It was one hard but rewarding week for Bryce Wilson on EA's Ski instructor courses, as the interns take on the level 1 ski instructor exam!
Day 1 & 2 - Intros and basic skills
Monday night came and we had a meeting with our NZSIA examiners that we would have to impress for the next 5 days on the hill with our skiing and our knowledge we had gained the weeks before with our instructor.
On Tuesday we set up the hill determined to show them what we had. The first part of the day was skiing with the group getting to know everyone who had also signed up to take their level one exam also.
We had a videotape session just before lunch. After lunch we all had individual feedback after viewing the tape. I was told to watch the smearing out my turns and really ride my edges more in the turn.
For the afternoon session, we went to the beginners' slope and learned how a lesson would work with adults. At the end of the day, we had to go over all that she covered in the correct order she had just shown us. That night we went over our notes as a group and prepared for the next day.
Day 3 & 4 - Drills, skill development and demos
On Wednesday we set out on the hill with a beautiful bluebird day and breath-taking views all around us, we rode the 6 pack lift to the top and started with drills working on our rotational movements with our ski and feet. The next drill I had to work on was moving my body weight to the downhill outside ski and not on my uphill inside ski.
By the afternoon we were all pretty tired but we had to go out and learn more wedge turns and work on our demos in order to pass the demo part of the exam.
After practising our demos, we headed back to the beginner slope to learn how to teach a lesson to kids. We had to learn how to make each of the movements and technical skills more of a game and not do as much explaining to them.
We ended that afternoon with some small talk about theory and a quick ski to clear the mind and work on some small things. The next day we had a lot to do in little time. The examiners told us that the grading part of the exam was just a day away, and we needed to work more on demos and personal skiing.
And we did just that taking lap’s and laps around working on everything we could. In the afternoon we all meet in the café and had more talk on theory and lessons layout. After our talk we set back up the hill to practice more demos on wedge turns so that we could ace them on Saturday. We ended the day feeling more bushed then ever but we knew we had just one more day.
Before we left we all picked a lesson topic and had to teach it for 30 minutes. Everyone was nervous as they picked their topic out of an envelope not knowing what they would get.
Day 5 - Practice teaching
Once we got our topic and arrived back home, we spent the night making a lesson plan. I had the topic of teaching basic straight runs to children. It seemed easy at the time, but because I had to make it a full lesson, I needed to write down the way my lesson would go down and how I could make it easy for kids.
The next morning we rode the bus up the long switchback road up to Mt. Hutt and met with our examiners and begin the long examination day. We all took turns being a student for each person lesson. It was hard to focus on what each person was trying to teach us when we knew our turn to go was about to come up. Once it was my turn I started out with my introduction and let the lesson begin it was fun to pretend that everyone was a young child and I felt my lesson went well but I wouldn’t know till that night at the results meeting.
The group took a ski at the end of all our lessons and let the long week unwind in every turn we made down the hill, for the first time in three weeks I was free of lessons and drills and the feeling of just skiing was great. That night we headed to results meeting thinking it was just a small gathering of just us, but we were surprised to see the Mt. Hutt staff there to welcome us.
As we got handed our results we all looked nervous and afraid of what it read. As I looked at mine I couldn’t help but let out a loud yes! And a sigh of relief I had passed! It was an awesome feeling knowing I was now a level one ski Instructor and had the nice pin to prove it. Having everyone congratulate me made the night that much better.