Instructors, do you prefer teaching adults or kids?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by LiquidFeet, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,967
    Location:
    New England
    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.
     
  2. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,135
    Location:
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
    Uncle-A likes this.
  3. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    1,660
    Location:
    Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
    Adults. I can have fun teaching kids, but I'm better with adults.
     
  4. Kreative1

    Kreative1 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2019
    Posts:
    8
    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.
     
  5. Nancy Hummel

    Nancy Hummel Ski more, talk less. Instructor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Posts:
    526
    Location:
    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.
     


  6. jimmy

    jimmy Mixmaster Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    299
    Location:
    West Virginia
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,967
    Location:
    New England
    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 likes this.
  8. Thread Starter
    TS
    LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    1,967
    Location:
    New England
    Picking kids up ... any comments on the role that has in preferences?
     
  9. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Posts:
    4,135
    Location:
    Londonderry, VT
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    jimmy likes this.
  10. jimmy

    jimmy Mixmaster Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    299
    Location:
    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.
     
  11. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2015
    Posts:
    7,877
    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.
     
    jimmy and Erik Timmerman like this.
  12. geepers

    geepers Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    Posts:
    797
    Location:
    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.)
     
    L&AirC, jimmy and LuliTheYounger like this.
  13. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    1,660
    Location:
    Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
    The childrens eduction handbook has just been rewritten.
     
  14. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    3,570
    Location:
    NYC
    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.
     
    ADKmel, geepers and Mike King like this.
  15. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    1,660
    Location:
    Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
    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
     
    ADKmel, Coach13, Sibhusky and 3 others like this.
  16. Jack skis

    Jack skis Ex 207cm VR17 Skier Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Posts:
    333
    Location:
    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.
     
    Mike King likes this.
  17. Kreative1

    Kreative1 Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2019
    Posts:
    8
    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.
     
  18. Karl B

    Karl B USSA L100 Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Posts:
    113
    Location:
    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.
     
    jimmy likes this.
  19. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    1,660
    Location:
    Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
    CS2 is required for Level 3 in PSIA-RM.
     
  20. 4ster

    4ster Now with more photos! Instructor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,055
    Location:
    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!
     
    T-Square and jimmy like this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice