Let’s Talk! 4 Ways to Speak Up Pt. 2
by Corina Oaches
This is the second part of our series on how to bring up a concern about your child’s swim lessons.
We want to make it easy for you to have these conversations with us, so over the next four weeks, we would like to share with you the top four concerns we hear from parents, and suggestions on how to approach a conversation with us.
Over the years we have found that open, honest and timely communication between parents, children, their instructor, and client care usually does the trick! So often the solution to these concerns comes down to aligning expectations or making a few simple adjustments to a child’s lesson.
Concern #2: Your new instructor does not seem as experienced as a former instructor your child has had.
A change of instructor is always a challenge and considering our instructors’ schedules change at least five times a year – September (new school year), January (second semester), May (end of university year), June (end of high school year) and July (start of summer) – it is of paramount importance that parents (and our head instructors!) keep expectations in check and communication lines open with their instructor.
As well, our average swim instructor stays with us one to three years, which means we are constantly bringing on new instructional team members. While we would love each new instructor to arrive with loads of experience and just the right teaching pizzazz, the fact is these skills must be taught and developed over time and that is why we invest a lot of time and energy – 37.5 hours of training and co-teaching, mentoring and developing all new instructors.
Then we go beyond that initial training to develop them on three fronts:
1.) Class management
2.) Teaching effectiveness
3.) Business professionalism
All this to say, yes, we do need to continuously bring on and train new instructors and while our standards of training and development are very high, it does take time for junior instructors to mature into seasoned teachers.
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Suggested Action steps:
While your child is gaining confidence and learning new swim skills in the water, your instructor is learning new teaching skills.
Should you have a concern with your new instructor, whom you feel is less experienced than your previous instructor, here are three action steps you can take.
1.) Watch the lesson carefully and pinpoint which type of concern you have:
a) There is something going on in the lesson that you are uncomfortable with.
b) You expect more OR less progress/structure/play time, etc.
c) You have a suggestion for the instructor that you feel would better the class or connection with your child.
2) Start a conversation with the instructor and calmly voice your discomfort, expectation or suggestion.
3) You can also bring your discomfort, expectation or suggestion up with the lead instructor who comes in to evaluate your instructor. The great thing about openly communicating with the lead instructor is that they will understand your concern and have the expertise to translate those concerns/suggestions into actionable steps for the instructor and incorporate the needed skills into the instructor’s ongoing training.
4) Of course, you can always write to our client care specialist, Charlene, as well if you haven’t seen your lead instructor in a while or you’d like to further discuss the matter with her.
What to say:
“I have noticed my son is struggling during the lessons. He learns better when there is a bit more joking around in the pool. Is that something we can add in?”
There you have it, our second common parental concern and four action steps you can take to help address the concern.
Please tune in to next week’s blog when we look at our third concern – Feeling that the instructor is pushing your child too hard through the level progressions or your child is complaining that they don’t want to go back to lessons.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or are trying to find the way to taking your first dip into the wide world of water, then reach out to email@example.com,and jump in with us at The Aqua Life Swim Academy!