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A total of 80 CSIA members took part in this years member convention in Banff. Photo supplied.

Ski instructors return from CSIA training

In their quest to be the best ski school in Canada, Sun Peaks Resort LLP’s four Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Level 4 instructors travelled to Banff, AB to further their skills  at course conductor training at the CSIA member convention Nov. 25 to 28.

“We look at it as an investment in the future development, by having people that are really well trained it’s going to be better training at the staff level and that training will trickle down to the product that our staff are delivering to guest on the mountain,” said Ron Betts, sport school technical co-ordinator and attendee of the November convention.

Having been an instructor at the resort for 26 years, Anne Terwiel has attended the  convention many times. She described the event as an opportunity to meet colleagues, share best practices and get excited about the new season.

“The thing I’m most excited about was we were sharing our own best practices in terms of how we teach,” she said. “So we were grouped at tables of eight or 10, we were encouraged to talk about delivery methods or drills or things that we do that really work well for us.”

Terwiel recognized the experience as an opportunity to benchmark themselves and learn from others who are teaching at a high level.

“You come back with your toolkit more full and your old tools completely refurbished.”

This year’s course conductor training focused on the CSIA’s new science and skiing manual which features on biomechanics, physics and skiing.

“The committee worked with people who work in those areas of study. Not ski instructors necessarily but professors of physics and kinesiology and made sure everything is described exactly as it happens when someone is moving across a slippery surface on a ski,” she explained.

Another concept brought forward in their discussion and coursework was the importance of having a student-centered approach to teaching and ensuring they’re looking at the needs, capabilities and goals of the student and building a lesson around the individual.

“Good teachers have always done that but now it’s really quantified as this is what excellent teaching is, this is what you must do. So it’s not just the few who would be student-centered. It’s the many now and I think working in that environment is really exciting,” said Terwiel.

Along with the Level 4 instructors, Sun Peaks also had eight of the Level threes and one Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors level four and five level three instructors  attend their own course conductor training share their experience with the level twos and ones going forward

“We can be really really proud of our senior level threes and fours in terms of the learning environment they’re creating for everybody else who works here and has fun here,” said Terwiel.

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