Teaching is Learning.

Following the reunion we we’re quickly back into camp mode for one week of Family Camp then another week after that called Week In the Woods. Family camp was where family’s stayed in the cabins, and could engage in any of the activities available on camp. Week In The Woods was very similar but there were also couples staying in the cabins.

The schedule during these two weeks was more relaxed than when the girls were here. During the day I had one on one swimming lessons with the children that signed up for swimming. It was very different to teaching the previous campers as these kids at family camp actually couldn’t swim so I was teaching kids how to swim instead of working with children that could already swim like during the main camp. The parents were also at the beach watching and were paying the camp good money for 30 minute lessons so there was a bit more added pressure than there was during the previous camp sessions. I also had less experience in teaching younger kids as I had worked with the older children during the summer so for these two camps I’d probably say I felt less prepared as two of the children I were to be teaching were 3 and a couple of other were 5 and 6. To add to this one of the 3 year old girls was a relative of the camp director. No pressure Michael.

When I found out I would be teaching this age group I jiggled my brain about to try and remember games and teaching techniques I’d seen other swim teachers use back home while I was working as a lifeguard. I also Googled games and songs to use and after about an hour or so I felt relatively prepared as I had a list of games that aim to build children’s confidence in the water which is the first step to learning how to swim!

The first lessons went well as I had lot of games and the kids wanted to play the games that I suggested. Sometimes they really had trouble focusing but they’re very young so it was expected. As they were so young they also became cold very quickly if the water wasn’t at its warmest so some lessons had to be cut short. However over the days you could see the children’s confidence increase in the water and they were not as upset as they used to be when water went on their faces. As the week progressed I kind of found myself running out of ideas for the lessons but I think I just about had enough different games and songs in to last the amount of lesson I had without repeating too much.

All in all teaching swimming at family camp was a new experience for me. I had never really had experience with one on one lessons with such young children before so I was slightly apprehensive. However I helped myself out by drawing from my pat experience watching lessons as well as doing some research so I was prepared for the lessons. This showed in some comments I received from parent saying they wished they sent their child to more swim lessons and they appreciated the work I did. Safe to say I learnt a lot.

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