Today the soon-to-become instructors will demonstrate open water exercises for the first time during this course. After the usual briefing the candidates and their course leaders are on their way to the sea where the role playing game will take place again. Two of the students will act as instructor and assistant the others will play the students. At a depth of six to nine metres the instructor demonstrates the exercise. Afterwards the students must repeat the skill. The focus today is the instructors’ positioning. “
To demonstrate an exercise the right way is one thing,” says Nancy, “but later in real life problems will arise and the instructor must be able to recognize and solve this. A very important point is that the instructor should always have an eye on the students and never lose control of the situation.” Nancy sneaks herself in the group as a student and is making the life of her candidates a little more difficult. Nancy does everything wrong and fails to understand what the instructor wants her to do. Now the candidate needs stay calm and try to communicate slowly and patiently with gestures so even Nancy can understand everything.
In the meantime we have noticed an unusually onlooker is following the ongoing exercises under water. On one of the nearby ropes a bright red anglerfish/frogfish is sitting motionless except for his ever-alert eyes. Like the grumpy-looking little guy is hoping for a meal to pass by.
Jane does not have it easy today. One of her two tasks is the so-called Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA). According to PADI this skill is the most complex since a lot of things can go wrong. For this reason there is a special workshop for the CESA scheduled in two days. Unfortunately Jane is choosing a poor position in the water. She is deeper than her student and can not see any mistakes. Today she came out of the water with a laughing and a crying eye. Because of the wrong positioning she could not see that her student did the skill wrong and has broken a standard. For this Jane will get a 1. Her second exercise ran smoothly however and she achieved the highest grade − a five.
Nancy is particularly sensitive when one of her candidates messes up an exercise and takes it too much to heart. Nancy and her team work diligently to absorb these difficult moments then redirect and motivate then candidates. After all, it is a course and a learning process.
Back in the classroom there is a little dressing down by Yasser. He thinks that the soon-to-become instructors are working not poorly as a team. “During the final exam (IE) the fellow candidates will also act as a student when an exercise is presented. Here you can be liable if someone else fails because you did not listen to the briefing or you are on your own planet. The examiner may think that the instructor is not in control of the situation.
Help each other instead of making your lives difficult. If we do not assign mistakes then don’t do any and repeat the exercise in the best possible way. It is necessary for all to know the precise exercise routine. Otherwise you can get your colleagues into trouble. So listen also to the briefings and debriefings of your colleagues and stop doing something else please. It might be exactly the exercise you will be given in the IE.”
Today Victoria has to stay out of the water again. Nancy says that there will be not enough time anymore to catch up with all the missed exercises in this IDC. But she will be allowed to join the next IDC in about two months without addition payment.
In the evening Yasser tells us quietly that it will be exciting tomorrow. The IDC candidates will be more stressed in the teacher-student exercises under water he announces mischievous. “In every IDC you see three different faces,” Yasser adds. “At first everyone is listening very attentive and willing to learn. After several days the candidates think that they already know all the processes now well enough and do not have to pay full attention anymore. When it comes towards the examination everybody is very nervous and hectic suddenly. Now we are at the point where they think they already have seen it all.” Let’s wait...
Course Director: Nancy Abd El Wahab
Dive centre: Sinai Divers Dahab
Published on: 09/23/2009
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