post #31 of 31
Thread Starter 
Interesting points that people are making here.  Thank you all.

I'm paraphrasing here, so bear with me.  Nolo said that good instructors are constantly learning and thirsting for knowledge.  I fully believe that.  Thus I started this thread because of the parallels that just popped out at me as I watched the video for the first time.

SMJ, I too find that the PSIA clinics that just focus on skiing skills rather odd considering that PSIA is an association of instructors.  But I think that part of that is because it is easier to teach skiing skills rather than teaching skills.  We teach skiing skills all the time.  To get out of that focus and into a teaching teaching focus is a real gear change.  Some people can't make that gear change.  Analyzing how to teach is totally different from figuring out what to teach.

Whenever I'm taking a clinic or lesson I work on the skiing focus.  However, I've trained myself to also look at how the clinician/instructor is teaching.  I'm lucky.  My Dad is and was a consummate teacher.  He taught at an engineering college.  As a kid I watched him teaching and at the end of class make notes for the next year on what worked or didn't work.  I watched him throw away ideas that he spent hours developing because they didn't inspire or get the knowledge across to the students.  He taught the same courses for 17 years.  He never taught the course the same way twice.  The students loved him.  And he was hard.  You earned every point of your grade.  (I know, I took two classes from him.  I worked my tail off and I had even helped him develop parts of the course.)

Now, back to the subject.  As a teacher, I want as big a "tool kit" as I can possibly have.  I abhor one trick ponies.  First of all it's boring as an instructor.  A robot can teach that way.  Then it's not fair to your client.  They are there to learn.  It is your responsibility to present the information in a way that they can "get it."  If you don't do that, you've failed as an instructor.  A large "tool kit" provides you with the resources to engage your student.

That's why I liked the video.  It's another look at a subject, teaching.  Another tool in the kit.  Now, how do I use the tool?  That is the fun part for me as an instructor.  Figuring out how to use the tool.

As far as good PSIA teaching clinics, I recommend the PSIA-E Master Teacher clinics.  Most of them will give you some tips and tricks you can use as a teacher to expand your tool kit.  Having completed the course last season, I was really impressed.  I learned a ton of stuff to help me be a better teacher.  It was a blast taking the ideas back to my home mountain and trying them out.  (Of course I still need to tailor a lot of it to my teaching style.)