New 'Teaching Snowsports Manual’: Q&A with Dave Schuiling

A new Teaching Snowsports Manual will be available for purchase next month. This teaching resource brings to life PSIA-AASI’s Learning Connection components of people skills, teaching skills, and technical skills.

Included is critical advice on communication, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, effective teaching, and how people learn; as well as a practical, multi-discipline approach to presenting technical material. A perfect companion to the Core Concepts for Snowsports Instructors, the Teaching Snowsports Manual is a must-have education resources for all snow pros, regardless of the discipline you teach or lesson specialty.

Here, PSIA-AASI Director of Education Dave Schuiling discusses how this new manual will complement your teaching.

Why is the new ‘Teaching Snowsports Manual’ so important?
It is what we do! We share our passion for snowsports with others and work to create a spark for learning. The new manual is full of practical teaching applications and is framed in the Learning Connection, focusing on skills that make a well-balanced teacher: people skills, teaching skills and technical skills. It also goes deeper into a holistic approach for setting yourself up for success as a snowsports educator, with additional chapters on managing risk, sports psychology, physical fitness and conditioning, service relationships, and professional development.

How will it help PSIA-AASI members deliver a better lesson?
The Learning Connection is the heart of professional development; it’s what helps instructors develop skills that create the ultimate learning environment. Technical knowledge and ability can only get you so far in developing a deep connection with the student that ignites learning. Teaching Snowsports begins at the core of creating a meaningful connection with development of interpersonal skills. Greater trust provides the gateway for enhanced teaching skills to complement your technical knowledge. A greater awareness of the learning environment that is being created between the student, others, and you is what makes a better lesson.

How will it help snowsports school directors provide better training?
Teaching Snowsports beautifully complements the timeless resource Core Concepts, as it brings to life many of the models and concepts instructors use daily. The new manual also embodies ideals for key job skills that schools value in “creating lifelong adventures through education” with their guests. It’s a training resource and a professional development resource guide for schools to build their instructor training curriculum.

What does this add to how we, as an association, talk about teaching?
The Learning Connection identifies skills that have been developed into Fundamentals of people, teaching, and technical skills. Further development of Fundamentals of people and teaching skills ground all of us in a common foundational language that is easy to grasp and build from, with more experience and training. You’re starting to hear more and more to make sure everything you teach can relate back to a fundamental. It helps to keep the learning linked back to a purpose, and to keep the learning outcomes in sight and within reach.

Some talented people worked hard to bring this manual to fruition. What did its creation look like behind the scenes?
It was a massive effort that combined research and development from many sources and influential subject matter experts. Kudos to project managers and lead authors Ellen Post Foster and Rob Sogard who made it all happen and brought all contributions into a unified voice. They called on several writers to focus on specific chapters, and had a large group of reviewers for technical accuracy of the content. A few photo/video shoots last season helped complement the written words with awesome photos and videos that bring the content to life. As always, Wendy Schrupp, executive editor of PSIA-AASI (and celebrating 25 years with our association!) helped review, edit, prepare, and produce the manual for the designer. 

How will it inform the PSIA-AASI Interski 2019 Presentation?|
It is the foundation and core of our Interski indoor lectures and on-snow workshops. As it is outlined in the Learning Connection, it will be referenced in everything we do. At Interski 2015 in Ushuaia, Argentina, we posed the question: “What is great teaching?” to our peers from around the snowsports education world. The Teaching Snowsports manual is our answer to that question following four years of countless hours of research and development of what we believe creates deeper learning. We’re excited to share it with everyone!

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