by Mira Sibany
Lifeguard, Swim Instructor and Student
Working with this student has been a great experience for both me and my co-teacher. I have only swam with him twice myself, but I can say I've already learned a lot from him. Our biggest help was asking his mom as many questions as we could, as well as touching base with previous instructors so we could really understand what goals we should create for our student.
He already had some basic swim skill when he arrived to class that first week. We first took some time to get comfortable with each other: the student, my co-worker and I. We played with some diving rings, practiced some jumps and realized he loves getting pushed around on the floaty mats.
Our student could travel around on his own by walking and bobbing but the shallow end can be a bit of a distraction for him so we decided to take him into deeper water to see how he managed. We put a lifejacket on him and off we went. We found out he has an almost perfect whip kick.
We decided we want to focus on only a few specific skills. The first would be getting him comfortable with putting his face in the water. Without this ability, it would be very hard for him to be successful in other swimming skills. Secondly, we want to focus on getting him to swim a few metres independently by some means of kicking, whether it is flutter kick or whip kick. Another skill we are going to try is surface support, floating and treading as we want him to be able to hold himself up safely in deeper water. And finally we are going to try front swim, swimming on his back and other skill set appropriate tasks.
Some tips I found worked for us:
The Lifeguard's Page
Swim Life Magazine
Our Special Swimmer