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Cert 3 exam aftermath

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Congratulations, Rusty Guy, I know how you feel 'cause I just recently passed my 3, too. In my case, it was a skiing retake, just one day. I trained very hard and it paid off. Finally.
What I wanted to comment on was the reaction of the four others from my area that didn't make it (level 3).If you're out there, Bob Barnes, you might want to read this since you were their examiner. Oh, we also had two that failed their level 2. Some of them took it pretty hard. Some thought that they were treated unfairly. Only two accepted the fact that they needed more time and training. There was a lot of bitterness and unhappiness in our locker room last week. Bob, I read some of your comments to the unsuccessful candidates on their score sheets. In my opinion, you were extremely fair and generous in your evaluations. You now have the reputation in our ski school as a "tough" examiner. This is what I have to say about that: Keep up the good work, BOB!!
This is to all the people out there that didn't make it this winter. Congratulations! You made the effort, trained hard and you deserve a lot of credit for having the guts to go for it. Don't take it personally. Your examiner made a fair evaluation of your skills and knowledge. How many people get the priviledge of being evaluated by someone as great as Bob Barnes? ( or any other of the great skiers that are PSIA examiners, kudos to Tom Long ) Use the insights you have gotten from this experience to further your training and accept that you have chosen a very challenging path.
Train, train, train. It doesn't matter how many times you try, there is only one true failure in this life: the decision to quit.
post #2 of 14
Nice post snowdancer. A lot of people take exam results so personally and choose not to look at the feedback as an opportunity to improve their skills. It ends up delaying development for a longer period of time. It also makes their own life as professional ski educators more difficult in the long run. In my mind it just illustrates the reasons these people don't/didn't pass more clearly.

I once heard a story about a candidate who didn't pass, and was arguing about the results with the exam team. Repeated efforts to clarify the reasons were ineffective. Finally, after a long period of time attempting to communicate very diplomatically one of the examiners (allegedly) said in frustration;

"It's not just that you can't ski bumps...it's that you can't ski, the bumps just prove it!"

Examiners have a tough job, a great majority of them are excellent. I, for one, appreciate them.

Congrats Rusty Guy and snowdancer! Good work.

[ March 10, 2003, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #3 of 14
Every event is a learning experience! you have to take them as such. Great post Snowdancer.

I had the great opportunity to watch the demo team tryouts this week at Sugarbowl. As I watched all the candidates ski and strut their stuff, I can only say, the ones that were there to learn, and grow, were having the most fun and progressing, the ones there were there only to "prove something" and didn't make the cut were probably the most frustrated..

Treat every event/exam/class as a way to learn, share and grow and skiing becomes so much more enjoyable!
post #4 of 14
Originally posted by snowdancer:
You now have the reputation in our ski school as a "tough" examiner. This is what I have to say about that: Keep up the good work, BOB!!
The US system needs more tough examiners IMO.
post #5 of 14
Congrats on your level 3! Mostly- congrats on your journey, and where it might take you.

Welcome to the club!

"You now have the reputation in our ski school as a "tough" examiner."

It is a heavy mantle to wear, but in the long run, the only one worth it! The term is usually given out of respect and deference, not of anger. (though the candidates might not realize it at the moment)

Thanks for holding the integrity of the standard.

To those that didn't pass-
Don't give up! Find a mentor/ trainer that will commit to helping you, be willing to risk your belief system to enact change, and you'll be ready the next time.

post #6 of 14
I mentioned this in another thread. We had six folks take their level II exam at Eldora last weekend. Five trained hard. One never cliniced. Five passed and one failed. I guess that comes as no surprise.

The exams take a great deal of work and I'm convinced you get out of them what you put in.

I'm going to start training for the trainer accred. It may never happen, however, I'm going to keep training and start trying. The process is fun and it's what keeps my juices flowing. I'm in a horrible letdown phase because I don't have an exam to look forward to!
post #7 of 14
Rusty, and all of you who pass Level 3-

The let down of success(after the euphoria), and not having another visible goal in sight to give you direction, is understandable.

But the next phase is the most exciting! It's where you will learn how things really work, not just what's written in some book. For there is no guide book to get you where you want to go. It's going to be a journey of self discovery and creativity, which will lead to much greater understanding than you might imagine! No boundaries or limitations.

And it's going to be yours. No one else will have ever made exactly the same trip you are about to take. Similar, but each journey will be unique, in it's own ways.

There are no shortcuts on this journey, but having mentors guide you and offer advice can facilitate the proccess. But don't expect them to "teach" you. This experience is yours! And if your fundemental knowledge and skills are strong, you will not stray far from the path you choose.

Congrats again to all who have succeded at all exam levels!

post #8 of 14
Asking a question from the position of a parent encouraging his son to pursue advancement as a PSIA Certified instructor, What does it cost ($$) to fail the exam?

post #9 of 14
I was going to post a similar sentiment about the let-down that comes from achieving something you've worked long and hard to get. The very best thing to do is to choose your next target. Trainer accred is good!

CalG, The monetary value of certification is irrelevant! If this were otherwise, certification would have died long ago. It is a more of a Holy Grail than a gateway to riches and fame.
post #10 of 14
Regarding lack of things to go for: I really hope PSIA nationally pursues the Eastern Division's "master teacher", and adopts it across the country. That is a really solid, meaty, worthwhile thing to have. It's necessarily done over time, it doesn't have the short sharp fizz of an exam, pass or fail: it's more of a journey type-thing, and I think it'd result in some seriously good-quality instructors.

I like the concept of longer-term, continuous assessment. Probably because here in the ACT, our schooling is continuous assessment rather than a horrible exam at the end to determine where you go next!

Then again Rusty, there's certs all over the world you can go for too!
post #11 of 14
I thought I'd chime in on the Post Success Letdown, after passing the exam.

I lived through this pretty hard. Since I'm a part-timer (only one day a week since my daughter was born), I don't really have any future exam to look forward to, because DCL and Dev Team require a commitment that I would not be able to fulfill, even if I made it.

So what I did, was to look at it as it has been described here a few times, as "a license to learn". Once I got my L3, I started attending Master's Academy events, and developing my skiing and teaching on my own. There really is no focus other than what I decide I want to focus on for a while. While I do wish I had some sort of goal, such as DCL or Dev Team to shoot for, I am able to find some comfort in the fact that I can work on anything I feel like working on, and don't have to worry about following any prescribed path. Another one of the things that I have taken to, is working with other instructors to help them achieve a desired cert level. It's incredibly rewarding for me as well as the folks going for their exams.
post #12 of 14
Kudos to you again, Rusty.
As a journey the certification process can be incredibly powerful. Ultimately (for me anyway) it's been about taking total responsibility for my path as a learner/educator. Especially post Level III, when, as VSP says, the vista is wide open!
When the cert process includes those inevitable moments of failure and loss it's helped to put emotional reactions of myself and others in perspective by remembering Elizabeth Kubler Ross's Five Stages of Grief (nope you guys I haven't thrown these thoughts around the locker room! [img]smile.gif[/img] ).
1) DENIAL (my examiner wasn't looking at me during my best turns; didn't like me; was out for me; my skiing was way better than some people who passed; I skied to the standard no matter what they said; my open stance was better than the examiner's; I should have passed)
2) ANGER (PSIA sucks; I hated my examiner; my examiner didn't ski the maneuver the way we trained; he or she was an a--h---; the process was totally unfair; it's all political anyway; my trainers said I was ready, why did they sign my papers?)
3) BARGAINING (It's not about how well I ski or teach, it's about what the examiner wants; I'll just go again and get a different examiner; I should have skied the maneuver the way the examiner skied it; I'll write a letter)
4) GRIEF (I'm not good enough; I failed; I lost my chance this year; I may never pass; I spent so much money, time, blood, sweat, tears...)
5) ACCEPTANCE (Yep, I failed my exam. Uh huh, the process wasn't perfect. But it was a learning experience. I will go on. I will persist.)
The first four stages often have degrees of real truth contained within, making the passage through them even more challenging. They can overlap, permeate one another, do not always occur in a linear fashion and can persist for days, weeks or years.
Just something I've noticed, wanted to share with you and hope to keep in my own self-counselling tool kit for the future.
post #13 of 14

Wonderful stuff!
post #14 of 14
Interesting.... My intent is to be fair, to create an environment that allows everyone to perform as well as they are able, and to hold strongly to the standard. It is not to be "tough."

When the candidates at that exam got their individual results, several asked me who had passed--and when they guessed, they all got it right! I realize how brutal it is to fail an exam, and how many reasons flash through someone's mind when it happens. But when it comes down to it, most people eventually recognize that it was their performance that brought the pass or fail, and that the result is an accurate assessment. At that point, combined with any constructive feedback they received, the exam becomes a positive growth experience--pass or fail!

That exam at Santa Fe was difficult, because there were several candidates who were very close. But very close is not close enough, especially at the Full Cert. standard.

Following the full cert. exam in Santa Fe, I did a Level 2 exam at Crested Butte. This time it was a very strong group. ALL of them passed, some strongly, some close to the line. (But you know what they call the person who graduates last in his class at medical school, right? Doctor!)

At the examiner selection at Snowmass a few weeks ago, there was one candidate who had failed to be selected last year, but who skied very well this year. He had made exactly the changes he needed to make. I mentioned to him on a lift ride that I thought he was skiing well, and he said that all he'd done since the previous "fail" was work on the things he was told needed work. The results showed. I asked him if he would have worked as hard had he been selected as an Examiner the previous year, but given the same feedback. "No way!" was his reply. At least in his case, the exam had the ideal effect--he "failed," but got valid feedback and turned the experience into a powerful motivator.

That's the way it's SUPPOSED to be! Pass or fail, ultimately the little piece of jewelry will become the LEAST important thing you take from an exam. It's the experience, and the growth, that really count!

Congratulations to you, Snowdancer. It was nice meeting you at Santa Fe. Wear that pin with pride. But never be satisfied!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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