Last week I went on an intensive 3 day training course, where I learnt how to teach Parent and Baby classes.
Parent and Baby classes are swimming lessons where the parents gets into the water with their chid - who can be aged anywhere between new born and 3 years of age - where they listen to songs and play structured games etc, in order for the child to start to learn how to float and then how to propel themselves through the water. The classes are something of a precursor to proper swimming lessons - by which I mean lessons where the child swims independently of their parents - and maybe the most important thing that the lessons do - as well as the very many other benefits - is that they help them to gain water confidence. To be comfortable in the water, to be confident having water on their face and then ultimately being happy to be fully submerged under the water.
Now before I did the course last week, I wasn't exactly feeling ecstatic about the thought of running these Parent and Baby classes. In truth, I still not. There are a couple of reasons for this. However, mainly I think it's because although I do like babies, I simply much prefer working with slightly older children. Over the last year and a bit of swimming teaching, I have really grown to love working with 3-7 year olds. However, the age I feel most comfortable working with, the age I enjoy working with the most, is and always has been 7-10 year olds. I think it's because we're on a similar wavelength. We like similar things. I don't necessarily see the appeal of Minecraft - the graphics are worse then the computer games we had when I was a kid! - but we both like cartoons and sweets haha.
My thoughts before attending the course were that running the parent and baby classes would be repetitive and boring. But having been on the course and also having done my first day of shadowing yesterday - which I have to do before my boss will let me loose on unsuspecting parents and babies - I can now see that although there needs to be an element of repetition, in order for the children to both enjoy the lessons and show progress, then my lessons will need to show a lot of variety. In fact, now that I understand how to deliver a parent and baby class a little better than I did, I can not only see how important they can be for a child's development, but also that they can be a lot of fun for baby, parent and even me.
And so although I probably will always enjoy teaching 7-10 year olds the most and although I'm a little nervous about the prospect of having my own lessons within the next couple of weeks, I am glad that I attended and passed - more on that coming soon - the Parent and Baby course. It was definitely in my best interests to complete the course.
Firstly it will give me more hours at work - and therefore more money to travel for my travel blog and try new things for my adventure blog. Plus who knows, I might even be able to save up to swim the channel one day? - and it gives me an extra string to my bow. I think it is very important to be constantly learning and progressing - in work and in life - and the more things that I can add to my cv, the better. Also, happily for me, work paid for the course - as well as my expenses - and so I've widened my knowledge as a teacher and it hasn't cost me a penny.