Instructor Foundation course
It was an early start for the 14 brave candidates making their way to deepest, darkest Wong Chuk Hang. Even the exciting surroundings of the APA shop failed to overcome the sense of trepidation in the air.
After a brief intro (and laying down of the law) by Mr Belshaw, the instructor team including our two NIs from lands afar got to work in their attempts to educate and enlighten us on the mysterious world of instructing. A morning of lectures ensued, a haze of acronyms and visuals… STEP, PAVE, SEEDS, REAP and RAPE, wait, what?? After which the class was skillfully shepherded via our trusty GoGo vans - definitely not to be confused with cattle trucks - to Henry Fok swimming pool to put these teachings into practice.
It was hot. Very hot. And donning wetsuits was a joy. Honestly. But don them we did and the eager groups were soon demoing and mimicking away to their hearts content. The afternoon passed in a haze of fin pivots, controlled buoyant lifts, and air sharing interrupted only by the occasional go pro wielding free diver. After all demos were done, mimicked and corrected, a weary crowd de-kitted and made their way back to class with all the boisterous energy of school children returning from playtime.
Back in class, the real work commenced with Dave and Andy bringing the class back down to earth with the introduction of… HOMEWORK!! Evening plans were cancelled as the candidates were introduced to the bane of every teacher’s life – lesson planning. Day one ended with a comprehensive review of practical demonstrations, STEP, STEP and more STEP plus doling out a topic for the next morning’s theory presentation. It was a brave soul that vowed to keep their Saturday night plans as they scuttled out the class.
Day two kicked off by calling on our candidates creative side to present a 10 minute theory presentation. Visuals were key and the team did not let us down… garishly coloured Y-fronts, rubber balloons, little bags of white powder and a bucket all highlighted the very serious points of diving theory. It was a baptism of fire for our instructors-to-be but all survived and interesting conversations ensued around what/what not to do “on the day”. The overriding consensus being that this was a very useful exercise.
Before we knew it, we were on our way to Henry Fok again for more SEEDS, demo, mimic, demo, mimic and REAP-ing. It was hot. Again. And each candidate had to complete a full 20 minute practical lesson under the all seeing eye of their instructor. Another incredibly useful learning experience for all concerned.
And with that, the class descended on the now homely classroom for the course conclusion and debrief. Newly proclaimed Assistant Instructors departed weary but happy as some looked forward to Tuesday’s OWIC and beyond.
Open Water Instructor Course
No time to stop and smell the seaweed. Session compression. Shaking like a crouching dog for presentations. Cramming, sweating, practice, flapping, panting, roasting demonstrating. No SEEDS fell on stony ground, REAP. 7 P's, PAVE. Tests a success for everyone - Bonus
All thee photos here