When was the last time you “stopped to smell the roses”? What if we told you that stopping to smell the chlorine could have a similar effect on your outlook on life?
It probably sounds crazy, but hear us out!
At Fulton Swim School, we’re busy teaching kids how to swim! With swim schools all over the North Island, from Auckland to Upper Hutt, and Papamoa to New Plymouth; we teach kids all over the country how to swim, so we know a thing or two about what it’s like to teach kids’ swimming lessons.
Swimming is a practical and empowering skill for kids to learn, especially here in New Zealand, where we are surrounded by water. Teaching kids swimming isn’t just rewarding because of that though - we believe that our teachers can learn just as much from our swimming students as our students can learn from our swimming teachers!
Fun Things We’ve Learned While Teaching Kids Swimming
While you might think of teaching swimming as a career where you pass on your knowledge, and help kids to learn to swim, if you’re open to it, learning can be a two-way street, and our kids can teach you a lot about living your life to the fullest.
It’s a bit of an unexpected work perk, but if you’ve ever considered a job teaching kids to swim, you might like to know about some of the fun, and maybe unexpected things you’ll learn while teaching kids’ swimming lessons.
Here are some of our favourite, fun things our swimming students have taught us:
Live in the moment
When kids are being taught to swim, it takes up all of their brain power! If you thought kids were good at living in the moment ordinarily, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve taught a swimming lesson.
Teaching swimming lessons to kids, you’ll see the cogs turning in each student’s brain as they work out how best to navigate the pool, or learn a new technique. You’ll also see them having fun, completely forgetting about the world outside of the pool!
Living in the moment is a great mindfulness practice, no matter what age you are, and can help to reduce stress, and improve quality of life!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, right?
When kids learn to swim, there are a lot of hurdles for them to overcome. While some kids are natural-born swimmers and take to the water like fish, following their lessons with ease, other children are more hesitant and need extra encouragement and patience from our teachers.
Once these kids overcome any nervousness they might have, they’ve got to learn to move every part of their body in the water together to swim effectively! This often results in our teachers guiding them through a lot of problem-solving, and that means taking a break, looking at the problem, and coming up with a new way to tackle it. It can feel frustrating for them at times, but with the support and encouragement from their teachers, parents, and friends, they persevere and achieve their goals!
We all have different abilities, and there’s no right or wrong way to be, but we will all eventually encounter a setback that will have us question whether we should give up or push through.
In our lessons we love to encourage perseverance, and celebrate success, but perseverance is a valuable skill to learn for every aspect of life. Just like Dory said in Finding Nemo, sometimes we all need a reminder to just keep swimming because finding something difficult is A-okay, so long as we persevere and don’t give up.
When kids are learning to swim, they can’t help but let their imaginations run wild!
Whether it’s in a swimming lesson, or at a pool party, when children are under the water, they are often transported to another world! In the water, they can swim like a mermaid, dive like a dolphin, and search for buried treasure on the ocean floor (or maybe dive toys at the bottom of the pool, as the case may be).
As adults, sometimes we forget to exercise our creativity and admire the little, magical things around us all of the time. Teaching swimming lessons, we’re reminded every single day by the kids we teach that the world can be truly mystifying, if we stop to appreciate it.
While we don’t encourage being silly all the time, there’s something to be said for prioritising play, goofing around, and being silly with your friends.
Sometimes us adults need a wee reminder that it’s okay to goof off and do something that seems silly - that’s often when the most fun adventures begin and our kids know it!
What is it about swimming in a pool that makes kids their most authentic selves? Honestly, we’re not sure! But all adults could learn a lot about how to be more authentically ourselves from our swimming students.
The next time you feel like a fish out of water, whether you’re trying a new sport, or maybe interviewing for a new job, you might want to remind yourself to be more like a kid in water - be unabashedly yourself and good things will surely follow!
Teaching kids swimming is an incredibly rewarding job! But kids have so much to give back and teach us too. Watching kids in the pool, using their imagination, and problem-solving in the moment, as they learn to swim is lots of fun! It also reminds us as adults what is important in life, and inspires us to tap into our own creativity and find joy in everyday experiences.
At Fulton Swim School, we’re on the lookout for great swimming teachers who care about teaching children valuable life skills, who know that young swimmers can achieve big things with a little patience, perseverance, and fun, and who are curious about what kids might be able to teach them in return.
If you’re curious about all of the fun things teaching kids to swim might teach you, apply to work as a swimming teacher with us!