First, I would like to agree with every body on what has been said. There is a lot of truth to all of it. Good and bad. I will try to not repeat myself too much. Read the last paragraph of my post to see where my opinion is somewhat different.1. What is it about Snowsports Instructing that brings you back every season?
I am a graduate student so I have a love for learning and teaching, I love the ski instructors camaderie. Would love to have the opportunity one day to make a living at it since I like better the snow and mountain than the beach. My wife does not agree completely on this one. 2. For those of you who USED to be instructors, what was the major determining factor in your decision to stop?
The reasons to stop are different for me depending if I was part time or full time. Money was the major issue as a full timer but not the primary one as a part-timer. The needs and reasons change depending if you do it for a living or if you are trying to fullfill other needs.Reason to stop full time teaching:
Not enough money to pay the rent. Thats all. So I kept doing it part time so money would not be an issue anymore.Reason to stop as a part timer:
I did stop because of the lack of support of my ski area. I passed my level 1 and 2 without any help and honestly they could not care less if I am full cert or not. Teaching all the time without a significant break between lessons, working 7 days a week if you count my week jobs and getting burned out at the end of the season. Not learning anymore, no fun, not feeling appreciated except by your student. No way to built business. Advance skiers started to request me for private only to be told that I was only available for group lessons and that on those they did not chose who will teach them.
They never received a single complaint about me and my customer service was perfect. My snowsport director wrote me in a letter that he wished he had 10 like me on staff. But when I ask them to clinic me for my level 3, he said they had no time for it. I asked to at least let me hang around the race dept so I expand my knowledge, I got nothing. The guy at the race dept would have been happy to have me but my SSD blocked it because he wanted me in the ski school. That was not employee management it was dictatorship! I felt like I belong to them and any initiative from my part was unwelcome and shut down as long as it did not serve the immediate interest of the ski school. My interest to develop professionally was not important for them.3. What could your REGION (not national) do to make you feel that your dues are worth paying? Please explain. If you are already satisfied, why?
Clinics are good if not excellent when available. There is not enough clinics especially for part timers on weekends.4. What, in your opinion, is the main reason that first year instructors decide not to come back?
If they are full time it is definitively the money.
If they are part timer read what follow. Lack of achievement at a personal level.
My wife and brother in law got part time into the ski school. They had a lot of potential but they quit. In their first year, they got a few clinics to help them pass their first level, to ski better and teach better. On their second year, as mentioned previously by someone else, they got flooded with lessons with no time to breath in between. There was no support to help them become better skier and teacher and they felt that they still had so much to learn to do their job better. They felt a sense of pride and achievement in their job but they also felt inadequate. Their desire to help and teach was getting frustrated. They were also ashamed and self counscious of never getting any better at their teaching and skiing as feedbacks were never provided to them. I had to take them out and teach them on the rare occasion we were getting to ski together (even if I hate to teach relative). Nobody else was giving them teaching tricks and helping them with their skiing.
The following does not reflect my experience as I was already an advance skier and teacher when I started teaching ski in the U.S. I do not believe that making the level 1 skiing requirement harder would help the ski instructor cause. It is more important for an instructor to have the desire to teach than to be an elite skier. Where we fail is to make those ski instructor better skiers. What does it tell when someone teach ski at a ski school for years and stay a level 1 all that time? If that ski school cannot teach their own instructors better should they be teaching you? If SS need to recruit only expert skier to teach does it mean that becoming an expert cannot be taught by them? IMHO, the desire to teach is harder to find in skiers than the ability to ski at a high level. Since those who love to teach stay at it longer. We should be able to teach and grow those individuals that have the desire to give some of their time and let them have the satisfaction of constantly getting better at what they love doing. I do believe it is possible to take a lot of those level 1 and make them level 2 and 3.That is the best way to make sure there is a better level of skiing among instructors.
Edited for typo and or grammar as usual.[ October 02, 2003, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Frenchie ]