Interski 2019 successfully wrapped up 10 days ago in Pamporovo, Bulgaria. Here, Team Manager Jeb Boyd shares his perspective on the top three takeaways the team wanted to emphasize to the international snowsports instruction community.
Takeaway 1: The diversity of PSIA-AASI’s Learning Connection captures what we believe to be the essence of a modern, successful, instructor. Typically, the model centers around the student, but it can change to focus on other things like the instructor, snowsports school, certification candidate, or even our association as a whole. The Learning Connection helps answer questions concerning what actions and behaviors are needed to strengthen the three main points of the model (technical skills, teaching skills, and people skills).
Takeaway 2: Our student-centered approach has stood the test of time, but how we deliver content and education has evolved. Four years ago (in Ushuaia, Argentina), we asked Interski, “what are the fundamentals of being a good teacher?” Having student-centered approach was one of the most consistent responses we received, and the good news is, we feel we’re pretty good at focusing on the student here in America. However, by going through the exercise of identifying fundamentals, we asked ourselves if we really are student centered. While the short answer is, ‘yes,’ the longer answer is, ‘we can be better.’
The first fundamental is the recognition that we can be better, and then providing an environment that promotes exploration (play) toward a desired outcome. This is all about the environment and how the student, instructor, and content, all come together to produce a learning experience. To create an enhanced learning experience, PSIA-AASI has retooled how we deliver content. Resources like podcasts, web news, e-learning, and ultimately, the work we are doing with Penn State, will allow us to provide better information to our membership, when and how they want it.
Takeaway 3: The power and diversity of our team. There are no hired guns in this squad. The PSIA-AASI National Team is comprised of great teachers and inspirational athletes. Best of all, with seven women on our team, we can effectively speak to fifty percent of our audience better and more realistically. The women on our team work hard to continue to grow female participation, even at the highest level of the sport. This was highlighted at Interski when we dedicated one of our Technical Passes (on the demonstration slope) exclusively to the women on our team. Their run demonstrated our commitment to the female demographic, and showed how strong the women of our national team truly are.