Parents are troublesome creatures.
They feel involved in the development of their child. Want to get involved in everything. Question the teacher’s knowledge and skills with Lifeguard Class. They usually think that their child can go to the deep end. And of course their child can already swim diploma!
To prevent this nagging, we prefer to banish those parents to faraway places as soon as possible, which in practice means the catering area of the accommodation. A forced separation from table and child, so to speak.
Unfortunately, there are also difficult laws and regulations. Parents have control over their child. You may not touch another person’s child. And as a teacher, you must act pedagogically and didactically correctly.
In the Swimming Pool Industry, we prefer to deprive the parents of that say. After all, the teachers know better and should have the power. Interference by parental authority only disrupts the development of the child.
It is best to let a child feel how it should be done, so the teacher grabs the child. At the feet, hands, buttocks, etc.. And occasionally pushing under water also helps to remove water. How should it be otherwise?
The teacher does this in a correct manner and with honorable intentions. Because before you know it (…). The correct course of action is also described preventively and recorded in the Bond en Blauw code of conduct.
But unfortunately the parents do have the right to check for that correct action. That is why the pool operators place cameras in the swimming room and monitors in the waiting area of the swimming hospital.
That same right to information is reflected in the first and last 5 minutes of the swimming lesson. The teacher is then bombarded with questions in the swimming room, which invariably puts the effective lesson time under pressure.
To limit this, the operators offer a way out by offering a monthly walk-in consultation hour. They usually call this a “watching lesson”. Because hardly any orderly education can be given during such a lesson, such a meeting often degenerates into a tumultuous “question lesson”.
Could it be otherwise?
It takes a lot of guts to question an established order. And it even becomes something of a suicide attempt if you actually try to practice it.
I was able to experience this myself when I developed and marketed e-swimming lessons years ago. Teaching by computer at a distance where there is no direct contact between the teacher and parent with child was allegedly impossible, according to many criticisms. There was also a lot of other criticism. But if I publish it here, I’m probably going to have trouble with the legislation on correct language use.
In practice, however, it works great. Many parents use my free digital teaching package. Lessons are accessible through all screen sizes, i.e. at any place and time. It should be noted that this often concerns families who are staying abroad for some time, who would like to teach their child a Dutch swimming lesson method so that it does not get out of line or swims when they return.
I carried out a second experiment a few years ago at my Swimming School De Zeehond, where I had a swimming pool 140 centimeters deep.
Safety should be paramount. But I definitely didn’t want to use flotation devices for this! So I put an individual assistant instructor in the box for each child. To keep this a bit affordable, those auxiliary instructors were volunteers that I designated myself.
When registering, this aspect was clearly indicated in the swimming lesson agreement. Each parent had to make available an adult supervisor who went into the water as an auxiliary instructor for the first 20 lessons. During the following lessons, the supervisor had to sit on the benches in the swimming room along the pool edge and be available to provide assistance. The rules of conduct were simple. During the lessons, the parent must exactly follow the instructions of the teacher. Talking is prohibited in the swimming pool, whispering is allowed as long as the lesson does not suffer.
This experiment was a resounding success. Within six months I covered a radius of 50 kilometers with my teaching method. Parents are therefore best prepared to travel for tailor-made education.
A nice side effect was that my many trainees from the Vocational Swimming Education were also able to gain confrontational experiences. This was slightly different from the standard stage. Nearly all of my graduated former interns now have good jobs and are still open to this insight and its practical applicability. Unfortunately, I don’t see many swimming lessons providers who use this method yet.