Friday, November 4, 2011

Ode to Swimming Lessons

Since I was about 15, I have been teaching swimming lessons.

Oh, swimming lessons.

Anyone who has ever taught swimming lessons can relate:

- Kids who are terrible at listening but are really funny so you still love them to pieces
- Secretly having favorite kids, except that it's not that secret because you let them go first every time
- Parents staring you down from the side of the pool
- Trying to keep 3 year olds on or near a step for 45 consecutive minutes (whoever thought that would work was funny)
- Wishing you could just play the whole time because the kids are cute
- Freezing from the second you get in the water until after you've sat in a hot bathtub for 45 minutes after it's over
- The kids who spend 90% of class asking what we're doing because their head was underwater the whole time you were talking
- The kid who won't let go of the wall, go under water, has to go to the bathroom every 6 minutes, etc.
- Bending your leg to cover your internal organs when kids kick off you from the middle of the pool to swim back to the wall
- Failing at covering said organs and almost vomiting
- Kids who are positive you live at the pool because you teach their swimming lessons then you are on lifeguard duty when they come back to swim later that day
- Trying to keep your hair dry so you don't completely turn into a popsicle (I admit it)
- Attempting to teach rotary breathing (maybe I'm the only one who always fails at this on day one)
- Ending kick board wars between boys
- (or not really caring that boys are having kick board wars except that you will get in trouble if you don't end it)
- When practicing jumping in, they don't wait until you say it's their turn. They just go ahead and jump. On you.
- Seeing kids you teach in public and they have no idea who you are because you're wearing clothing

But seriously, it has its golden moments. A couple of highlights over the years:

George, age 5, came swimming during the day after lessons that morning. It was a cold day, but he was showing me his tricks off the diving board.
George: I'm freezing!
Me: Go get your towel!
George: No! Real men don't use towels.

Alex, age 6:
Alex: Do you have any babies?
Me: Not yet.
Alex: You should make some.

Me to class of 3 year olds: Do you guys have any questions?
(Every hand goes up): I went to the zoo yesterday.
Have you seen the Emperor's New Groove?
I'm being a dinosaur for Halloween.

Nathan, age 4:
Me: Did you have a good Halloween?
Nathan: My dad ate all my candy.

It's a party, really. Even though they kick water in your face the majority of the time, some of those kids are just beyond adorable. THAT is what makes it worth it!
Teaching Kanani's brother David to swim when I was 18


  1. This is the most relateable post of my life. Oh swimming lessons haha.

  2. this post makes me want to teach swim lessons too.

  3. Ahhhh Daniel, I love this