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Good Teaching, Bad teaching, personalities and a stacked deck - Page 2

post #31 of 37

The customers will probably never see the short end of the stick from any member of this forum. I recognize that they don't have a clue regarding instructors operating in the red for their "second job" and .......... well I just wouldn't do that. I'm pretty darned sure that there ain't a Bear in the bunch that would.

The line bosses are no more than carney barkers who appeal to our sense of "family", schmmoze us and keep us going on innuendo. After three weeks on the hill, they still "haven't decided the pay scale yet"!

They sell an illusion and we are just a part of the scenery, just like the Sneezy, Dopey and (das me!)........ Grumpy characters at Disney.

Face it, many of us bought an illusion. for years, I taught martial arts for free ......... not a penny ........ and not a single regret........ because my sensei put more time into me than I could ever repay.

This is so much different. Some day management will cross a line and I'll be gone. I'll laugh it off and won't be too bitter....... because I knew that they were playing off my ego from day one (shhhhhh! don't tell em we know!). I have realized something that I started in 1968 ...... getting that stupid pin .... thirty years late.

What time is line up? :

I know of a small hill that's friendly and cheap and it's out in the middle of nowhere???

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 03, 2002 06:26 PM: Message edited 1 time, by yuki ]</font>
post #32 of 37
Have you seen the FISH customer service video that was making the rounds in the ski industry the past few years? A great training piece based on practices at the Seattle Fish Company. I'm pretty sure NSAA featured this video in its seminar and catalog. I have seen it at PSIA and ski school training events.

I think we're going to need more than a 15 minute video to get this job done, but FISH is a start.

What we need is a study comparing the profitability of happy vs. unhappy employees, the ratio of training to profits, the role of certification to profits, etc.

The thing about bottom-line thinking is that it prefers numerical information.
post #33 of 37
Here's a story.

Back in the early eighties in Oz the instructors got together and formed the APSI. It was a certification body but it also looked out for instructor’s rights and conditions. The resorts response was to create another body called the ASAA Ski Instructors Division. How can they do this, well some of our fellow ambitious instructors jumped in and formed it for them. The wash-up was the ISIA only recognized the APSI so the certification process hand was forced. There were a few punches thrown at a cert camp and all. (I enjoyed that bit) So now we have the APSIA that only does certs and answers to the ASAA (ski areas association) & it gets worse. All our ski schools where Austrian run. Nice Austrian boys on half rates came out each winter to work. We fought hard against this setup and finally we have Australian run Ski Schools. The big joke is the type of yes man arsehole that the Ski resort management would hire now run the Oz SS. (not all but certainly all toe the company line) There has been industrial action BUT all the little cowards run for cover and turn up for work. The wash-up is that many many talented Aussie instructors no longer work at home. The irony is they are taking American jobs. The truth is the US Ski industry does not have enough talented instructors for all the same reasons as stated above HOWEVER the US industry, due to its size, is vulnerable to industrial action due to this very shortage. Take away the money earners and the top management will suffer badly. The trouble is in pure capitalism it is every man for himself.

Oz :
post #34 of 37
At least the Austrians could SKI!

If you could see these South Americans you'd be in a coma.
post #35 of 37

True ... good point they could ski and we sure did learn a lot and make good friends. Bad leather going out gear though. The argument was not with the individulas but rather the corporate policy.

Why not put the word out to the guests to check the certs of the imports and refuse anyone not certified. Maybe a PSIA bumper sticker saying "Is your instructor qualified"

Man I really do not want to get into this. I have been burnt to many times. This is a public forum and the industry has many "informers" My motto is "get certified, be professional and choose your own SS". Sorry boys but my Builders Labourers Federation (read militant teamsters equivalent) days are over.

Good luck. Fight the good fight.

post #36 of 37
Change will only come when the group seeking the change has a power base. That power base for ski instructors are the people signing up for lessons and demanding good lessons from qualified instructors. Part of the problem is the approach of resorts to get people sking. The advertisements of many resort ski school semms to be AT THE END OF YOUR FIRST LESSON YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SKI. We have had only 2 instructors push for follow up lessons and actually gave us some techniques to work on when not in lessons. Ski instructors must attempt to instill the desirer of the student to continue to learn and improve if they want the support of the students and the power to change the system. The following are examples of what my wife and I have run into with instructions:

1. Learn to ski clinic (never ever skiers) 12 students- first half of lesson learn to wedge. I found that all I could do is make a slow left turn. My instruction was the instructor yelling TURN RIGHT. If I could have turned right it would have been great, I wouldn't have keep running into the fence around the tennis court. My wife could not hold the wedge so her instruction was WEDGE, WEDGE ! Needles to say we walked off (couldn't ski as I would have had to make a right turn) NO TIP

2. Same resort- stopped at ski desk to complain. An instructor standing at the desk overheard us and came over. He told us give him an hour and he would have us sking. He spent 2 hours with us and we all had a great time lots of laughing and lots learning. Gave us things to work on before we came back for our next lesson. TIP

3. Signed up for clinic - instructors divided everyone into groups. Followed our instructor to top of hill (Michigan only has hills) he told everyone to follow him which we did for the rest of the lesson. He would stop every once in awhile and ask "evryone keeping up" NO TIP

4. Signed up for clinic only 2 other students and about 8 instructors (not bad for Snowmass). Instructor ask what we were looking for, my wife spoke up and say she was tired of ski just groomed runs, sounded good to me. Instructor explained he wanted us to work on turns on some groomed runs first. He then moved us to a run that was any thing but groomed. He ski down about 100yrds stopped and after we finally got down to him his first question was "why did we change the way we were sking". Gave a great pep talk and great encouragement. At the end of the lesson he gave us goals and technique to work on before we came back for our next lesson, not if we came back. His expectation was we would return for more lessons. TIP - Great lesson

2 of these instructors did nothing to advance the status of ski instructors, instructors could very easy lose suppart from the very people they need. 2 were very obviously under paid for what they put into the lesson and the fun they created with thier approach.

Once again, you can only make change when you have the power. The way change will be brought about is up to the ski instructors and the power for the change will come from the support of the ski students.
post #37 of 37
Fantastic post from the first word to the last, Sgt21! Thanks!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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