From Rat Race to Swimming Teacher – Taking the plunge…
Form the outside looking in I had a good job, that paid well, with a company car, that often saw me travelling abroad for work, however, all these things started to lose their shine as it was becoming more and more evident that my morals and ethics did not align with my boss’s, or with the general ethos of the company. I was starting to work fifty plus hours a week, I felt very unappreciated and the mounting workload and stress was starting to take its toll on my heath. So, after a looooonnnggg few months I decided enough was enough, I gave my notice and left!
I had no alternative employment lined up, only a small amount of money in my savings account, and no idea what career I wanted to move into – all I knew was that I didn’t want the constraints of another office-based job, and that I wanted my next role to be something that was useful to people, brought value and made a difference.
I mentioned to a friend that I was thinking of going on a Lifeguarding course, and becoming a part-time Lifeguard and see where it took me. She suggested that I become a Swimming Teacher, so without even thinking too much about it I said “ok”, and my journey really started from there.
After undertaking a trial shift, I completed and gained my Level 1 Swimming Teacher (Assistant) qualification in December 2017, and worked every Sunday as an in-water Assistant to a fully qualified and seasoned Level 2 Teacher. After two months of being an Assistant, I was trained to become a teacher, and actually taught a few lessons under supervision (100% nerve-wracking). I then became a fully qualified Level 2 Swimming Teacher in July 2018, and have been teaching ever since.
My confidence has grown hugely over the past year. I can honestly say that I was absolutely terrified when I started, and even more when I was given classes of my own to teach. This is my first experience of working with children (my previous work background was the Airline / Hospitality/ Lettings industries), so I have completely taken myself out of my comfort zone. I did have moments where I questioned if I had made the right career choice, as felt so far out of my comfort zone, everything just felt a struggle, and I wasn’t convinced that I would ever get to grips with being a teacher.
But I persevered, got through the awkward period, and actually received some great feedback from a few different sources about my teaching, which really gave me the confidence boost that I needed! I’ve built up a great rapport with my swimmers, and find the job very enjoyable and rewarding. It’s lovely to see the children progress, and witness first-hand how happy they are when they complete an action correctly that they have been practicing for a number of weeks. It’s great to see their confidence grow. They are always telling me about what they have been doing, what they are doing after swimming, and if they are going to any birthday parties. One little boy I teach has been learning to tell the time at school, so he has been using the poolside clock to tell the time during our lessons. He has also been learning his times table, so we have been running through that as well as learning to swim. It’s great to be able to incorporate his school learning into our lessons, it brings another dimension, and the other children join in so we all get to learn something.
If anyone would have said to me 5 years ago that I would become a swimming teacher, I think I would have 100% dismissed the idea, and told them they were crazy! It has certainly been a career choice that has just organically happened for me, and has taught me a lot personally and professionally. I would thoroughly recommend it as a career to anyone thinking of getting out of the rat race. The hours are flexible, it’s fun, and you are teaching children and adults a valuable life skill, so I urge you to take the plunge…. pun intended! ?