How do I know I have a good swim instructor?
Unfortunately with most swim lesson providers, you won’t have the option to choose your instructor. That said, it’s helpful to be able to recognize what good and bad instructors look like so that you can try lessons elsewhere if your children and their instructor don’t click.
First and foremost, if your instructor is standing high and dry on the pool edge while your kids are in the water, this is bad sign. If your instructor won’t get their hair or face wet and isn’t giving demonstrations of what they expect your children to do, this is also bad!
A good instructor will be in the water right next to your kids, happily showing them exactly what to do while providing support and feedback after every float and glide. If your kids are in a group lesson, the instructor should be trying to keep everyone engaged while taking brief moments to work individually with each child.
While some instructors may have decades of experience teaching or they themselves previously swam at a competitive level, these qualities alone are rarely the hallmark of a great swimming instructor. It is much more important to find someone who your kids enjoy being around — someone who is engaged, patient, and genuinely excited to introduce them to a whole new aquatic world. Whereas adults may be driven by long term large goals, children just want to have fun. An instructor who is able to keep kids engaged and challenged will always produce the best results.