Josh Thornton: SDI Instructor Trainer Ambassador

Hi, I’m Josh Thornton. I’m honored to be a part of the SDI Instructor Ambassador Program.

What was the first dive you did and how did it influence you to start a career in the diving industry?

My first dive was when I was 12, in Cozumel, Mexico. In reality, it was a horrible Jr. Open Water course, but I survived and got hooked right away! After gaining more experience, I realized that I could and would like to help provide a much BETTER introduction to diving for others.

What do you believe is the most important trait of a professional educator and why?

Understanding that being a great educator, means constantly improving. I’ve had some incredible moments instructing, where everything comes together and the students progress quickly and safely, everyone has a great time. Then I have had some moments where everything just seems to fall apart and nothing goes as planned. A great educator sees the holes in their teaching and constantly strives to fill in those holes and improve in personal knowledge, skills and the ability to pass on this knowledge and skill.

What is your favorite SDI class to teach and why?  

Hmmmm this is a hard question… there are a lot of really fun specialty courses, but I would have to say Rescue diver is my all around favorite. By the time a diver enrolls in the Rescue diver course, they have reached a minimum level of commitment and are dedicated to learning and building their skillset as a diver. My dive facility is named “Dive Addicts” and I love working with Dive Addicts!

What is a bucket list dive you still have?

“A” dive on my bucket list? Ha ha ha… the more diving I do the longer my bucket list gets! I really enjoy diving any new site, but for some reason, freshwater sites off the beaten path appeal to me the most.

What is one bit of advice you would give to a perspective Instructor candidate about to embark on becoming an SDI Instructor?

I believe that the best instructors still dive for fun, enjoy getting in the water and look forward to sharing this great adventure with others. Be careful to not loose why you wanted to become a dive instructor in the first place!