post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
Quote: (from Skidude)
Some time ago we were in a discussion about the importance of separating technique from tactics.  You seemed to be interested until someone, hijacked the thread, and turned it on its head.  I would be happy to continue that conversation if you still see value.  Alternativley what challenges do you see teaching teaching to rookies.  Where do they struggle the most? Where do you struggle the most?  How would you define the culture amongst the new pros you work with?  How would you describe the culture of the experienced pros you work with?  Is there a difference between the rookies and the experienced?  Is so why do you think that is?

I can't remember the specifics of the technique vs tactics thread. I do much better responding to questions.

Helping rookies get started does hit some recurring themes. On the one hand, there are so many secrets to share. On the other hand, information overload is a problem. So the toughest part is providing a structure from which you can drill down to specific details but return back to a high level to summarize and help improve knowledge retention. We want to give rookies a cook book to get started, but we don't want them to think that that is "the" way to teach. Instead we want them to build off that base. Many rookies have difficulty keeping their classes moving enough. Most rookies have difficulty doing accurate movement analysis and providing quality feedback. Something that rookies don't struggle with because it is something they don't do is multi task. Experienced pros will be performing time management in their head while they are explaining things to their class. Safety management, MA, on the fly lesson planning, group management, demonstrations, providing feedback, etc are all things that can be going on simultaneously. For example, an experienced pro will know how many minutes have elapsed in a beginner lesson without having to look at a watch by knowing where they are in the lesson and whether the rate of progress is normal, slow or fast.

After 17 years I don't think of myself as struggling anywhere. There will always be students whose needs stretch my abilities to deliver an outstanding lesson experience. I often take on mixed level lessons or difficult students that require a focused effort. I'll always have areas where I want to grow (e.g. using analogies in teaching). I have a goal of delivering a breakthrough for every student. But this is an ideal I work to. You could say I struggle to raise the percentage of breakthroughs delivered, but it's a struggle only in the sense that it is hard to do. I always want to smile more, be friendlier, be funnier, improve my MA, get a bigger bag of tricks and ski and ride better. I guess my biggest challenges are finding balances between skiing and riding, teaching and clinicing, working/playing/resting. 

My school is definitely multi cultural. We have 350 on staff ranging from high school kids to retired rocket scientists. We have weekday pros. We have weekend pros. We have day pros and we have night pros. We have cliques. We have a strong team approach to getting challenges addressed. We have a lot of staff who are PSIA/AASI members. Some rookies fit right in because of pre-established ties with the school through friends or family. Some take a while to realize what becoming part of the family really means which is only natural because it is hard to describe. But after they settle in to the routine (i.e. run out of how do I, or what do I questions) and make new friends they become both comfortable with "sponge mode" for soaking up experience and confident with their abilities to contribute to the team. Eventually they form their own cliques and figure out that the experienced pros really don't have all the answers and the "gods" will help anyone who asks.