Early Years Ski Instructor

The best part is having
fun together

Claire Pollitt is now a Professional Ski Instructor of America (PSIA), with a specialism in teaching young children to ski from as young as 2 years old. 

"After my probationary post (now known as NQN) at Norland, I immediately applied for a position working for a family in San Francisco, California. As the whole family skied I didn’t really have much choice but to join them (although I took quite a bit of persuading from the 5 year old! To my mind snow was nasty stuff - cold and wet!).

However, my employers made sure I was dressed properly and paid for a lesson. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was soon hooked. After working for this family for about 2 1/2 years it was time for me to move on - their needs had changed - so, instead of returning to the UK and taking up another nanny position, I started working full-time as a ski instructor and worked towards the PSIA qualification.  I have now done over 8 seasons working as a full-time instructor at Squaw Valley Ski and Snowboard School in California. During the summers I generally work as a temporary Nanny or Maternity Nurse.

A typical day might involve teaching a 4 year old beginner the basics of how to balance, stop and turn, riding the chair lift and playing in the snow. On another day I might be tackling some of the resort’s more challenging terrain with an 11 year old advanced skier who can ski almost as fast as me!

I love seeing the satisfaction the children have in accomplishing a new movement which makes it easier for them to ski, or how proud they are when they manage to ski new and more difficult terrain, but the best part is having fun together.

My Norland training has really helped me as an instructor, especially knowing what to expect of children at different ages and stages of development. Much of how I teach skiing to the youngest children is through play, which was a strong theme during my Norland training. Norland also taught me not to be afraid to be silly with children and how to entertain them for hours on end - even during our longest chair lifts!

To anyone thinking of applying to Norland I would tell them to go for it. It's the best training in the world for anyone who wishes to be in the childcare field. There are other ways of becoming a nanny or nursery nurse, but nowhere else offers the intensity of practical training that Norland does."