. In one sense, they are all retarded because they over generalize. No one student is ever as black or white as the theory states. Yet all these theories arise from observations and experience with large groups of people. They get propogated and repeated because they work at least in some small way.

 

In the creative teaching portion of the PSIA-E level 3 exam, scoring is based on 4 components:

-The power of transfer

-Technical validity of the teaching concept

-Group handling skills

-Communication skills

 

The power of transfer section requires:

 

 

This is an example of the theory called teaching for transfer. It's not something invented by PSIA. Institutions of higher learning like Harvard even promote this. These ten tips for teaching for transfer from Harvard probably also sound retarded. Metacognitive reflection sure sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo to me.

 

We don't teach for transfer in every lesson with every student. But this can be a very powerful teaching technique. You'll find that highly skilled teachers will use this method more often than lesser skilled teachers. In the case of the unemployed student, it's hard to associate that experience with movements, but it's not hard to keep exploring with more questions until you find an activity that the student is familiar with that can be related to skiing.

 

 

I do have a good amount of teaching experience through private tutoring .  However I have never formally been trained as an educator.  In any case, I think that this whole transfer technique can be useful.  And I have seen it used many times when I was learning skiing.  I never found it to be particularly effective.  But it doesn't seem to be something that should be forced.  Trying to find some stupid analogy between skiing and being a doctor seems to stretch the limits of this technique.

 

 

post #17 of 20

I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to associate something the learner is familiar with, with skiing.  However, here is the danger, how much do you or I or most of the people teaching skiing, really know about what its like to be a doctor?  We can take some wild guesses at it and hope that what WE perceive as good doctoring, will correlate in some way to good skiing, and properly.  Of course, you can think to yourself, if its off by a little bit, it doesn't matter, they will understand.  But I think it does matter.


For example, my PT has me doing various different exercises as part of my back recovery.  He does not ski.  He knows that I ski a lot.  Seems like at least 2 times per session he will try to relate one of the new exercises to skiing in some way, in his mind thinking that his association with particular skiing movements will in some way help me understand how to do the exercise.  The problem is that his understanding of skiing is so limited that what I am doing in the exercise RARELY correlates exactly to skiing.  It may in some vague sense, but usually its just wrong enough that I get a little confused and do the drills wrong, usually asking him for more explicit instructions that have nothing to do with skiing.  It rather annoys me when he tries to relate things to skiing, because its usually wrong and I have to ask for the proper instructions anyway.

 

 

post #18 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin View Post

 

 

 

I do have a good amount of teaching experience through private tutoring .  However I have never formally been trained as an educator.  In any case, I think that this whole transfer technique can be useful.  And I have seen it used many times when I was learning skiing.  I never found it to be particularly effective.  But it doesn't seem to be something that should be forced.  Trying to find some stupid analogy between skiing and being a doctor seems to stretch the limits of this technique.

 

 

Sure it's a stretch. Exams often include stretch components to see how solid the skill is. But we also get students who stretch the limits of our teaching skills occasionally too. The purpose of this section of the exam is to test your creativity. Examiners will let candidates have a fair amount of creative license to fill in gaps (e.g. everyone knows that all doctors golf on Wednesday's - then use a golf movement as the reference).
 

Yes there are some students who will respond less effectively to teaching for transfer. I would think that students who primarily learn by watching would fall into this category. Skilled instructors will compose their lesson content to cover multiple learning styles until they have cues for a preferred learning style.

post #19 of 20

Best line of the month!

 

I will try to fit it in and see what happens.  

 

 

For the doctor, you could have said "learn to transfer your weight--just like you transfer your patients from one specialist to another." You might have failed then too....

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I:)Skiing View Post

 

Best line of the month!

 

I will try to fit it in and see what happens.  

 

 

For the doctor, you could have said "learn to transfer your weight--just like you transfer your patients from one specialist to another." You might have failed then too....

 

well that wouldnt have helped with a rotary or a powder problem.

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