Teaching groups (of kids, especially) is one of the most challenging lessons we get assigned as an instructor; and it’s also the most common. It’s challenging because people are unique: they learn at different rates, have different amounts of endurance and different needs. This leads to the dreaded split.

Now, we could find another instructor and hand off some students. We could throw in some delaying tactics or extra mileage and wait for the stragglers to catch up… or, at least with beginners and novices, we could turn the one group lesson into multiple private lessons. How? I call it the “The Conveyor Belt Technique”.

split full

Most often, we’re teaching beginners in a controlled environment; a short pitch beside a carpet or a short beginner chair lift. In these places, we can facilitate a natural spacing between our students as they lap the lift, allowing them to come back up without us or the group. This causes them to eventually spread out evenly so that only one or two students are at the top of the space at any one time. Once this happens, we’re able to teach each individual student separately, without holding up the group for all the different explanations. With some practice, we can juggle as many different lessons as we have students.

This technique is awesome because it encourages independence in our students by creating more mileage (less time spent waiting for others) and it puts each student in charge of their own lesson pace. Using questions to see how each student feels with the current step, and using challenges to push students towards the next step increases independence even further. This is the kind of guided mileage CASI strives for.

DomDom Oshanek
National Technical Team Member & Level 4 Evaluator