by / Thursday, 29 October 2015 / Published in DAHAB, GUESTS, NEWS, PADI

In the summer of 2014 I became a Divemaster. Originally, that’s where I thought it would end. I wanted to continue my diving education, and becoming a PADI pro seemed like the crowning achievement. I didn’t really see myself working in the industry. I am a career educator and I’ve been perfectly happy teaching middle and high school science for the last 13 years, the last five of which I spent in Cairo.

After completing my Divemaster training, I visited Dahab many more times throughout the following school year. I became more and more interested in dive instruction while hanging out at H2O Divers and chatting with the instructors on staff. Over time, I made a decision to swap out my chemistry lab for the underwater classroom. I moved to Dahab in June 2015 and started preparing myself for the PADI IDC.

I first completed my EFR instructor training at H2O in mid-August 2015. I spent two days learning how to train students to become Emergency First Responders. My experience as a teacher gave me an advantage; I already know how to teach, but I needed to learn how to teach this particular skill set. However, my fellow candidate does not have the same background that I do, and he successfully developed his own teaching skills on this course. At H2O Instructor Development, you don’t just learn how to deliver an EFR course; you also learn how to BE a skilled educator.

The IDC proper began on August 31st. I have to admit that I was terribly nervous. I take instruction very seriously as a career teacher, and I wanted to learn to be the best by the best. The IDC is just that; an instructor DEVELOPMENT course. You learn by listening, watching, DOING, and making mistakes. I made plenty of them during my IDC, and the Course Director, Dom Gibbings, and Master Instructor, Alex Heyes, were there to provide detailed critiques and solutions for improvement. As the course proceeded, my nervousness turned into confidence; this was a product of the high quality of instruction I was receiving. The schedule was packed full of lessons and assessments to give me as many opportunities to teach knowledge development, confined water, and open water lessons as possible. In fact, at H2O they give candidates additional workshops, assessments, and theory review sessions beyond what is required; I had every opportunity to hone my skills and knowledge. I was absolutely set up for success. My fellow candidate and I were pushed to our absolute limits; we had every opportunity they could give us to practice and improve. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

During the H2O IDC, I was trained to the highest of standards by two instructors with over 20 years of experience and countless certifications between them. I trust them implicitly and was impressed with how they handled not only our instructor education, but also our personal welfare during the course. It is an intense process, and they know it. They masterfully walked the fine line between making us and breaking us; meaning that they set the standards very high, but gave us the tools and personal support to meet them. In addition, I received tons of support from the entire team at H2O; everyone was willing to answer questions, provide advice, and offer encouragement during the process. When it came time to take the IE, I scored all As on my written exams and full marks in all of my water sessions. This was due to the outstanding training I received at H2O. I feel fully prepared to teach strong, standards-based courses and I’m so proud to be able to confidently take my teaching skills into the underwater classroom.