I often think about my first time underwater here in Costa Rica, it was my first dive since I got my open water certification nine years ago and I was a nervous mess. Breathing from the regulator felt unnatural and stressful. All the while, beyond the angst of the physical act, I couldn’t help feeling doomed for the future of my divemaster. Flash forward four months from that dive, to now, I am officially in teaching status as a PADI instructor and couldn’t be happier.
My favorite part of the PADI Divemaster program was interacting with clients. Whether it was guiding, gearing up, or simply talking to clients about diving, I enjoyed it. I always wanted to be more and more involved with the customers’ experiences.
Discover Scuba Divers were always my favorite to assist with as a PADI Divemaster because I loved watching how the instructors would handle each situation. Through my DM training, I had to calm panicked divers, guide children, review skills with rusty certified divers, and control a group underwater in harsh conditions. All these experiences pushed me to change my ultimate goal from DM to PADI Scuba instructor. I wanted more responsibility and I knew I could do it.
I made my decision to do my PADI IDC here at Oceans Unlimited because I wanted to be somewhere I felt comfortable. I knew I would be able to ask stupid questions, get advice from other instructors who I worked with and go through the program with one of my good friends I made during my time here. So happy I made that decision because I was able to be comfortable with my peers and familiar instructors but it also gave me so much more.
I struggled a lot in the beginning of the IDC because I stretched myself too thin with another job so I wasn’t as focused as I could’ve been. Once I dropped my other obligations, I dedicated myself fully to the program, which I advise everyone to do, as it is all encompassing for just a short two weeks. During my struggles, the IDC staff, Course director and all my peers supported me beyond anything I could imagine. No one laughed too hard at my stupid questions, all individually hugged me after having a bit of a break down in the pool, and all gave me constant positive reinforcement throughout the entire program until I eventfully passed my IE!
Going through the PADI IDC with the people I did, gave me such a great example of what dive instruction should look like and how supportive instructors make all the difference. I use everything I’ve learned in the IDC in the courses I’ve taught so far sine the program. I’m still the same girl with a childlike enthusiasm for diving and now I feel so blessed I am able to share it with my students!
Fallon Burklew – PADI scuba instructor…