Please explain somethings to me

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horizongfx
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Post by horizongfx » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:46 pm

ezwater wrote:I assume that people with ACA or GDI certification are knowledgeable. But I totally reject the notion that certified people are uniquely qualified to guide the rest of us.

I worked 18 years in the Hartsfield-Jackson of state psychiatric hospitals. Certifiable there meant you were nuts enough to be locked up.
Don't know about The ACA but most of the folks that Paddle with the GDI are Certifiable, Thats why I enjoy their company, I think I fit right in :wink:
P.s. and I think some of them may have been locked up !
For me; boating brings me closer to to something divine, and in a open canoe I'm 8 Inches closer.
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Yukon
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Post by Yukon » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:10 pm

I feel very forunutate to be a full time canoe instructor for part of the year anyways. If the season were longer and we had a bigger client base to draw from things would be different.

I have always struggled with Qualification over certification.-Certification is the piece of paper- Qualification is the experience, knowledge and ability to instruct. The 2 often do not go hand in hand. It is like this for many things that one may get certified for.

I jumped through many, many hoops to get certified as a canoe instructor from Paddle Canada. I did learn some things on the way. But also see many defeciences in such programs. It is not entirely the organizations fault but also the paddle public.

Its takes time to become a good paddleer. Many people dont want to put in the time or to pay for it. People spend way more on music instruction than paddle sport instruction.

When I instruct I try to get a feel for what people want to paddle after they leave the course and then I adapt my teaching for what they need and then adjust that to how they are picking up things during the course.

Everyone learns at a different pace. For some of my students all I will teach them in 3 days is foward straight line, foward, back, draw and pry strokes, front ferries and how to keep themselves out of trouble. It is all they need and all they could absorb anyways. I want them to leave with some tools that they can actually use to get on the water regardless of what they are paddling. The Yukon is blessed with thousands of miles of river trips on grade 1 water.

For paddlers that want to get into whitewater- I get them the basics and then teach them self recovery- I like that word instead of self rescue. Teach em how to wipe out, pick up the pieces and start again. Give them fundamentals and a safe place to learn and repetition.

I am always looking for more effective ways to teach a skill, to simplify and easier to remember. I also continually analysis my methods and how students learn. If I think something makes sense and effect and is not part of the program who cares.

Example a technique I have pioneered for teaching back ferries ( ya I know you yanks say back ferries) I teach a lot of tandem paddlers who want to go on extended trips, back ferries have there place. A very effective technique that newbes can struggle with. a tooll that greatly increaaes confidence. After watching many struggle with correction strokes from the bow and also having a lot of students in my bow and seeing my self correct from stern using draws and prys (effectively killing reverse mometum) I started trying to switch sides in the stern ( but only swtiching when side I switched to opens up ferry angle and only for 2-3 strokes) I had the deveoplment of a new techinque that would allow new paddlers to get an effective back ferry quickly. And I argue with instructors I hire to teach this option. It works but goes against the grain of paddling on same side- well so does cross bow draws.

I do wish there were more effective place to share techinques bases on maximum stucdent learning and not adhering to a specif set of criteria.....

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Post by philcanoe » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:23 pm

bobthepainter wrote: . . . and after a long review i see this wasn't about instruction, or instructors. but more of a" jab "at one person, by another. and turned out not to be so funny in the end.. :oops: ... :wink:
2opnboat1 wrote:This was by no means a jab at on person, but more of a jab at the base line of instruction... But this is just my 2 cents and it dont mean nothing to no one but me.
To be completely honest and fair, this is something I had discussed with Richard before his initial posting... we had met for the first time this weekend, and discussed all manner of paddling related BS... I was not personally attacking any one instructor; however if the shoe fits, well then oK you've been talked about. I have a paddling partner who was (THE) head of instructor training with the ACA, (as in - once upon a time)... and this is something that I'd unloaded on before.

I really like what you said Yukon. there's Qualification and there's Certification... that was a mouth full of good!

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Post by Randy Dodson » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:22 am

I just got sick of seeing people go canoeing and then swearing they'd never do it again cause of how many times they flipped, got scraped over rocks, etc.
They obviously had some interest in it or they never would have tried it out.
I knew how much fun those kinds of people would have if they had some boat control and learned how to play the rapids instead of just bombing down'em.

I don't care about the piece of paper, I just became an instructor to help keep open boating alive. And i'm glad to know that I've helped a lot of people learn how to paddle down a class 2 river in control of their boat so they don't give it up forever. I already know there's tons of non instructor open boaters that are a whole lot better than me.
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Yukon
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Post by Yukon » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:01 am

Early in my paddle career I watched my high school teacher take a bad swim, in an inocent spot. She was talked into paddling that river bu someone she trusted. The experience stuck with me - she has not paddled much since then 0ver 20 years ago.
Sometimes i joke with students I am like a drug dealer- I give you a little bit at a time. Get you hooked first! Then they come back for more or send there friends for some of the good stuff.
So far it has worked with good success.

I really enjoy seeing people get that look when they really get the front surf or how to carve an eddy turn. Then I know I did my job

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Post by Mike Gardner » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:32 am

I got started in the sport a couple of years ago because 3 ACA certified instructors took special care with a group of "rec" paddlers at the annual class given at a classI+ river. I brought my Old Town Guide 147 that I had won that spring at an event at Pack Rat Outfitters. My then current boat was a 17 1/2 ft sea kayak I built from a kit( Pygmy Coho). One of the instructors swapped boats and let me use his Ovation. Was like going from a flatbed truck to a sports car. Next year went to classes in all three clubs in my area. Each of the instructors taught me well and am a paddling buddy with one. Found another cefrtified instructor who is started as a teacher, became a mentor and now is a close friend. He is 74 and paddles like Fred Astair dances.Was running the Ocooee,Arkansas, other III and IV stuff while I was in diapers (57 now). Helped in initial ACA curriculum and taught hundreds over the years. He and everone of my instructors has been helpful and inspirational. Instruction brings a curriculum and a standard of care and safety that is necessary for learning. Yes, there are some who may not be that great and some who are ego goofs but they are in the absolute smallest minority. . I wanted to follow these great examples and became an instructor level3 myself and have taught some kids who are going to far surpass me. That's what it's all about whether we do it formally in a class or take time to show a newbie friend how to get a banana shaped boat to go straight.
Mike
p.s. every one of my instructors told me there was only so much I could learn in the classes and said come paddle with us and get river time. Even then they coach and help
thanks Dale,Jim,Helen,Marcel,Arthur,Steve,Walter,Chris,Andy

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Post by jakke » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:10 am

Just a moment, are we talking about open-boating here?

Look around you, you can see this everywhere around you. In every days life, you see certified guys, being a total disaster at their certification, and you have very skilled people, not having that paper.

Open boating is no exception on that.

Point is that, these days, you do need certification -insurance wise and people just like to see some paperwork, people believe it is some kind of guarantee.

No, a good boater isn't necessarily a good instructor. Nor do you have to be a very skilled whitewater paddler to teach the basics.

And yes, I do believe the best chance on a good instructor is that instructor who doesn't, or only briefly mentions his certification, but has tons of mouth to mouth comments.
A good instructor is, as has been said, someone who has thought about what he's willing to teach. How he is teaching will depend from person to person.

I neither like the proposition to take paddlers out to teach the basics. The basics are the fundamentals of our sport. Have novice paddlers learn the basics in a structured way. Take paddlers with you, to train in their basics, to build up experience before they can take their next instruction step. Training, building up experience is something different then teaching! I can take a flatwater course, but I'm not immediatly ready to go for a river course. I do need to train the learned skills. Take that kind of paddlers with you.
And yes, even at a certains kill level, it is good to step back down to the basics and refine them. It will be amasingly rewarding.

Teaching motoric skills is a hard job. It takes experience, and some good consideration. A good instructor is in my opinion also someone who has taken himself lots of instruction. Not to learn how to paddle, but to see how others teach, and learn some new skills in teaching that they can use in their own style.

And now I can start the same kind of story about plenty of other certifications in every days life, but I'll spare you that one 8)

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Post by TonyB » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:32 pm

The onlyinstruction in my neck of the woods is performed by people who've taken the class, paddled class III then went and got themselves instructor cirtified. They now the ACA jargon and spit it out at you, get you to survive our local II+ river (which they call III) and then call you a whitwater paddler. Rolling isnt in their training nor is swimming with your boat. We're currently trying to get these instructors to bring their canoes to the pool this winter and learn to roll.
After coming back from my first ALF trip this past season They're trying to get ne to become an instructor. And as the few of you that have paddled with me know Im a looooooong way off from that.

BYTW Nate, we need you at the pool session, Joe and I are a little stumped on the offside roll and need ya to sprinkle your magic observation to make it work. It feels so close.
Proud Yankee

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Yukon
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Post by Yukon » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:40 pm

Good reply Jake. I once had a long time student who came to my premiere whitewater course, 3 years running. Skills were not progressing because they were not paddling after the course at all. i told them if they wanted to come back the following year I wanted to know they had paddled at least 10 times. They had to figure somethings out on there own- I could not teach them more until they did. Well they took it the wrong way that they had to be a certain level paddler and have not been back since. My case was I did not want to take there money again and again if they were not going to be dedicated to learning the art. I would do it again- maybe with a different approach.

A big reason I teach is so I can have others to go paddle with for my fun days- though they are few and far between- my upper level paddling has plateud since teaching all the time, but I feel my fundemantals are pretty solid.

Seasons greetings to all

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philcanoe
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Post by philcanoe » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:42 pm

yep... see the certificates... they be a waving.

Image

A lot of people teach, I routinely teach, I routinely teach instructors, I would not call myself an instructor.... I call it giving back, and do it frequently.

The problem I see, is there's a governing body creating instructors that are simply antiquated in what they teach... the sport has passed them by.... and they are hurting the sport through the creation of instructors promulgating not only incomplete technique, but also bad technique.. They rubber stamp and pass off onto a unsuspecting public, instructors who appear to be of value. That's internal rotting away of the base, and it stinks.

Image

Sorry but if the hat fits... too bad. There are several here that have raised their hand and said oh not me... well fine... I (me) am not talking about you... except to add, that you are the ones capable of solving the problem. Because you are actual-members of the club, and are the ones able to change it from within... by demanding an updated curriculum and ridding from your ranks the sub-par instructor.

And BTW I hope we are talking whitewater canoing, and not some intro course in Lilly Dipping to flat landers. And if you are from somewhere beside the USA, this may not concern you at all. I can only talk about the American Canoe Association and what it passes off as education for the aspiring whitewater open boater. Heritage, history, and harmony have harbored, hallowed, and hidden the hapless, and have horridly handled know-how. The sport has simply passed them by. We here at cboats.net are more important to the future of what this sport will look like in this country, as the ACA has taken the money and run. Continued growth and development of the sport, has become merely something else to add to their web page.

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Post by Sir Adam » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:52 pm

Here's a question for all to ponder (and I agree with much of what has been written - and espeically like the point of Qualification vs. Certification). Anyway -

Say you have never paddled in your life, but suddenly want to start whitewater paddling...in a canoe, as you think that looks cool.

You don't know anyone who paddles.

Where do you go? How do you figure out who is "qualified"?

That's where "certification" comes in, and I understand why they do it.

That said, if there is a good program with "qualified" instructors, "certification" is just an expense at best, and at worst actually gets in the way of good instruction (I've instructed XC skiing at a top center for almost 20 years... but am not PSIA certified. Our head instructor always has been, in order to share and gain ideas from other instructors across the country).


We started a separate forum here where folks can offer (for free) their instruction / help.

I don't think that gets taken advantage of enough.

I will add there are several schools of though on instruction (from "crash burn and learn" to a formal progression), and in my humble opinion ALL are valid - BUT the student must be matched to the program, or they'll never become a boater.
Keep the C!
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Post by malone » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:20 pm

As a member of T.I.T.S & A.S.S (TN Institute of Tubing Science & the American Swim Society) I am fully certified and qualified to speak on behalf of this subject... I say get wet. I learn from hands on application and try to teach with hands on application. Don't scare or over educate your students in one lesson, there will be plenty of river features that will do that. I enjoyed the GDI angle, don't go there. Boof late... etc.
Remember to have fun, preferable at someone else's expense.
8)
Go Big...

Louie

Post by Louie » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:40 pm

I only know one instructor a guy named Larry from Kentucky and he is the most perfect example of what is wrong with instructors. What he learned years ago is all he knows and all he wants to know. He won't step up and try harder rivers and think anyone who does is dangerous and irresonable. His pesonality alone woud turn people away from boatin. Of course he is a Kayaker so I am glad he is an instructor. I do know that there is a club in East Tennessee who won't train anyone under 18 unless there is a parent along. I swum off of baby falls just to show an eleven year old that it was a clean drop and even if the worst happen it would be fun.

I have said it befroe in this thread and will say it again, nuthin wrong with bein an instructor just wrong if the instructor thinks the title confers some sort of mytical powers.

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Yukon
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Post by Yukon » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:42 pm

What the hades you mean Louie-
I am a canoe instructor so I am better than God- I taught God how to boat a long time ago....

and for all those that dont know god spelt backwards is DOG m y best friend
cheers all

Louie

Post by Louie » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:04 pm

Canadians don't count you all are in a class by your selfs, Sorta like the GDI you just don't fit in, thank the Lord. We give the normal people sumthin to aspire too, not that they will ever achive our status.

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