Monday, August 16, 2010

Passion/Teaching Part 2
This all came up when I had an opportunity to observe (and maybe contribute) to an Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) led by JB. I jumped at the chance. I always learn when I am around my mentor, and I enjoy seeing others develop skills. Because of my oral procedure, I missed Friday's session; but I was in Madison on Saturday. Most of the day took place on the pond behind Rutagaga and out on a local lake.
I noticed a nice range of ages and inconsistencies in the skill levels of the paddlers. It was clear that all could paddle, but some seemed less than confident about what they were doing. The judgmental part of my mind wondered if they were ready to step up to being instructors and whether or not they could adequately model proper form to students.
There was a mother-son pair (Will and Susan) who had spent lots of time on the water teaching what sounded like skills one level below recreational kayaking. Will, in his mid-twenties, was the youngest member of the group (I guess I was the oldest...but I digress).
All seemed determined to succeed. As there was generally a lack of excellence amongst the forward strokes, I was asked to demo, on land and water, how I teach it. Folks listened, we went onto the water and JB videoed their stroke. The problem we saw was trouble with unlearning learned habits and old muscle memories. I was concerned about the group and said so on the ride back to Milwaukee with JB.

I waxed philosophical about who would carry on the high standards of ACA certified instructors. I went to bed wondering what things would look like on Sunday when we would be out on the big lake. I was not be cont'd.

Paddle safe...


JohnB said...

and, you contributed in a big way, both on the water and off. Thanks for the assist!

Silbs said...

I appreciate that. Anything you need.