Swimming is an essential and very important skill for children to develop early on. Swimming allows kids to have fun playing while also teaching them key safety tips so that they can be in the water responsibly and preparedly. For safety reasons, many parents choose to sign their children up for swimming with a professional who has ample experience. Here are 5 things that all parents should consider when choosing a swimming instructor for your child.
- Certifications and qualifications. The most important information you will want to learn about a swim instructor is if they are certified and qualified to teach children to swim. Anyone can claim to be a swim instructor, but you want proof. To be a true instructor, most individual will need to be a certified lifeguard. This training is rigorous and requires many hours of training in swim, saves and first aid. In addition, they must go through further training to be a swim instructor so that they are armed with the tools necessary to help your child develop swimming skills in a safe, comfortable and positive environment.
- Professionalism. You will also want to make sure that this person treats the job seriously. Some kids may teach lessons for a quick, easy summer gig on the side. While age is not a determining factor, you do want to make sure that the instructor, no matter their age, is serious about helping your child and committed to providing him or her with a great experience. This person should be on time to all appointments, clear, friendly, and prompt. You will likely be able to get a sense of an instructors professionalism when you meet with them first.
- Recommendations. Often the best way to find high quality swim instructors is to ask around and learn about different options by word of mouth. Ask friends and family members if they know of swim instructors who have helped other families teach their kids to swim. You will be able to learn about the positive as well as negative experiences these individuals have had with swim lessons to further influence your decision.
- Experience. In addition to reputation, certifications, and professionalism, you will want to know how long this person has been teaching swim lessons. They may have a billion credentials on paper, but you need to know that this is a skill they have been teaching for a while. Ask for the instructor’s recommendations, swim clubs or pools where they have taught in the past and any other relevant information.
- Personality. Finally, you need to like the person and your kids should too! If the instructor and your child do not “mesh” than it may just be a poor fit. That’s okay! Everyone has different teaching and learning styles, so you may need to work with a couple of instructors to find the right person to motivate, inspire, and be patient with your child. You want this to be a positive, successful experience for all, so making sure your child likes the instructor will be key.
If you are looking for a great swim instructor, you may find an independent instructor via word of mouth, or you may hire an instructor through a pool or swim club like Swimtastic Swim School. No matter how you go about signing up for swim lessons, teaching a child to swim should be a positive, professional, successful experience for everyone involved!