What quickly became apparent on my IDC course was that PADI really does give you all the tools and information you need to teach successfully. From worksheets, prep guides, media examples and all the slates as well as a complete Standards & Procedures thats updates yearly, they really do arm you with all the kit you need.
What you do need is the enthusiasm and right approach. On Day 2 we spent most of the day looking at Presentation skills. And what I learnt was that it’s not only presenting in the classroom, but later in the pool and then of course in the OpenWater. As an instructor I will be able to teach all courses (bar any specialities) up to and including Divemaster. In every course you have to complete knowledge reviews, which is usually at the end of chapters/books you’ve been studying, and it’s up to the Me, the instructor to debrief classes on those questions and ensure that after a presentation each class member fully understands why they got it wrong and of course the correct response. I have to say, the knowledge reviews seemed a lot easier compare to the presentations! Standing in a class (even with just Georgia) was a bit of a nightmare, my nerves had got the better of me, however on her feedback, I didn’t do bad at all! During any IDC you have to complete 4 Knowledge Review Presentations and then you get 1 during the IE. This all just got a little real!
Even though I knew I’d be teaching I really hadn’t anticipated that the training would be this in-depth and its only the second day! But like i said before, it’s good to be prepared.
After videos, slides and a presentation session it was time for lunch before I jumped in the pool to initiate my first confined water teaching session, followed by a rescue dive practise and some skills. If you’ve completed a PADI course you will remember how informed all instructors are and how they relay information to you, especially in the pool/open water settings and of course how skills are important to get right. Any course you complete you will be shown what to do by an instructor and it’s their job to do it with fluid movements and to make it look easy. And now this was my job.
Done for the day I headed home to prep my Day 3 tasks.
Today we started with the Open water course and its structure. How can you possibly teach a course unless you know all its elements? Again it was noticeable that PADI have provided a huge amount of teaching aids, advice and materials. It was a nice introduction and really solidified my understanding of the elements involved with the course and what I might expect from the IE. After this we progressed like one might in real life; with the adventures in diving course. It was also clear that theres a lot of fun to be had teaching con ed courses. Individuals are certified, and have a passion and flare for certain specialities which makes for a great combination.
The afternoon consisted of a confined pool session where I was given more skills to present, demo and debrief. I still can’t believe how well equipped I will be to teach this course and others. Whilst also practising my skills as a diver these pool sessions really allow you to get into the frame of mind of an instructor, and how to break things down for students across the board.
The confined pool practise was carried out with 2 DMTs, you aren;t thrown in to the deep end because they are certified and skilled divers but they can throw obstacles in your direction and really push and test you.
After some great pool time I had a quick break before getting stuck in to my first theory exam. Hugely nervous I had been studying a lot for these 5 tests: Physics, Physiology, Equipment, the RDP and general skills/earth. With formulas going crazy in my head and misunderstanding about the different impact of barotrauma’s I really didn’t expect to do well. With a top score of 90% in one exam but a pitiful 55% in another I knew which areas I had to work on, and was glad I could re sit where i id fail, and of course the debrief was Georgia was priceless. I never realised how much of a geek she was, and thats to her credit. She certainly knows her stuff in the water and out. A great director. I knew I want to be exactly as she is; she’ll say she’s not perfect but honestly there’s not much she doesn’t know, and she’s brilliant and explaining what you don’t know do you eventually get it.
Day 3 finished, a pile of books to look through, some more homework and the first of my open water sessions to begin tomorrow. GULP.