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Teaching best what we need to Learn

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
A certain instructor once quoted the Richard Bach phrase "We teach what we need to learn"

Upon reading Kee Tov's thanks for my insights on balance, this phrase came to mind. The irony is that balance, because of certain structural, visual and inner ear things way too complicated to get into, has always been a major challenge for me.

Yet in the past 4 years, most of my professional work has emphasized balance and stability training. When I teach this sort of thing, I am working from a very humble place. But this sort of training has enhanced my value as an employee immensely.

I had met the instrutor I had at Okemo last season, when she was teaching another group. She was getting ready to go to an instructor's clinic at Whistler. I found it interesting that she was a bit apprehensive about the steeper terrain.

In her teaching this season, her major focus was getting students to be more comfortable with more challenging terrain. She'd refer to things that were said to her at Whistler, such as "At the end of the turn, 'stand on top of the mountain'".

The more traditional philosophy of teaching anything, is that we teach our strengths.

But do any of you teach things that you yourself are working on learning?

Are you comfortable talking about it?
post #2 of 9
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisamarie:
But do any of you teach things that you yourself are working on learning?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, I'm not a ski instructor, but in most areas of life where I am trying to pass on something to someone else, I am still learning. When I get to the point that I have nothing more to learn in an area, I guess I'll want to check out of life, cause it will have lost it's mystery & fun

Are you comfortable talking about it?

Hey, LM, you should know me by now, I'm comfortable talking about anything!

post #3 of 9
Yes. I teach skiing.

It's an old maxim that if you really want to learn something, write about it or teach it. (I guess writing about it is a form of teaching.)

This works like a charm!
post #4 of 9
good topic.
To simply answer your question:
Do any of you teach things that you yourself are working on learning?

Everyday. There would be no use teaching it if it weren't worth learning again. The best skiers/riders work on the basics. The reason they are the best in the world is because they have command of the basics better than anyone else.

To elaborate, I like to look at what the best skiers in the world are doing. To take from a book by Wallace Wattles, "Successful people don't just do certain things. They do Certain things a Certain Way". I look for those ways. I train to those ways.

Your second question:
Are you comfortable talking about it?


Best Regards,
post #5 of 9
Absolutely. I've been doing this long enough, though, to see when doing this is not in the student's best interest. I notice it a lot more with our more junior instructors. It's not a bad thing unless it happens to be counter productive to what the student needs. In other words, if you are working on edging in your own skiing, and your try to teach that to a student who edges too much aand has lousy balance, you are doing them a disservice. You just need to be able to understand that, as a teacher.

On the other hand, the instructor is most energetic and enthusiastic about teaching what they are working on. Therefore, they are likely to keep the student's interest more and convey the info better because they have been thinking about it so much. So the student is likely to get a better lesson, all other things being equal.
post #6 of 9
Minor correction: "We teach best what we most need to learn"

I do love that quote!
post #7 of 9

What we are learning is important in our minds, so we want to share that need. As already mentioned, it shouldn't conflict with the student's needs.

When I am following my student, that is when I tweak the intensity up and work on the item at my level. It adds to the muscle memory when I talk to the student about what they are doing, while doing my own thing. (Using my muscles and not my brain on my skiing).

If the student is ready, I will do a short dmeo on "the next level" so they see where/why they are going there.

Todd---what is with your "freaking Vermont"? I not only know several good Scottish curses, but a few Vermont wisdom sayings that will send you back West!!!!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ February 03, 2002 05:27 PM: Message edited 1 time, by KeeTov ]</font>
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
So do I, especially since I got it from you!
Apropos to what John H. said, I do think you need to develop some level of proficiency if you intend to teach something. I would look like a complete idiot if I fell off a core board or stability ball.

But a theme that comes up consistantly in the idea of teaching anything, is empathy. Having worked through something to some degree for yourself, gives you a better understanding of what's going on with your students.
post #9 of 9
Yeah - Richard Bach came up with some wonderful quotes.

The "Freaking Vermont" was put there while it was raining hard here - last week. I have little sense of humor about rainstorms in January! :
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