Monday, 21 April 2014

Qualified Swimming Teacher

It's official (kind of). I am now a fully qualified swimming teacher!

Last week was another pretty full on week.
Every day Monday to Friday I headed down to the West London Virgin Active club in Acton to do my training for the *STA Swimming Teacher Level Two Certificate. Like the level one course, the level two course was a pretty intense week. 9.15 until 5pm each day. Which might not sound like very long days but the whole time we were there we were in the classroom learning or on the poolside teaching. Throw in an hour or more of travelling each way, plenty of physical exertion in the pool and lots of homework when we got in and maybe it's starting to sound a little more tiring? Also the days were technically 9to5 but when have I ever been on time? :)

I have to say that I enjoyed this course a lot more than the level one course. There were a few reasons for this. Both times we had a good group of people - there were a few annoying people on each level but - in general everyone was easy get on with. The different this time though was that the small group of people I made friends with first time around were also on this course which made the whole experience a lot more fun. At least for us. Maybe not so much for our tutor and the rest of the group who probably just hoped that a time would come when we would talk ourselves out. That time never came haha. 

Another thing was that the tutor was great this time. The people who ran it last time were really nice but it was obvious that our tutor this time Sharon had been doing the job for years; it really showed. The course definitely felt a lot more organised too (even if there was still further room for improvement). Which was another reason for the course being more enjoyable. When something is organised it is much easier to be relaxed. 

I also felt a lot more relaxed this time because I knew what to expect from the assessment as well as what was expected from me. I also knew I could do it and so there was no reason to stress the way I had during the level one course. 

The week was tiring. There was a reasonable amount of physically and mental effort required but all in all I had a good time and most importantly I passed. There were two parts to the assessment. A theory exam which took the form of 100 multiple choice questions and a practical exam where we were assessed on two ten minute swimming lessons.

The theory exam went swimmingly (sorry!). It was stupidly easy. You would have to see it to believe it and so I was both happy and relieved when I aced it. The pass mark was 75% and I got 94% *smug face*. It was honestly so easy that although I was happy to pass, I was also actually slightly annoyed that I didn't get 100%! I'm sure with a tiny little bit more revising - I really didn't do very much of that - I might have gotten 100/100. But never mind. The most important thing was that I passed!

And then there was the practical element which went pretty well too. I must admit that there was a little concern when the assessor changed the theme of one of my lessons at the very last minute but I needn't have worried. I'm good with children - I've been working with them in one capacity or another since January 2007 - and I'm fairly knowledgeable about swimming so I pretty much had it covered. 

During the feedback for my lessons the assessor told me that I did very well and that I had good control of the children (not something everybody had). Her only criticism was that 'I could talk less' haha. I'm sure many people who know me might agree with this. But it wasn't my usual blabbing on, going around the houses, going off on a tangent... where was I? There was some method to my rambling haha. What happened was that while I was trying to explain butterfly arms, I could see the assessor looking at me. I felt slightly concerned that I wasn't explaining it very well so I explained it a couple more times just to make sure that they understood. But in fact the assessor wanted more kinaesthetic learning - learning by doing - not more verbal/physical demonstration. So I judged that one wrong! But not to worry. The feedback was still 90% positive!

So that's it I passed. #HappyDays.

Now all I need to do is to find some teaching hours.
Because a) money is extremely tight at the moment & b) being a lifeguard is literally driving me crazy.

Hopefully I find enough hours to support me soon. 

* are "a registered charity founded in 1932 with the objective of preserving human life by the teaching of swimming, lifesaving and survival techniques." Not to be confused with "STA Travel who provide help with finding "cheap flights, adventure tours, gap year travel, career breaks, hotels and hostels, travel insurance and volunteer projects". 

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