LiquidFeet

lurking
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Anybody have a preference? If yes, can you say more about that?
How about no preference? We can talk about that too.

This thread is meant to be about personal preferences and their varieties, not about finding universal truths identifying which ages make for "better" students. I'm thinking that it might be interesting to know how many different ways of answering the question there are among the teachers, instructors, and coaches posting here.
 

surfsnowgirl

Making fresh tracks
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Londonderry, VT
I started out mostly teaching kids and thought I preferred that. However, the past 2 years I've been teaching primarily adults. Kids are easy and fun and you can play games with them and all that but I find that since I learned to ski as adult I find it helps me relate to the adults more. I do get quite a lot of privates that are kids ages 4-13 but the majority of my students are adults.
 
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Kreative1

Booting up
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Feb 7, 2019
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not about finding universal truths identifying which ages make for "better" students.
I have found that age doesn't matter as much as how much the student wants to learn or is willing to have fun.

Either or both of these things can happen at any age (I have taught 2.5 to 99 years old students) but are easily influenced by factors out of our control such as weather, snow conditions, how much they slept, if they have eaten a meal in the past few hours, how the past 3 hours of their life have been. Sometimes a good instructor can turn these things around but occasionally there is no bringing back a student who is fed up and doesn't want to be there.

As a supervisor I have found that often the older instructors prefer adults because they usually want to learn more then just have fun and are capable of picking themselves up. Younger instructors (with younger backs) don't mind endlessly picking up younger kids and prioritizing fun over learning. I have also found that most of the trainers/supervisors/people who have been teaching forever follow the same mentality that I have regarding age.
 

Nancy Hummel

Ski more, talk less.
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Snowmass/Denver
Adults. I enjoy teaching when I can use words and experiences to teach people.

I marvel at some of the children’s instructors. They are creative, fun and the kids have a blast.

Even as a child, I was more comfortable with adults than playing games etc.
 
Thread Starter
TS
LiquidFeet

LiquidFeet

lurking
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Thanks @Kreative1 for those generalizations that correlate to age of instructor. I hadn't anticipated that instructor's age or experience level would matter when I started the thread. And it's interesting that you've identified a focus on learning vs a focus on having fun as the major differences between adults and kids.

I'm an older instructor who hasn't been teaching forever, and I prefer adults. They remind me of myself. I learned as an adult not too long ago and remember every wrong turn, and every right one, in my own learning journey. I enjoy that experience when I choose how to approach teaching, and it translates more directly to adults than it does to kids.

I've also raised kids and taught high school and college, so that experience is there too. Still, I enjoy the adults more. I can empathize with them more directly.
 

surfsnowgirl

Making fresh tracks
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I used to pick kids up all the time but my back wasn't happy. If the kid is slightly older I will show them how to get up. Or I will ski next to them, show them how to put their skis and I will put my ski next to theirs so they don't slide and I'll offer a hand. However, if I have a 3-6 year old I will often pick them up as they are light and easy ro pick up. Plus it's easier and faster to continue the lesson especially if it's a private.
 
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jimmy

Mixmaster
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378
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West Virginia
I would be perfectly happy teaching 9 to 12 year old never evers for the rest of my "career". The rush i get when they get it is something you just can't buy. These kids are the future of the sport. My favorite adult student would be one who has skied but never taken a formal lesson before. I find this student realizes they have reached a plateau and is motivated by the desire to ski better, more efficiently and not necessarily looking for bragging rights about skiing a black diamond. I try to give them everything, ie safety, basic movements, boot work, equipment orientation and how the equipment works that they would have got in a beginners lesson without actually giving them a beginners lesson.
 

James

Skiing the powder
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Dec 2, 2015
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There's a big difference in kids 4-6, 7-8 and over.
For younger ones, you really in general need someone younger with high energy and high tolerance. 5-6 yr olds who are good are a blast to ski with and will tire you out. Some never shut up, some rarely talk. In general they're hilarious. But they can go from laughing to tears in 10 seconds.
They also have a huge advantage in woods going under branches or hockey stopping in narrow spaces. Magical thinking is fun to be around and use.

I used to demo falling and getting up to either kids or adults. No more. In general I try not to pick kids up and get them to learn, but there's situations where it's easier and safer just to pick them up and place them in a spot if they're relatively light.
 

geepers

Out on the slopes
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Australia
Does PSIA have any special training/manuals for teaching kids?

CSIA has a one day workshop and a separate booklet. Main thrust is that kids in different age groups need different teaching approaches. It's well thought out.

Have an idea that as adults move into their older years then the kids book should be applied - just reverse the age groups.
  • 60-64 Let them be with their friends. Can largely be treated as adults.
  • 65-74 Set boundaries to try to stop them hurting themselves
  • 75-89 No competitive games. (They'll spend too long arguing the rules.)
  • 90+ Little bit of activity then in for hot coco. (Repeat till nap time.)
 

KingGrump

Most Interesting Man In The World
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Does PSIA have any special training/manuals for teaching kids?

CSIA has a one day workshop and a separate booklet. Main thrust is that kids in different age groups need different teaching approaches. It's well thought out.

Have an idea that as adults move into their older years then the kids book should be applied - just reverse the age groups.
  • 60-64 Let them be with their friends. Can largely be treated as adults.
  • 65-74 Set boundaries to try to stop them hurting themselves
  • 75-89 No competitive games. (They'll spend too long arguing the rules.)
  • 90+ Little bit of activity then in for hot coco. (Repeat till nap time.)
This age discrimination shit is just as nasty and unacceptable as racial/gender discrimination. :nono:

Come on down to Taos and I can introduce you to a bunch that can and will kick your ass.
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
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Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
This age discrimination shit is just as nasty and unacceptable as racial/gender discrimination. :nono:
So, I had a nerve study done on my shoulder. I got the results today, and there was this comment: "The patient is a pleasant elderly male." At least I was pleasant. Given that I'm 62 and the physician is 57, I sent him an email: "I was amused to see that I am a pleasant elderly male. Buddy, you aren't far behind..."

Mike
 

Jack skis

Ex 207cm VR17 Skier
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Fidalgo Island, WA
Mike it could be worse. I've been described as an unpleasant elderly male. That just gave me reason to be even more rude to the jerk who made the comment.

Parts of the above are not necessarily true.
 

Kreative1

Booting up
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Feb 7, 2019
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Does PSIA have any special training/manuals for teaching kids?

CSIA has a one day workshop and a separate booklet. Main thrust is that kids in different age groups need different teaching approaches. It's well thought out.
Yes PSIA has the Children's Specialist Accreditation. In most (not sure if all) PSIA divisions CS1 is required before attaining Alpine 2. At one point CS2 was required for Alpine 3 but is now optional. Both levels require you to fill out a workbook and attend a 2 day event where you have to present a teaching segment. There are special examiners called Advanced Children Educators (ACE) who usually run these tests and as @ Mike King said they have a newer version of the Children's Manual arriving this fall. That main thrust is the commonly referred to "Ages and Stages" of the CAP model.
 

Karl B

USSA L100
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Nov 14, 2015
Posts
142
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SE Michigan
Let me start by admitting my age, I am 63. At this point I no longer work with a client under the age of 10. I still have the patience but my back won't take it anymore. If it is a more advanced lesson, I prefer to work with teens (I coach one of the local high school teams). If I have a never-ever, I really like the 20-30 yr olds. They typically are more athletic and pick up moves and concepts more quickly. Communication is great and the lesson moves at a faster pace.
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
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Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
Yes PSIA has the Children's Specialist Accreditation. In most (not sure if all) PSIA divisions CS1 is required before attaining Alpine 2. At one point CS2 was required for Alpine 3 but is now optional. Both levels require you to fill out a workbook and attend a 2 day event where you have to present a teaching segment. There are special examiners called Advanced Children Educators (ACE) who usually run these tests and as @ Mike King said they have a newer version of the Children's Manual arriving this fall. That main thrust is the commonly referred to "Ages and Stages" of the CAP model.
CS2 is required for Level 3 in PSIA-RM.
 

4ster

Now with more photos!
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Sierra & Wasatch
Fortunately for me during my ski teaching career I got to work the full range from never ever’s to world class athletes, young & old alike. I really enjoyed that balance & would have been bored & never would’ve lasted without it.
If it was one of those quick answer surveys, I would say kids.
Variety is the spice of life!
 
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