in·teg·ri·ty | \ in-ˈte-grə-tē \
Definition of integrity
The reasons why I chose integrity as one of our core values goes beyond honesty and morality, though those are obviously important. Our methods are sound and complete. They are time-tested after 15 years in the business and we think about the whole student: their thought process, feelings, personality. During the interview process I ask candidates a few questions to gauge their views on ensuring that students are learning everyday and progressing consistently.
1. How can you tell when an exercise or set of instructions is not working?
2. What can cause students to “misbehave” during swim class?
3. Who is responsible for a student making progress?
4. What factors can speed up or hinder student progress?
The answers from new candidates usually vary, but the returning instructors give the same answer:
1. When the student is not paying attention, repeatedly does not follow the directions, refuses to try, or says that they do not understand.
2. Students are less compliant when they are bored, scared, or don’t understand.
3. When you’re teaching younger students, the teacher is. When you are teaching adults or older students, they share some responsibility.
4. Confidence fuels progress. Pick drills that are appropriate for that particular swimmer on that particular day. Some days will be easier than others when learning a new skill. Pay attention to their personality and how they are feeling in addition to their skill level so you can build them up and stretch them.
I train our instructors to take ownership and consider where the holes in their teaching methods might be so they can patch them up. Inattention, refusing to comply, and lack of understanding can usually be corrected by changing how you teach. A sound and complete approach means looking at the curriculum through each student’s eyes. Our integrity means we problem-solve holistically – by looking beyond the surface. Swim lessons should be fun, not boring, scary, or confusing.