20 May 2012

Out of your depth?

Ever felt out of your depth in some of the tasks that you need to complete? Then maybe you can relate to some of my feelings about teaching swimming twice a week to my students at school.

Yes, I can swim. Yes, I can teach. So why do I feel out of my depth combining the two? I think the real reason is that there is a world of difference between being able to swim and being able to teach someone else how to swim. I've been attempting to do it for over 5 years now, but I always knew that I really didn't know what I was doing. Yes, I've read books on the subject, and even done a mini-workshop on it a couple of years ago, but that's not the same as really learning how to teach swimming.

This semester I've had the chance to work with a trained swim teacher (actually he's our PE teacher and for various reasons we've been able to have him help with 4th grade swimming), and I've realised just how little I know about teaching kids to swim. For that reason, part of my "summer" break will be spent completing an AustSwim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety course. I've wanted to do it for some time, but the cost and finding a course that was on when I was able to do it have stood in the way. When I'm only in Australia for 4-6 weeks, fitting in professional development isn't easy. This time I decided learning how to teach swimming was a priority and so I'll be spending two days at Chandler learning how to teach swimming and water safety. A gift from my home church helped cover the costs. I may not be able to complete all the supervised practice that I need to for certification (at least not while I'm in Australia), but I should be able to do the rest of the course. I'm seriously hoping that when I return to Cambodia in August I'll be much better able to teach swimming and water safety skills to the 4th grade students.

Now let's hope it's not tooooo cold at the end of July when I'm doing the course. Remember, this is mid-winter in Australia even if it is my "summer break".

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