4)Take lessons (yes i'm a coach and bias but)Its worth it. I was a self taught rider and it took me 6 years to pick up what I can teach someone in a day or two. So it is worth it! Here is a few tips on getting your moneys worth. Ask about the instructors when you sign up. Find out who has been teaching there the longest or who has the most experience with your level riders. When you understand how something is done and how it feels when you are doing it right or wrong. Ask the instructor to move on and you will practice on your own time. They are trained to get you back for more lessons not give you as much info as possible and you practice for free. Last thing if anyone teaches you something called "the falling leaf" get your money back.
Good luck waltzing into a booking office and asking for the background on all of the instructors scheduled for classes that day. You want to choose? that's called a private.
Most people on here are probably loving your spiel, as they dont konw any better, but i'm not buying it, because:
a)Falling leaf tells me a student can stop, traverse, twist and weight up their front foot - pretty important if you want successful toe turns. Granted I never spend more than one run on it, but it is a useful tool. Writing it off because everyone does it and you want to be different is ignorant.
b)Instructors aren't robots, ski schools may want you to sell lessons, but I ALWAYS move at the pace of learning, even in class lessons when it becomes more work assigning different tasks. The reality is people are smart, and if they get bored they probably aren't returning anyway. As an instructor, my job satisfaction comes from seeing how far I can take people from where they started at at the beginning of the day. If you are a point/incentive watcher/salesman, then your probably in the wrong business, or you are a ski instructor (jokes).
c)Most importantly, you don't work for a ski school, so any way you can bash them and self promote your business on here is good for your rep. Most likely, you are an instructor who has been burned by a shitty ski school in the past and decided to start up your own business, which is fair enough, but bashing the majority of us that work in the AASI system and do pretty well with it really isn't going to get you anywhere. In fact, if I were in your position, flirting on the edge of a legal battle with ski schools at the mountains you teach at, I would be doing everything I could to make friends.