Does ASA recommend that the instructors follow a prescribed sequence for all students?
Or as an instructor are you free to adjust the sequence according to the students needs.
I'm sure ASA knows what works after all these years.
My experience has been that we're not working for ASA, we're working for an affiliated school. While ASA has set the standards, each school owner will set their own program that they want their instructors to follow. Some are very specific. Beyond that, once you're on the water with your students it's really up to you to figure out the best teaching style that a particular student or group will respond to.
Which is what it sounds like you do already.
I don't want over generalize, but it's been my experience that men often try to get technical early; they want to understand the all the principles, mechanics, the Rigging construction etc. Their questions tend to reveal that. They want to know how everyting works..Running and standing rigging etc. which is part of the program anyway..
Women often, have a better " feel' for the helm quicker, they seem to be more open and receptive to instruction. They stay more in the moment.
Like you said you can tailor your style to each student.
The biggest challenge at times can be couples.... the male will try to provide instruction when it's the wife's turn at the helm....I like when she tells him to zip it...but if she doesn't, I have to be tactful and find the best way to do it. That's where having a read on your client comes in handy.
By far, the biggest challenge is getting new students to always know where the wind is...and what point of sail they're on. Then how to respond to a head-up or fall-off command. After that the rest is easy.