I found myself well and truly thrown in at the deep end earlier this week.
I only qualified as a swimming teacher last Friday and then there I am 4 days later, chin deep in a swimming pool with two 5 year olds who could barely keep themselves above the water.
It was a little scary. At 3.50pm - 10mins before the swimming lessons began - my lifeguard manager came to me and told me that one of the swimming teachers had rang up to say that he would be 15mins late and that the swimming manager had asked if I could cover for him. Me, who is qualified and has done a bit of shadowing but still doesn't really have a clue what I'm doing?
Yes they definitely meant me! So with a big dose of adrenalin pumping through my veins I ran off to the changing room, where I got changed and had a quick 30 second chat with one of the other swimming teachers. Where we came up with the amazing plan of; warm up, kick on front, kick on back. There was just about enough time to grab a couple of floats and then before I knew it I was in the water with Harley - "like the motorbike" - and another little boy whose name I never got because he spoke so quietly I couldn't hear him over the hum of chatting parents and splashing children.
But the lesson went ok. It was quite possibly the longest 15 mins of my life but noone drowned! We did a little warm up. And then I got them to do some different types of floats on their front and back, followed by some kicking and considering a) it was my first ever proper lesson b) I had never met the children before c) I didn't have a proper understanding of what level they were at d) I didn't have a lesson plan or any time to plan anything. I think it all went rather well.
Which is good because if I want to be a swimming teacher - which I do and sooner rather than later. Being a lifeguard is really starting to do my head in. I've been doing it for more than long enough now - then I need to prove myself. So maybe being thrown in at the deep end was the best thing for me? After all, I showed my manager that even in a fairly difficult situation, when it was time to sink or swim, I managed not to sink. Which can surely only be a good thing?