Ullr New Instructor Training Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need any experience? What is the cost? You must be able to comfortably ski or ride all Blue runs in all conditions and some groomed Black runs. You do not need any snow sports instruction experience. We will teach you to be a snow sports instructor. We do ask that you bring your personality and a desire to focus on your students and become a mentor and guide for them. There is no cost for the training, but you must purchase a season's pass at the staff rate of $76.02. We will start instructor training in Oct.
What schools does Ullr provide instruction for? Ullr is a professional snow sports instruction company that provides instructors for several programs. Our largest program is the Bellevue Ski School which operates on Saturdays from early January through early March each winter. We also host the Husky Winter Sports program which operates on Saturdays and Sundays. We have a recreational ski racing program called CART (Central Alpine Racing Team) and a race training program called Cascade Ridge Racers for athletes training for the Washington Winter Special Olympics. Lastly is our high-end private lesson program called BeyondSki which is staffed only by instructors certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).
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I think I can commit to most of the training time except I am on a select soccer team and may have some weekend matches during December. Having other conflicts is something that some people interested in instructing have to manage. Our approach is that everyone gets graded for every training session. When the new instructor training school is complete, we total up the scores and offer jobs to the top scorers first. This approach lets you know what to expect if you must miss some training session and allows you to set your expectations. If you know you will miss some sessions, then you know you will be missing some opportunities to boost your score. We let everyone know that we basically put everyone on staff as cadets and then hire as we need instructors. So even if you miss some pre-season training, you can always be a cadet to start and continue training. Our goal is that everyone gets a teaching assignment by the end of the year so they will be ready as full-fledged instructors the next season.
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As for the training for these new instructors on Saturdays, what is the schedule? Saturday is a long day. Everyone needs to be in the building by 8 AM and ready to get out on the snow for our morning warm-up at 8:30 AM. Classes start at 10 and go until 3PM (with a break for lunch). We start afternoon certification training at 3:30 or 4PM and we are done by 5:30 PM at the latest. Generally my carpool leaves at 6 PM and we arrive back at Issaquah around 7 PM. So about half the time is training (free to the instructors) and half is teaching (we pay instructors for assigned teaching hours, cadets are helping and are considered still training so they are not paid).
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How many hours of training before the December on-snow sessions start? New instructors will have four two-hour classroom sessions held from late October through mid-November. We meet at Tyee Middle School on Tues or Wed from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (pls see the tentative schedule posted at the top left of this page). Then we hold our on-snows the first two weekends in Dec. (if there is snow). These are all day Sat and Sun both weekends up at the Summit at Snoqualmie. So lots of good training time.
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If they are on the ski school staff, does that mean they won't be able to participate in the Bellevue Ski school to improve their skiing anymore? Besides teaching every Sat., we also hold more training on Sat. You will learn more than you learn in ski school, so I believe it is a better learning opportunity than attending lessons. Really you are going to the next level where we assume you know how to ski or ride and we go into the technical details as well as helping you with how to lead a class of students. Typically you will be getting double the number of lesson hours and will get much better than you would in ski school. But it is much harder too.
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Do you know if I can still take the bus with the Bellevue Ski School? The hours don't work out, so we form carpools. There a forum set up that everyone registers for and rides and carpools are posted to help people link up. There are several carpools from Bellevue and Issaquah every Sat.
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What is the time commitment? We need people on Saturdays Jan through the first week in March. We break one week for Presidents Day but it might not be that specific weekend depending on the Bellevue School district schedule. Our on-snow training is two full weekends in early Dec. As you can see, this is a serious commitment, but it is extremely rewarding.
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What does the job pay? New instructors start at $11 hour. Most instructors get a minimum of 24-30 hours each season. Ullr provides all staff with a school parka that is checked out to you for your use during classes. If your are a student and want to volunteer, you can earn community service hours. Please check with your counselor to confirm though. The Bellevue Ski Council is a non-profit organization and your classification would be students helping students.