Today the candidates have a fitness test. They also will show their teaching skills during their first presentations.
As scheduled, the 11 instructor trainees are in the classroom at 8.30am Sinai Divers. As scheduled, the 11 instructor trainees are in the classroom at 8.30am. The size of the eyes of the participants indicate how easily they adapt to the program (according to Nancy the two Spanish guys arrived with very small eyes). The first two lessons today are about PADI's Discover Scuba Diving program and the current status of the diving industry. Instead of having a lazy day on the beach the participants are in the dark classroom.
Around 12pm the candidates are allowed to hit the water. Everybody is pretty happy about the refreshing water even though it’s interrupted by the training program. Now the participants must pass a little fitness test − and Nancy’s team will give them marks for it.
After everyone has changed clothes the group gets a short briefing from the Staff Instructors on the beach. Once all IDC candidates are in the water equiped with mask, snorkel and fins and have given the OK sign, the test starts.
The candidates must snorkel for 800 metres in a specified area often used for confined water diver training. 800 metres are equivalent to16 lengths in the marked sea zone; during this time the snorklers may just take their head out of the water if they have lost direction.They are also instructed to swim with usual fin kicks, instead og using frog kicks.
The test starts and we watch it with Yasser, Hendrik and Doug from the beach. The three staff instructors count the lengths the candidates are swimming. In this way they can prevent anyone from leaving the water too early “accidentaly.” The weather conditions are perfect for the swim test: almost no wind or waves.
After the second lane the first candidate, a young woman, is giving up. “I’m still not feeling well,” she says a little bit frustrated as she leaves the water and hurries back to the dive centre. Nancy and the staff instructors encourage her saying there is time to do the swim test another day. “We know that something like this can happen” says Nancy, “so at the end of the course there is still time to repeat exercises.”
Fifteen minutes later the first candidate hits the 800-metre mark and raises his arms in the signal OK. We are not surprised that Hugo from Spain wins the small competition. He is quite fit and today was probably not the first time in his life that he was swimming a race.
After 17 minutes Alvaro completes the double for Spain. Jane and Leeanne share the third position. To complete the the 16 lanes they only need one minute longer than Alvaro. Jane is obviously very proud and says with a mischievous grin, “Yeah today I showed these younsters their places!”
Special congratulations go to the two Egyptian candidates Ramy and Rashad. They bravely passed the test even though they are doing Muslim Ramadan, which means for one month they are not allowed to drink or eat between sunrise and sunset − not even a sip of water. Well done guys!
The participants do not have long to sit down and relax. Approximately 45 minutes after everyone has left the water the instructor trainers call everybody back into the classroom. By early afternoon there is another important lesson. The participants are shown how to present themselves and how to pass information optimally to student divers in their role as dive instructors.
The candidates learn how to correctly advise clients and how to teach courses. Nancy’s team explain how dive instructors should present themselves to customers. Afterwards the candidates must independently prepare a small presentation. Sales skills are as important as the teaching skills. Topics are assigned by the course leaders. After the presentation the candidates get immediate feedback from the trainers in order to know the areas where they need to improve.
In the mean time, it is so warm the projector takes a little break by switching off. Hence the candidates continue their presentations without this helpful tool. Leeanne is well prepared. She is using a variety of objects to support her explanations. Her interaction with the other people in the room goes smoothly as well.
In Peter’s presentation it is easy to see his experience as a TV presenter. Well-structured with a calm voice and excellent speech rate, he is leading the audience through his informative presentation − even his small jokes are placed well. His listeners are following curiously and Peter seems to have fun while doing his presentation. During the IDC the candidates have several occasions to do presentations and improve their skills in this area.
Tomorrow we will witness a role playing game underwater. One candidate is will act as the instructor and he has to keep control over his students. According to Nancy this is always quite interesting and fun.
Course Director: Nancy Abd El Wahab
Dive centre: Sinai Divers Dahab
Published on: 09/21/2009
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