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Which takes precedence in certification--skiing or teaching? - Page 5

post #121 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

I dont think anyone would disagree with the notion you cant "force" anyone to be a good teacher....likewise, you cant "force" anyone to be a good skier.

But in addition to creating the right culture and opportunities, I think a key point is you can Inspire people to want to be great teachers.

Interestingly, I'd say that while you can't force someone to be a good teacher, you can provide them with the skills, knowledge, and partially, attitude to succeed. There are so many fundamental elements in good teaching which aren't even addressed in the level 1 or 2; a three or five day course could be enough to provide teaching fundamentals, nevermind any on-hill ski improvement. Again, this is my perspective coming from a corporate training and instructional design background, so take it with a grain of salt. 

Quote:
When I (we all?) started doing do this, being a ski instructor was kinda "cool", even for young people.  There was a certain presitge that came with it, so teenagers and 20 somthings pursued it for that reason alone.  My general observation is that is no longer the case.  Ski School is now, very "uncool".  Hence the people drawn to it are typcially drawn to it more for the right reasons.  Hence do you guys still come across people that just want to "wear the jacket" but not actually teach?

That makes one less wrong reason to teach. I believe there are instructors in the business for a few other wrong (or at least incomplete) reasons: 
- Free season pass
- Free improvement sessions
- Money (ha!)

I actually think these perks are good additions to the main good reason to teach: for the joy of enabling development in others. But in isolation, they won't motivate a teacher to be successful. 

And from what I've seen, the hotshots (and jerkfaces) become patrollers. (Good riddance!)

Quote:
Also interested....how do you know if someone is a good teacher or bad at interview stage?  Do you do onhill testing/hiring clinics?
 
In the corporate world, a practice teach is the best demonstration. Mind you, the implication of a bad hire is around $40,000-80,000/year in addition to collateral damage from costly on-the-job errors. The worst implication of a bad hire in a ski school is more like $5,000 (seasonal at $12/hr) and losing customers worth perhaps $8,000 over an entire season (multiplied by 10 years, that'd be $80,000). Nevermind that poor instructors are generally eventually exposed, and it should never get so far as a whole season. (though I suppose it does..) I suppose it's a question of risk management.
post #122 of 135
Absolutely!!  And skiers too.  That was a point that hadn't been mentioned here, but is so important, and so true.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 I think a key point is you can Inspire people to want to be great teachers.
post #123 of 135
 "However, I would equate your ear training not to MA, but actually a key teaching tactic of mine...I often (always) teach students to focus on how things "feel".  I spend alot of time working with feelings, what good balance feels like, what ILS feels likewhat angulation feels like., etc etc.   In this way students develop a way to self crtique while skiing so they can make adjustments to get back on track.  I suspect this is what ear training does as"

You are exactly right there SkiDude, excellent point.  I think this could be the start of a new way to think about teaching for me if I try to incorporate the Ear Training into it.

I could do things and ask the student to identify what I'm doing.  Then ask them to do things and focus on the feeling.
post #124 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Here's an idea for a teaching clinic: the clinician, a master teacher, gives a clinic on some topic that most of the group could benefit from re skiing. An hour from the end of the clinic, the group goes indoors and the clinician reviews exactly what he or she did when, why, how terrain entered into it, why he or she took aside Charlie to work 1-1, etc. Allow the instructors to ask all the questions they want whenever they pop into their heads, but do not allow any detours away from the task of "After Action Review." The objective is to focus on the actual pedagogy from both the teacher's and students' perspectives -- all looking back on the same experience to uncover both the structure and the logic of that particular ski lesson. This could be a very powerful way of imparting teaching skills, along with the meta-learning that "After Action Review" is an excellent way to cause yourself to learn better. 

I don't think we can learn by osmosis alone. We can have great learning experiences, but unless we reflect on them and give them meaning or value, we won't learn much and what we learn we'll soon forget. 

Nolo, this is interesting in that it matches much of the format of the PGA's Coaching and Teaching Summit held in Port St. Lucie, FL every two years. Within a pre-chosen theme(s) (for example two in 2009 it was technology and teaching as well as working with disabled golfers) we got to see some of the premier golf professionals in the country conduct lessons with normal students of varying abilities and then discuss why and what they did. It was also highly intriguing to see differing instructors tell us how they would approach the same student, how their individual lesson plans and focus would vary-and why. At the end of each presentation there was time built in for us to ask questions of the instructors.

The cost is high-last time it was $750, if I remember correctly, plus you are responsible for your own transportation and lodging-3 days worth- (living there in the winter is a blessing on that score) so it is not a cheap date. I'm not sure how that would fly in the ski instruction world-maybe it could be a focus of a future National Academy.

I'm looking forward to next December's Summit. I'm lobbying for some in depth presentations on motor skill development (as opposed to just the technical movements) focusing on how our brain develops, stores and then uses movement patterns as the situation be it skiing or golf demands. Then further, explore how we can incorporate that information into improving our teaching skills (the general answer from a previous PGA course is variability and repitition).
post #125 of 135
Thread Starter 
Very interesting indeed. Thanks for letting us know it's being done in the PGA with some success, Mike. Makes my day!
post #126 of 135
 More on the jazz improvisation/skiing metaphor.

There are people with incredible technique who play solos that to a trained ear are just drivel.  Scales, arpeggios, riffs - all amounting to nothing.  No melody, no shape, no form, just impressive playing.

Then there are players with less technique who really make their instruments sing.  Think of John Lee Hooker on an old guitar through a transistor radio.  I'd rather hear that then some mindless overproduced contemporary recording on an incredible sound system.

Seems a bit more relevant with music then with skiing, but there's some parallels to ponder.
post #127 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Hence do you guys still come across people that just want to "wear the jacket" but not actually teach?


Also interested....how do you know if someone is a good teacher or bad at interview stage?  Do you do onhill testing/hiring clinics?  Cant someone "fake it" for a day or two?

We don't see that many people in it for the ego trip. We do see people coming for the free pass. That, in itself is not necessarily bad. We have had some great pros like this. But they usually don't last for very long. We lose a lot of people when they find out teaching is a job you have to show up to every week and actually do work that is not easy.

We have ITC candidates do mock teaching sessions in the ITC indoors and an snow. No, they can't fake it. We set the bar pretty low to get people on staff, but we do weed out the folks who have no emotion, no people skills, no memory of what they've been told, etc.
post #128 of 135
Thread Starter 

My alma mater sent this quote in an appeal for money--so you all can see where I come up with this stuff.

 

YOU CANNOT

teach

A MAN ANYTHING.

 

YOU CAN ONLY HELP HIM

discover

IT WITHIN HIMSELF.

 

--Galileo Galilei

post #129 of 135

Junior Bounous used to say this when hiring new ski instructors, "I can teach them to ski. I can teach them to teach. I can't teach them what their mothers never taught them."

post #130 of 135

My take on teaching/skiing certifying process is this: If you can't make the movement patterns yourself, it's hard to describe to someone else how to do it. It can be done, but it's very hard when you can't reach inside yourself and see what you do to ski.

 

One of the best techniques I use in teaching is to ski behind my student and mimic them. Then I really know what they are doing and have an insight into even the why. Most people do something because they find it successful in some way. If I know what they CAN do, I also know what to offer them as the next step that they can be successful at and learn. 

 

In training clinics, I've learned the most by watching and trying to see the clinic from the clinic leader's perspective. When I give teaching clinics, I think that people get the most of it when we do a "normal" ski improvement or ski topic clinic and sort of annotate and discuss it as we go along - again, it's the learning through observation of it being done - along the lines of Nolo's suggestion and like the PGA does. 

 

I know that from my own experience, I learned and grew the most when I was skiing injured (recovering from surgery) and "tagged" along, helping with lots of clinics that a very experienced clinicians gave, PJ Jones. That's the best way I believe to improve teaching skills - carefully observe others teaching while you also participate and then talk about it, both during and afterwards.

post #131 of 135

This thread title reminds me of a question that was posed to me by a minister when I was in high school:

What's more important - Being born, or staying alive?

post #132 of 135


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

My alma mater sent this quote in an appeal for money--so you all can see where I come up with this stuff.

 

YOU CANNOT

teach

A MAN ANYTHING.

 

YOU CAN ONLY HELP HIM

discover

IT WITHIN HIMSELF.

 

--Galileo Galilei


I've said for many years that I don't teach people to ski.  People already know how to ski.  I just help them realize that they know.

post #133 of 135

FWIW, Not from a ski instructor. In most athletic skills there are professionals, both players and coaches. Very few, other than skiing try and combine the playing and coaching skills. Even ski racing, coaches do not race generally.

I guess golf says it best, There are "Teaching Pros" and "Pro-Players".

post #134 of 135

Reputedly professor Kruckenhauser, the guru of Arlberg technique, never personally succeeded in  mastering the parallel turn.  Now I would take that as an indictment of his teaching technique but I understand that others would disagree.

post #135 of 135

Certs vary, some are more teaching focused, others more skiing/riding.

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