We dive in this article to explore the work of the director of a ski school. For this, we interviewed Robert Puente who besides having a long career in international competitions of different skiing skills is an eminence in terms of teaching the sport . It has numerous publications which transmits his knowledge. Currently he is the director of the Skiing School in Sierra Nevada.
Enthusiastically he explains the management model of the ski schools in Spain and the situation of the ski instructors .
I lOVE SKI: From your experience directing the school of ski of Vallnord(Andorra) and being the director of a skiing school in Sierra Nevada. How are the models of running a ski school in Spain?
R. Puente – The management of a skiing school depends on the model of the station where is located. There are public or private stations. In the case of Valdesqui stations, Candanchu and Formigal, they only have one skiing school. While others like Sierra Nevada have a large number ( about 37 ) .
When it comes to the models in skiing schools, we differentiate the cooperatives where a group of professors are the owners and manage everything like the case of Candanchú o Formigal, and it can also work as a company with an owner and permanent employees.Also, some stations have the collaboration of professional skiers that are autonomous. This skiers are hired when there is a lot of work or in the most saturated seasons, when the professors at school can not handle it.
I LOVE SKI: Do you think that the important thing in a ski teacher is his competitive career or his long experience in teaching this sport?
R. Puente – Without a doubt a good professor highlights itself not particularly for his experience in competitions or collection of trophies, but for his years of teaching. That is to say, his knowledge of the most effective techniques for students to show further progress.
Therefore, a professor’s technique is not the only thing that counts.He must be a good pedagog and be able to transmit his knowledge.
I LOVE SKI: What is the actual situation of a professor of ski in Spain ? Are there powerful unions?
R. Puente – The situation of a ski professor in Spain varies significantly according to the school that they attend as well as the conditions of each station.
There is currently an association called AEPEDI that is stands for Association of Teachers and Trainers in Winter Schools thats has as an objective to promote and secure the teaching and the entertainment in the winter sports. Nevertheless it represents the professors of skiing schools as well as the owners and directors of this schools, and this is counterproductive.
In some stations there is an agreement that professors of such stations with obviously a title can have access to a special forfait.
Also in some ski resorts the professors have priority in long lines, but this is not easy especially if you want to do it in all the stations, some of them have a numerous professors that are around 100 (Candanchú) and 140 (Formigal) in Sierra Nevada’s case there are 700.