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My impressions as a new instructor (warning some rants)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
In no particular order

For the most part I had a great time, I learned a lot, and enjoyed the journey. So much I am itching to continue next year.

No matter how good you get at teaching/skiing, there are always people to look up to for help/mentoring. (thanks guys and gals)

The best tips you can get are, a big smile, The look of discovery on someone's face, a return visit/request private, A hug from a child (especially from one that was crying for mom to stay as the class started)

Clinics can be fun as well as a learning experience.

Just as in everyday life there are less than desireables.. veteran instructors that look down on newbie instructors just because we are new, rather than trying to lift us all up to a higher level. (skiing or lineup)

Not all instructors have "honor" financially. ie: Don't loan/cover costs for everyone until you are sure you are willing to make it gift. (I offered to get some books from Bob B at a professional discount (Big Thanks BB) and BOB graciously signed and sent all our books. He also offered that I could send the money after I got it so I would not have to put out the cost up front, I got most of the money and sent the payment in full. One of the instructors that requested this book, Has not paid : What ever happened to instructors sticking together?) I guess I chalk this one up to experience and don't offer that particular co-worker any more "help" or favors.

Not all "students" are there to learn, Many are "pawned off" on the ski school just so the parents can go ski. you just have to make the best of it and try to have fun.

Some people take a lot longer to learn one simple task. Patience is important.

Most instructors are real cool and always willing to offer mentoring/help to us newbies.

Skiing skills alone do not a good instructor make.

Not all training coordinators are great trainers. This must take time and experience just like ski instructing.

Not all level 2 certs are better skiers or ski instructors/mentors than level 1's or 3's better than 2's.

If the surface you are sliding on is not damaging the bottoms of your skis, It's fun sliding on (maybe more effort or not as graceful but fun).

Not all instructors share the previous observation/thought.
post #2 of 15
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Some people take a lot longer to learn one simple task. Patience is important. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uh huh! I was one of those people who took a VERY long time to learn a simple task. Sometimes patience is worth it! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #3 of 15
dchan- very insightful for someone only in the biz for a season. And remember- you are only scratching the surface!
Let me add a few for you- they may save you a little grief in the coming seasons.
As you mature as an instructor, become somewhat more selective about who you listen to. Find a mentor you can trust implicitly, and allow him/her to be your guide. You will find soon enough who really has a clue, and who doesn't. And don't believe that because someone wears a gold pin, that it makes their opinion any more valid than yours!
Another- You will learn alot as you prepare for your various exams. But what you will learn afterwards is what is going to express how good you are going to be, and how professional you will be! Many "good" instructors quit learning beyond lvl3, but the truly excellent ones never quit. There is so much more out there than what we examine at lvl3, or even Trainer Accred (in RM). Much you will find for your self, some you will find from others.
Leading me to my last point- PLAGERIZE!!!! If you have a long, successful career as an instructor, if you have 2 or 3 truly creative, original ideas (not just combos of others) , you can count yourself among the truly gifted!
Keep exploring, keep learning, keep listening. But most of all- ENJOY! :
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks VailSnoPro and welcome to Epicski.

I may be out your way for Vacation/skiing next year. Our "group trip" is being scheduled for end of January, 2003. If the schedule and price works out we will be staying at Lions head.
post #5 of 15
Hey, dchan!

As Sno pro said, look us up -you can pm me and let me know when you plan on coming. Guess what? I have a home I rent in Vail, and if it's to another instructor, I'll give you a fair price...

And Sno Pro - glad to see you listened to me and checked out the website. Now, if you'll just give me a little more help on Look Ma...
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks and welcome to Epicski.

I appreciate the offer but unless that house is in (short) walking distance to the lifts, and can hold 30 adults and 3 kids I think we will stick with the travel agent. Maybe if I head up there myself sometime. We get pretty good rates with the buying power of the group.
post #7 of 15
dchan, your experience is similar to mine when I started. I'm glad you are still excited about it. My daughter (Erin) wants to start as a cadet next year. One pitfall to avoid, ski school politics.
post #8 of 15
dchan- Funny that-. Lionshead is where both VSG and I work. Not a bad hill, but definitely can use a locals tour when you get here, to maximize your time. Let us know how your plans progress.
I get the impression you work at Sugar Bowl? Please pass along my regards to Mike Iman. He and I used to examine together before I left the West in '85. The last time I saw him was at some National meetings in Denver a few years ago. The name is Ric Reiter. Oh- is Greg Murtha still with your marketing dept? Say hi to him as well, if so. :
post #9 of 15
dchan! Get out! Get out! While you still can!!!

--an addict.

Hey Lucky. What ski school politics?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 10, 2002 10:13 AM: Message edited 1 time, by weems ]</font>
post #10 of 15
Ah Ha!...VSP reveals his true identity! Welcome Ric! I will answer for Dchan, Greg is at Sugar Bowl...I worked with him in Angel Fire...great marketing pro and friend...presently he and Laura are raising a pack of boys and polishing his SAMMY award.
Ingrid B. says hi!
post #11 of 15
>>One pitfall to avoid, ski school politics. <<


Ski school politics are discussed in the bar after a hard days work on the hill. And the candidates get uglier rather than better looking as the afternoon goes on. That's right, afternoon. We're done here at 3:00 PM. In a way, that's a good thing. At least you can get well oiled and be home by 6:00. ----------------Wigs
post #12 of 15
Just hope your best friend doesn't become ski school director. He'll go out of his way not to give you the good lessons for fear someone will accuse him of playing favorits, Bummer

post #13 of 15
Very true Ott, I have intentionally overlooked my well qualified spouse for positions to avoid any hint of inpropriety (sp?). It usually takes the rookies a full season to even figure out we are married.
Ski Schools are chalked full of intrigue and politics....even the best ones at the best of times. A crafty Director unfortunately must be a manipulator (for good not evil)and steer lockeroom dynamics for the good of the whole. The troops tend to cull the posers out...but you must make sure that it isn't a feeding frenzy by the old guard defending the "sacred ground". I usually make sure that the "seasoned vets" are forced to integrate the FNGs through mandatory mentorship. BTW, I do a mean wedel myself...Wilden Kaiser range Tiroler version, circa 1972!
post #14 of 15
Robin, the best thing to make your spouse co-director .

After wedeling for a piece, I usually throw in several hard carves just to slow me down, though I've been accused of showing the chairlift crowd that I'm not just a tailwagger [img]smile.gif[/img]

With the old skis there was never any daylight showing between my legs but with the shaped ones now the wider tips seem to nip at each other at each turn. So what, we do a wide(r) track wedel, youngsters are still amazed since most couldn't get from edge to edge this quick.

post #15 of 15
Our instructor in Austria was a wedel-machine. I think that my Bandit XXXs may have been suboptimal wedelin skis although it was fun to do anyway. The shovels occasionally wanted to high-side me.
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