Remember, skier31, that as an instructor, you are a trained and expert student--
you take responsibility for your own learning, you know how to learn in a variety of situations, and unlike many other skiers, you know what you don't know! You recognize that there are things you can learn on any terrain--including green, and that what terrain you can "handle" is actually a very poor indicator of skill. And you know that it's not really that those 7-8 students don't have the skills to "do" the harder terrain, but that when they do it, they only end up reinforcing bad habits.
I suggest that these things put you in a very rare class indeed! I have often said that, for most skiers, I believe that the extent of their "knowledge" of skiing ability consists of three things:
- parallel is better than wedge,
- faster is better than slower,
- skiing harder terrain means you're better than those who ski easier terrain
and of course, you and I both know that none of these things has any bearing on ability whatsoever! Surely, each of these bullet points represents an exciting new personal milestone for most skiers, but it often takes a very high level of ability and understanding to recognize that green groomed runs and low speeds can be every bit as challenging as double-black-diamonds--and that the fundamentals we can learn there will often help our gnarly-terrain and high-speed performance at least as much as pushing our limits in difficult conditions. In reality, it takes a mix of both--hard work on the fundamentals, and hard play in the "performance zone"--regular excursions into what Mermer Blakslee calls the "yikes zone," interspersed with quality time in the comfort zone.
If only more people knew that, the hills would be filled with great skiers, instead of, um, what they're filled with now.