Swim Instructor

Swim Instructor

Emmy

Montreal, QC

Female, 17

I am a swim instructor traind by the Canadian Red Cross currently working with disabled. The Red Cross teaches to people of all age, babies to elders, and offers multiple kinds of classes. I want to answer your questions about my job of instructor. I am also a certified lifeguard. Ask your questions, your interrogations and I will answer the fastest I can

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Last Answer on November 18, 2014

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What do you think are the most effective flotation devices or swim toys to help young kids learn?

Asked by tay123 about 3 years ago

All flotable devices are effective to learn to swim, you just need to use a progression. For example, start with a individual flottable device, then switch to swim aids (be careful with these). After a while, try using a swim board. Then, going for lighter flottable devices to almost nothing will get the kid to swim without even knowing. It's all a question of progression. Though, to answer the question, I prefer swim boards and spaghetti flottable noodles, there easy to use, create activities and all kids love them.

Have you ever had to save a swimmer with mouth to mouth?

Asked by Brad about 3 years ago

No, the pool I work to is really safe. I have my own space, separated from the other monitor's spaces by cables so it is easier for me to check on my swimmers. To be even safer, there are two or three lifeguards looking all over the pool so with all that safety, I never really happen to save someone, because nobody was to save! Though, I, once, already had a swimmer that almost drown. Don't worry, everything went well and, to be honest, every intructors will experiment this situation. 

What do you do when one kid in your class is obviously behind all of the others skill-wise?

Asked by Oren about 3 years ago

I would get the help of my supervisor. S/he will help me decide weither the kid reallly has difficulty and will help me take a decision about it. Depending on the situation, the kid might be able to switch class an go to one that will fit his/her level or I can teach him the criterias of the class s/he should be and evaluate him/her according to them (so, have two classes in one). I would also talk to the parents to be sure they understand the situation. 

Is it true that even 1 or 2 year olds can learn to tread water? My friend is a swim instructor who brags about being able to throw children that young into a pool and have them manage to stay afloat with no flotation devices.

Asked by 123 about 3 years ago

At that age, kids have lessons with their parents. Thus, I never really experimented "throwing" a child in a pool. Most children at that age will drown like a rock you throw in a lake. Still, some kids will tend to be more "flottable" and will be able to float the first time. Other will just, yes, learn to float though some will never really be able. It's almost a talent to be able too! 

How many kids are in classes you teach, and is it hard to keep an eye on all of them when there's only one of you and lots of young spazzy kids?

Asked by Brianne Tesh about 3 years ago

The number varies. It can go to three to ten swimmers. It can sometime be hard to keep an eye of every of my "students". I try to position myself to see them all and I never have students behind my back so I know they're not in difficulties without me knowing. I almost make sure they always have an hand on the poolside. Overall, with good rules and technics, it is not too hard to keep an eye of every and each of my students.

Do parents ever get angry at you personally if their kid isn't learning fast enough? Are any of them overly attentive and critical pool-side while you're teaching?

Asked by hopeychangey about 3 years ago

Never happened to me! Though, parents sometimes get angry against swim instructors because they think their kid isn't learning enough or because they think the swim instructor isn't doing his/her job correctly. The pool I work to was constructed so parents are far enough from it. If the pool is on the first floor, the tables and chairs are on the second floor. Thus, I can't really see if parents are overly attentive and critical. Plus, most of the time when I can get a look to them, most parents are on their iPhone or books. The only times when parents are near is when kids are young (and at that age parents only care about if their child is havin fun) and at beginnings and ends of the classes (and they aren't criticaster). So, not too many problems with parents in general!

How often are kids having "accidents" in the pool, and what do you do when that happens?

Asked by asdfa about 3 years ago

I can't really say the exact number, but I know it isn't big. When an accident happens, I usually call for the help of the nearest lifeguard. Because I am working as a swim instructor and not a lifeguard, I can't really give all my attention to one person. Though, when it's only a little accident such as a falling or a little wound I take care of it myself. If something really big would happen, I'd probably evacuate my group of the pool.