Improve Your Teaching: Deciding What to Work On
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In a previous article, I wrote about how you should structure your students’ practice so that they learn most quickly. The article discussed the difference between what to work on and how to work on it, then focused on the how. This article presents several methods you can use to determine what your students need to work on.
Improve Your Teaching: Movements vs. Exercises
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As an instructor, you need to understand what your students need to work on, and how they should practice in order to learn. In this article we’ll discuss the difference between what they work on vs. how they work on it. In a subsequent article we’ll discuss methods you can use to find out what your students need to learn.
Evaluating Movement: What's the First Part of the Body to Start Into the Turn?
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One of the categories of student needs in the Student Directed Ski Instruction (“SDSI”) grid is Movement. As a Student-Directed instructor, your activities within this category are to identify the students’ movement needs, and provide the movement instruction needed to help each skier reach his/her goals. Kim Peterson, developer of the SDSI model says, “Providing for needs is only as effective as you are accurate in identifying those needs.” The bulk of most ski lessons consists of the movement tasks – exercises and practice sessions – that you provide to help the skiers meet their movement needs. Thus, the effectiveness of the bulk of your lesson depends on how accurately you assess the movement needs of the students.
Go Beyond Talking in Creating Understanding
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Think for a moment about the Student Directed Ski Instruction grid. The two activities the instructor must perform are identifying and fulfilling; the three categories of need are movement, understanding, and motivation. This article will focus on fulfilling understanding needs.
The novice instructor often tries to fulfill the need for understanding by providing information verbally - “Find out what they need to know and then tell them.” Though the information provided may be accurate, there are drawbacks to simply talking: first, the student might not truly understand the relevance of the information; second, standing around and listening might not be what skiers want from their lesson. There are clearly times when providing information verbally is valid and effective, but let’s see what can be done to increase skiing time for your students, create the understanding that they need, and expand your capabilities as an instructor.
To Reach for the Gold, Go for the Green
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Having lived and trained with the "guru couple" (Harald and Diana) for the last six weeks, I am confident I can share with you some accreditation secrets.
I have witnessed and been on the receiving end of the expectation of excellence. You know when you deliver it, and you know when you don't.
Why do we need to be excellent? Because excellence is required out on the hill when leading skiers through learning experiences. The first step in attaining excellence, and some would argue the hardest step, is achieving the green level in PMTS.
What We Share - Experiences (3/3)
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Sharing an experience is more like sharing food than sharing a toy. When the sharing is over, the toy still belongs to someone. After sharing a bite of food, however, you probably can’t (or don’t want to) take it back. Shared experiences allow all those who participate to establish common ground. Unlike relating an experience, speaking from experience, or even being experienced, sharing experiences puts participants in the same venue. The balance of a shared experience depends on the difference between what I experience and what they experience.
What We Share - Meaning (2/3)
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At first glance, it may appear that sharing words and sharing meaning are the same thing. The two are certainly related. Both words and meaning are individual and symbolic. In their fundamental state, words are ink on paper or sound waves that vibrate your eardrum. Meaning is only communicated in symbols. You can't really transmit or impose meaning on another person. Sharing meaning may encompass sharing words…but not always. When we share words, we share understanding (at least our understandings overlap); when we share meaning, we share experience. Meaning isn't found in words; it's found in people.