The following video clip really resonated with me. Although the subject is directed at teachers and their continual development it is equally relevant to both diving instructors and divers. In fact, we already apply much of this as we constantly advocate ‘practice, practice, practice’.
Whether you are an instructor or a diver, try viewing the video and substitute the references to ‘teacher’ with either ‘instructor’ or ‘diver’ as appropriate and see if it resonates for you as well?
One clear example of a lesson to be learned from this is the reference made to examples of ‘failing instructors’. As an instructor, I have lost count of the times when I have carefully presented information, demonstrated a skill or given feedback and the student seems to have heard, seen or understood something completely different!
The question posed is that this is not an example of poor instruction or poor students necessarily but subtle differences in how different people receive and importantly interpret information.
Like the teaching profession, considerable emphasis is placed on both trying to improve and ‘fix’ failing or underperforming instructors and less emphasis on the continual development of all. One of the most common approaches is to emphasise the value (?) of refresher training, especially in rarely practiced skills. Whilst there is some value in such refresher training the take-up is frequently low for a variety of reasons not least a belief that ‘my’ skills are not in question. A more valuable approach for all is to encourage continual development of new skills, ideas and approaches that can then be used to further enhance our teaching. As Dylan says “…the best job in the world because you never get any good at it”.
Quote “…I wasn't scared anymore. Every day he was going into his office knowing his job held no challenges…”. One of the reasons many of us took up diving was because of the challenge it provided. Diving needs to be treated with respect or it has a habit of coming back to bite you! As a Diver we would all do well to remember this and if we find that diving is no longer offering that challenge the answer is not to take more risks, like going deeper for no reason, but to look for the opportunities that are available for your own continued personal development, there are considerable and unlimited alternatives so go out and grab them. Skill Development Courses, for example, are good ways to learn new skills and refresh your training.
There is a second lesson for us in the video in the way that examples from other activities and environments can be utilised to learn lessons that can be applied in other activities (actually 2 examples, the reference to Andre Previn (or Preview for those of us of a certain age!) and indeed my own cross-reference to the lessons from the video.
Think SAFE – Dive SAFE