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When you are more experienced than your Ski School Director

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Many of you are highly seasoned ski instructors. From your posts, it is evident that you have been teaching many years, and that you atend many workshops to enhance your professional development.

In another thread, Pierre commented that level3 instructors are allowed to be more creative with their teaching techniques.

In the thread, If you could re write ski technique, there were some fascinating ideas.

But have any of you ever worked for a micro manager who had far less teaching experience than you? Have you been stifled in your creativity, so that you will not "show up" your boss?

Highly creative teachers in any profession often do not want to take on managerial responsibilities.
But how do you handle being micro managed? What effects do you think this has on your students?
post #2 of 7

Basically Ski Instruction as a Profession enables one to pick whom we work for. Imagine the role of SS Director as managing a swag of consultants. Many long time instructors would make excellent SS Directors. Many long time Instructors with experience do not want to "play politics". They can be more successful financially and personally as flexible independent individuals.

Many long-term instructors with SS Director credentials find that they prefer to be Teachers than Managers. Ski Instruction is an outdoor, free spirit occupation.

Successful SS Directors become part of the company; in the right company and with the right skills they can progress to a "corporate job". In the wrong company they get **** on. The wash-up is that all Ski Pros are expendable just consultants are in the corporate world.

All said and done the world of "corporate ski instructors" is maturing season by season.

Sometime soon to be the SS Director of a leading resort one may need an MBA and 20 years on the hill.

In reality the world of Professional Ski Instruction is a dog eat dog scenario.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisamarie:
But how do you handle being micro managed? What effects do you think this has on your students?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The effects of micro management for any professional are minimal and personal. As Professionals we follow a "higher power". This higher power is basically the "teaching of skiing". How this affects our students is many fold. When there is no work and food on the table is thin, our client\students would never know. A Professional shows only the profession. All else is hidden to the client no matter what the "learned SS Director" is preaching.

As Ski Pros we have lots of destitute fun before the feast and answer to no man.

OZ [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 19, 2001 10:42 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #3 of 7
In a nutshell. If you sign my paycheck, I agree to be micro managed. In America we have choices, I can hit the road. Sorry, Iza cold hearted capitalist fascist pig. :
post #4 of 7
I've worked in only two ski schools over the last 30 years, but I've had about a dozen different directors running them. Most of them have had less experience as instructors and easily outstripped me as politicians. I've never wanted their jobs, not because of the issues involved in managing the staff but because of the issues related to dealing with the rest of the resort's management.

Anyway, only five of the directors I've worked for had equal or higher teaching credentials, and only two of those had the training and experience that would make me accept their "directions" regarding how I would conduct a lesson. But I've never actually been told to do something in a certain way.

I HAVE experienced disagreement with the mechanics of lesson scheduling and assignment, but not with actual lesson procedures.
post #5 of 7
I found out the hard way that being an experienced instructor can actually be a detriment to being an effective SS Director . . . at least as far as the owners are concerned. That is because I was very much in touch with the challenges and concerns of the instructors, and much less in touch with the bottom-line mentality of the owners.

Having spent over a decade full time down the in "trenches" myself - I knew that excited and happy instructors are more likely to make for excited and happy students, and make far more $ for the ski area in the long term.

Also, the new head of the ski area at that point had worked in grooming, patrol and mountain op's . . . but had no experience in ski school. Unlike his father, the founder of the ski area, who started as an instructor. Therefore he very clearly viewed (views) ski school as a necessary evil, something required by the lawyers but an annoyance.

If I had been less of an instructor, and cared less about the instructors and the customers . . . and been more of a politician, I'm sure I would have been happy in the position and would have stayed!
post #6 of 7
I have always learned more from instructors than anywhere else. We have a very organic training process here where anyone can give a prepared clinic to their peers...everyone has something to offer.
Some of the best solutions and programs have come from the line. Basically a good DD is just a line instructor with a lot of resilience, a large ulcer and few prospects they would find acceptable in the real world....I am now in my 14 season, ulcer and all!
post #7 of 7
A good manager does not micro-manage his staff whether they are ski instructors or accountants. I'm not a ski instructor but in my office-based job I've had managers who try and run every detail of what I do. It's dreadful, I hated it, he left (the company worked out who it wanted more out of him or his team).

A good ski school director doesn't have to be a good instructor. He has to be a good manager.
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