The long awaited day has come where the dream of becoming a PADI instructor has become a reality. Today marks the day of my first official Open Water course! Until now I have assisted with several courses during my days as a DiveMaster in training and I have done several training simulations during the IDC but now it’s time to put my training to the test. Over the past couple days I have conducted a few Discover Scuba Diving experiences which were greatly rewarding not only for myself, but for the guest who took part in their first underwater experience. It’s kind of weird to put yourself back in the mentality of how you felt the first time you entered the underwater world but it’s a mindset you must put yourself in to properly conduct any course involving new divers. The more DSD’s (discover scuba dives) you do, the more aware you become of the little things you must do and how to manage another diver more effectively while ensuring their safety and enjoyment. This of course is the most important part of the DSD experience. Although you need 5 DSD’s to equal 1 official certification, it’s an essential element to an instructors training and something that all instructors will no doubt have several encounters with. After surfacing from the dives, the satisfaction you get from the rewarding experience you have provided and seeing the change in the individuals after they have explored the wonders of the underwater world is simply unforgettable! You have opened a gateway into a new world and for many people, the diving will not stop there. One way I see it is the more people who appreciate the ocean and are aware of its complexities, the more people will make the effort to protect it and fight for its survival. Nothing is more important at this point in history.
As I await the guests who will be taking the Open Water Course, Susanne one of the other instructors and myself, map out how we plan to conduct the course. It is a family of 3, the mother, father and 11 year old daughter so we must follow the youth standards and procedures and keep in mind the possible short attention span of a child, especially one who is trying scuba skills for the first time. We have the assistance of Master Instructor Yasu who will be supervising and giving feedback on how we conduct the course as well as possible suggestions and modifications for future courses. This is the advantage of taking the MSDT program. You get the experience of teaching courses but do it with the supervision and guidance of experienced individuals. Of course the key to any job is finding your own methods and what works best for you, but getting various tricks of the trade and learning through other peoples experience is extremely beneficial which is why I think all new instructors should take the MSDT. This foundation you will receive during the MSDT period will undoubtedly make you a much better instructor as you move forward in your career, whatever that may be.
For now I am at the start of my MSDT program so follow in the coming weeks as my training progresses. I will surely post another blog once this course is complete, but confidence is high, energy is high and I can only imagine how great the feeling will be when I hand this family their Open Water certification. I think it is awesome that a family has decided to take part in an activity like diving all together and I will certainly focus on making this a fun, family bonding experience. The key to the open water course of course is learning how to dive but, there has to be a large emphasis of FUN!