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Seasons in the Life of an Instructor

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Many a topic has debated and the disected the issue of which is more important, instructor's teaching skill, or their physical skill.
This is not unique to the ski industry. Anyone profession {yes Nolo, profession [img]smile.gif[/img] } involved in teaching a physical activity, must find a balance to this dilemna.

And those of us who spend our entire working lives devoted to teaching some sort of physical activity, must eventually face the music, that we are not always pleased to hear;

"Time makes you Bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too".

Yes, ironically, we may in fact get bolder, thus proving that youth is not always wasted on the young. And this is a good thing.
I think...
But should we be so bold as to be oblivious to the fact that we may not be the same sort of influence on our students as we were in our younger years?

Most good teachers strive to be many things to many people.
But realistically, can we ALWAYS be ALL things to ALL people?

I came home a bit melancholy, the other day. In the employee locker room at our gym, we have a bulletin board that displays the members positive comments about various instructors.
Lots of "Susie rocks!" and "Janie is a bundle of energy" kind 0f stuff.

I used to get those all the time.

Here's mine:
I have been taking Lisa's class for 2 years. Prior to that, I suffered from chronic low back pain, as well as urinary incontinence [img]redface.gif[/img] . Both of which have improved by taking her class."
She goes on to rave about my creativity, and my ability as an educator.

But in the back of my mind, the thought lingered:
"Is that all there is?"

Of course not.
Have I become the senior citizen's fitness expert? Not exactly. The person who wrote this was a 30 something.

I believe that as teachers, we do have varying roles that we play in the sporting lives of our students. These roles are ever present, but at different stages of our lives, some are more prevalent than others.
If we accept these changes, and adapt to them, in the same manner that we adapt to the changing of the seasons, our careers, as well as our effectiveness with our students, will be ever present.

Thanks for reading....
post #2 of 4
Hey, LM, as I've gotten older (don't forget my children are your age), I've only gotten better. I'm not as strong, but I can use my strength to greater advantage because of what I've learned along the way. This applies to everything I do.
post #3 of 4

A couple of years ago I got an offer to be head coach of the J6-J1 race program at which I had been Dev Team coach for a number of years. In the meantime I had moved to an instructing position at another mountain.

I told the person who called that I thought I was a bit long in the tooth for the position--which was my way of saying it involved more responsibility than I was willing to take on at that time in my life. I did identify a few prospects for them, young guys who'd feel they died and went to heaven to have such a post.

Today I get my kicks from taking 73 year olds on their first Ridge hike and praying to God they make it down in one piece. To see the eyes in a wrinkled face light up like a child's...that's pretty special too.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Reading both your posts brings to light an interesting point. Our energy may no longer be unbridled, but it is infinitely more focused, and therefore, more sustainable. This probably explains why instructors who inspire to be something more than a bundle of energy remain in their profession for many years, without too many periods of complete burnout.
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