The reasons for deciding on a swim school can be overwhelming at times. The amount of choices is abundant, but for many parents the decision they make usually comes down to where the classes are, when the classes are, and how much they cost.
Though those are reasonable concerns, there is quite a bit more that should be considered and unfortunately, these questions below are rarely asked:
Experience of the Instructors
The amount of experience an instructor has says a lot about a teacher. It lets you know the passion the instructor has for teaching swimming lessons. It also lets you know that the instructor has had enough time to figure out what works and what doesn’t. More than anything, it shows they have had ample time to learn how to relate to all kinds of students and what motivates them. Often times, lack of experience can be hidden by grouping teachers together, but at Into the Swim, we have never hire a teacher that doesn’t have at least three years experience. Additionally, most of our instructors have been teaching for longer than three years.
Guaranteed Class Ratio
Large group classes can be a nightmare. The amount of hands-on instruction to correct all of the students’ needs is next to nothing. With that, the safety concerns regarding large groups are highly at risk. A teacher can only keep an eye on so many children at once and the possibilities of unintentionally submerging underwater without being within arm’s length of a teacher is much greater than that of a small class.
Private lessons are not always a necessary alternative. Into the Swim only recommends private lessons to those who need them, such as students with special needs or those with extreme fears of the water. Private lessons tend to put an unnecessary amount of pressure to perform on the student which doesn’t ever bring out the best in a student.
Into the Swim offers small group classes that are guaranteed to have two students to one instructor ratio. We believe the students get the best of both worlds in this type of class. Students receive the safety and attention of a private lesson combined with the group atmosphere, which relaxes students and brings some competition.
How Often the Classes Are
The idea of the “quick fix” regarding learning how to swim always seems to be a hope for many parents, especially during the spring and summer seasons. Many times, students sign up for multiple classes a week hoping they will learn two to three times as fast, but this is a common misconception. Most students do not retain what they have learned unless they stay acclimated to the water regularly and the proper techniques have become second nature to them. With that, year-round swimming is the key.
The Safety Conditions
Make sure safety is a main concern. It is recommended that all teachers should be certified lifeguards and teach in a safe, secure environment. Making sure you can observe the classes is also important.
The School’s Philosophy
Often times, swim schools don’t have a true philosophy, which causes instructors to teach any way they want. Be sure the swim school you choose has a philosophy that fits your beliefs and that the philosophy is more than simply stating they teach the way of the Red Cross. It is important that the school has a philosophy of their own.