USA: Teaching With Learning as the Outcome

The PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) presented an indoor lecture today on being learning focused in our lessons (vs. teaching focused).

Being learning focused involves considering the learning environment that is being created in the lesson. Six fundamental ideas can help this:

1: Collaborate on goals. What does the student want to learn in the short and long term? Be ready to adjust if objectives change throughout the lesson or day. Check in! Ask, don’t direct.

2: Manage information, activities, terrain, and pacing. Describe info accurately – for example, in skiing many students would think of a round shape if you say “make a pizza” – not a wedge! Explain clearly and accurately, but don’t over explain.

Managing activities and terrain must be considered carefully. Will it affect the students’ ability to absorb info? Often it’s better to err on the minimal side of the difficulty spectrum.

3: Promote play, experimentation and exploration. Finding limits and allowing students to be autonomous in their learning will assist in retention of info. Make mistakes and try again with a new approach.

4: Facilitate the learner’s ability to reflect. Create experiences and sensations that prompt students to think about and/or verbalize their experience with an activity. This may require some questions from the instructor.

5: Adapt to the changing needs of the learner. Plan to adjust your plan. With assessment of your student’s skills / attitude / comfort level or fitness, you might not be able to follow the plan you have in mind. Consider your student’s motivations.

6: Manage emotional and physical risk. It’s easy to take someone to more challenging terrain, but this may not be the best approach for your student, or the most refined way of teaching. Consider the implications of more-difficult terrain on your student, and try to keep things in the “sweet spot” between not being bored but also not being afraid.

Consider speed, challenge level, tactics and motivations when managing risk in your lesson.

“Attention is the currency of learning.”

Managing, adapting, collaborating, and reviewing/refining will make for a better lesson overall. We need a teaching and information focus in our lessons, but only if it works hand on hand with a learning focus.

Thanks USA!

Jeff Chandler

What’s the Value of Interski?

Interski comes around every four years, and from an association perspective it represents a large cost (or investment, depending how you view it) which begs the question – what is the value that CASI receives from this event?

Not only a demo event, I really view Interski as a chance for us to check in with our counterparts from around the world, and put our methodology to the test. Are we really maintaining relevance in the snowboard teaching space? Are our riding techniques evolving as we learn more and more about our sport? These are questions that we are trying to ask (and answer) here this week.

A key element to Interski has always been the sharing of information and findings with our members. Now more than ever, this is easier than it’s ever been. This blog is a great example of this – daily updates from the event have made the info more and more accessible to CASI members back home in Canada, and abroad.

This gathering of info also assists us in making sure that our programs and system continue to improve. We have never shied away from updating our programs, if we feel that there’s a better way, and this event allows us to really check in.

As well, CASI enjoys a really positive reputation on the international stage, and our presence at this event in Finland this week, as well as previous Interski events, has helped to support this.

This morning, the Interski team had a short gondola discussion about the value the Interski represents for CASI…tune in below to the video to listen in!

Jeff Chandler

So where is Levi, Finland??

Levi is a fell located in Finnish Lapland, and is the largest ski resort in Finland.

At a latitude of 67.8° north, it is located 170 km north of the Arctic Circle. The snowboard season in Levi is fairly long: from October to mid-May. Levi has about 3 weeks without daylight in December, and the hill is lit with spectacular rainbow light shows. However, it’s now March and past the vernal equinox, so we’re enjoying over 12 hours of sunshine daily — although temperatures are still forecasted to be cold -25°C overnight and -9 to -5°C during the days.

This week the forecast for solar activity is also very high, and the CASI Interski Team was welcomed on our arrival into Kittilä airport last night by a spectacular display of the Northern Lights.

It’s Almost Time! / Fébrilité dans l’air

10 days prior to leaving for Interski! I can’t believe we’re already there !

Great excitement and some nervousness are words that come to my mind when thinking about this career goal trip we’re about to take off for with the CASI Tech Team. Yet, I feel grateful and fortunate about this opportunity but also very proud to attend this international event representing our association.

My main goal while over there through sharing passion for the sport is to connect with the other nations team representatives and come back with innovative views and ideas for our programs to constantly evolve.

This snowboard instructor career dream is only one out of the many I had over the years and it has certainly contributed to constantly keep pushing my limits as a teacher, trainer and rider.

I remember when I started instructing at 15 years old, I was reading the CASI Newsletters and I was looking up to the different Interski Team Members, being inspired by all these CASI people. I was hoping to one day be able to live this experience.

I now surely hope this team of amazing humans can inspire other CASI folks to keep working hard to reach their personal and professional goals.

10 jours avant le départ pour Interski ! Je n’arrive pas à croire que nous y sommes déjà !

L’excitation et la nervosité sont deux mots qui me viennent à l’esprit lorsque je pense à ce voyage professionnel que nous sommes sur le point de faire avec l’équipe technique nationale de l’ACMS. Je me sens reconnaissante et chanceuse de cette opportunité, mais aussi très fière de participer à cet événement international pour représenter notre association.

Tout en partageant ma passion pour le sport, mon objectif principal à Interski est de nouer des liens avec les représentants des équipes des autres nations et de revenir avec des idées et des points de vue novateurs pour aider l’évolution constante de nos programmes.

Ce rêve de carrière de moniteur de snowboard n’est qu’un des nombreux rêves que j’ai eus au fil des ans et il a certainement contribué à me faire repousser sans cesse mes limites en tant que monitrice, formatrice et planchiste.

Je me souviens que lorsque j’ai commencé à enseigner à l’âge de 15 ans, je lisais les bulletins d’information de l’ACMS et je regardais les différents membres de l’équipe Interski, inspirés par tous ces gens de l’ACMS. J’espérais pouvoir un jour vivre cette expérience.

Aujourd’hui, j’espère que cette équipe d’humains extraordinaires pourra inspirer d’autres membres de l’ACMS à continuer de travailler fort pour atteindre leurs objectifs personnels et professionnels dans le monde du snowboard.