DAY 4- I had prepared another knowledge review for the classroom element of my study today, this time I was set a Divemaster review. It was also the day we started to look at Risk Assessment and went through the structure of the Rescue Course as well as presenting in the Open water and what I will be marked on by the examiner. Yep… quite a bit and a lot more to come!!
As an instructor it’s important for me to know the limits of my instruction and be an example when looking at risks, and conducting any courses. I’m not going to lie, being stuck in a classroom (however valuable the lessons) was starting to make me a bit jittery…or it could have been the copious amounts of coffee! I knew that I’d at least be getting in the pool this afternoon and then the Open water tomorrow. The classroom section was split up into short segments to keep my attention and the last thing I did was the Knowledge review for the morning section. I have to say, I do not know where my brain was when I prepped this as it certainly wasn’t on the task in hand. It was a hideous presentation with no relation to the divemaster at all. I was talking to my class like there were still OW students and fumbled about all over the place. It was at this point I decided to stop the coffee drinking and maybe stick with water!
A quick lunch and then we jumped in the pool. My brilliant ‘students’ Patrick and Sebastian raring to go. When conducting an open water you brief, demo, watch and debrief students in the pool, once out in open water you merely brief them but don’t need to demo them. A breeze compared to the confined pool skills… or so I thought. The skill which I started with was BDC removal at depth. As we started, I instructed where my divemaster was to be and signalled to the student. Before I knew it his BCD was off and was now floating on the surface with my student floundering at the bottom. Thank goodness this was just a practice run! This proved that it’s necessary as an instructor to be close to students when they demo their skills and at any point I must make contact for my students safety if need be. Before I was reticent to touch or grab as I didn’t know how appropriate it may. But it’s not about that, it’s about keeping your students safe and enabling them to complete the skills in order to pass.
As disastrous as those skills were, I thought… today could not get any worse. Or could they?
Georgia wanted me to practice my rescue, something i’d done plenty of times before. Off I went “Diver diver, are you okay….” and continued through until the point of 2 rescue breathes. Ooops. I’d only forgotten to take off my equipment. Compulsory for the rescue skill. I decided to call it a day and was assured by Georgia, that we all have ‘those’ days.
DAY 5 – OPEN WATER
My homework had been to prepare 2 skills for the open water scenarios with my students for review. I had the hover and the descent. The students were being set problems so I took to the water and anxiously waited. What came out of yesterdays skill set was the realisation that an instructor has to be in control at all times and an instructor you have to ensure safety at all times. No pressure!
The skills I was teaching was the hover using oral inflation. The boys began the descent with me and I quickly realised how crucial it was to be a bit firmer, especially in water with current. One of my ‘students’ was descending a lot quicker than me and the other was letting go of the line far to often… I had to be more in control. And also position myself so they can all see me. After a quick debrief with Georgia it was on to our next skill.
This time around I positioned myself close to the student demonstrating the skill: if they were to ascend too quickly I would be near enough to keep them down. And it went well, if I hadn’t completed this in the pool yesterday without problems I may have struggled on this one in the OW. And that’s what I’m learning throughout the course… making mistakes whilst you are learning is much more beneficial than getting it right first time. And by the time I finish (in 5 short days) I will be much better off!