People are constantly surprised when I tell them that I teach swimming lessons for a living. What they fail to realize is that I don't just teach kids doggy paddle and floats. I am teaching them a set of life skills that they will have for the rest of their lives. As a coach, I believe that having confidence is important and I love to remind all of my students that they are able to accomplish anything, and everything, they set their minds to.
"I've always been fortunate in that I've been able to put myself in my own zone and relax. It comes naturally. I'm lucky to be that way" - Michael Phelps
Kids, like the rest of us, all have their own learning style. Some of us learn through what we see. Some learn by recalling what we have heard. Others learn through imitating examples. Part of the job of a swim instructor is learning and identifying how children and students are processing information as they try to learn or hone a new skill. How can we facilitate that learning and give them the best swim instruction? How can we communicate with a student in their 'own zone' and help them naturally excel? The first step often comes in recognizing there is a definite way some students learn.
When I was in college I started working as a teaching assistant at a local preschool, figuring it would be something easy to do and the hours weaved perfectly between softball practice and my class schedule. I loved going to work because it felt more like fun than an actual job. I felt like a kid again, we did science experiments, played outside and art was a part of the everyday curriculum. What could be better than being a kid every day?