What it Means, What it Takes, and Where to Begin
by Jon Kieren:
TDI Instructor Trainers (IT) are viewed in the industry as the most knowledgeable, experienced, and talented dive educators. They are considered the top of the top or the crème of the crop.
Why is that?
TDI strongly believes that in order to train instructors at their highest level, an educator needs to have real world experience diving and teaching at that level. Once a TDI Instructor gains the requisite diving and teaching experience, they will need to prove themselves in an Instructor Trainer Workshop, conducted by either a World HQ Training Department staff member or an HQ appointed Instructor Trainer Evaluator.
How can I gain experience and why is it so important?
It is simple, dive and teach. Learning does not happen by osmosis, an IT or IT Evaluator cannot teach all of the hard lessons that come from years of experience in a few days. An Instructor Trainer will rely on their time, efforts, and experience diving and teaching, when training and evaluating instructor candidates. Having this necessary experience will allow the IT to focus on the critical components of the given subject; while the instructor candidate will fine-tune their rhythm with teaching and techniques based on their own experiences in the future.
Teaching professional level courses as a TDI IT
A TDI Instructor Trainer will be working with already experienced instructors; creating TDI Instructors is much more than “ticking the boxes” when a candidate reads the correct line off a PowerPoint or out of the Instructor Guide. A qualified TDI IT will be far more focused on the content of what is presented, as well as the candidate’s ability to maintain control over their student divers in very unforgiving environments.
What is the TDI Instructor Trainer Workshop actually like?
The Instructor Trainer Workshop is an intensive 8 day program which covers a wide variety of topics from the business of diving and dive leader risk management to methods of instruction. Candidates will work directly with World HQ Training Department staff to develop and hone their instructor evaluation techniques. And because we believe in leading by example, IT candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to perform everything that they will expect from their instructor candidates, at IT level quality. That includes academic presentations, in-water presentations, demonstrations, and everyone’s favorite, the watermanship requirements. Successful completion of the Instructor Trainer Workshop is a major accomplishment, and will prepare TDI Instructors to conduct instructor level training at the highest levels in the industry.
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