Weems, your point is spot on! In meeting the needs of the student/customer we adapt as needed to facilitate their learning, they should not be expected to adapt to us.
My efforts here are to (hopefully) give some clarification and justifiable refrence point from which to start, and from which to calibrate the accuracy of the learning pathway we co-design withand for our students. A more solid WHY for the WHAT we do.
As we evolve as teachers we start simply out "copying" what we've been shown to do, trying to make the students be a nail for our only tool, a hammer. Then as we pretty quickly gather a tool box of options we have learned to apply, we are able to "choose" the most appropriate tool (from those we have) to help the student. Much later on when we have explored, and dug deeper into the process of understanding the many aspects of being a ski teaching pro, we are prepared to "create" tools on the spot or "customize" others in our inventory to be truely specific to the individual needs of whoever is on snow in front of us today. Copying is based on memory, choosing is based on experience, creating/customizing is based on knowledge. Knowledge that provides the confidence to let go of the books, get out of the box, and be spontanious or inspired (but always with a sence of referance to that knowledge base, even when what you do you expands of changes it).
To Calg for WTFH,
I could appoligise for the depth of my reply, however I crafted it specifically for this format, where getting the What, Why, How, When, Where across is key to expanding the knowledge at the depth pros aspire to. For other instructors I'd rather provide the raw materials for them to learn to "create" and own their application, than just dole out something to be "copied" based on "trust me because I said so". Teaching/learning about ski teaching peels a few more layers off the onion of knowing than does just teaching skiing. Maybe thats why my posts make your eyes water. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
On snow with WTFH, as a skiing student, I'd need find out what were his/her(?) motivations and expectations. I suspect that wherever that would lead us I would do some very tactile experiential things. I'd use far less or any depth of explanation, mainly to provide a conceptual refefance point after an experience. I'd attempt to create real experiences that would expand WTFH's awareness of cause and effect. Especially in the contrast between however he moves/skis now, and in any new movement/outcomes. I usually first try to address the learning process, tune/dial it up, so to speak and then apply it to learning to ski better. I've found the finer the focus, the greater the awareness, the deeper the learning.
As an example to this thread of what I might do (this is copyable): While holding his ski tip I'd have him first move his knee to tip leg/boot toward outside edge, then again starting by rolling the foot toward little toe progressivly srtonger to feel the leg respond upward from the foot. I'd ask him to express the differences he felt in his body. Then we'd do some turns focusing on doing first one then the other, creating contrast and enhancing his awareness of cause and effect. Ultimately I'd encourage WTFH to choose what works best for reasons relatitive to HIS outcomes and apply it to his real skiing. Once he knows from experience what movement/ourcome best makes him grin, his learning is not dependant on what I tell him (except to provide new direction and calibration), but on his continuing to use quality focus and seek quality awareness, both internally to how he moves and externally to what is produced.