Tom Steiner: SDI Instructor Trainer Ambassador

Hi, I’m Tom Steiner. I’m honored to be a part of the SDI Instructor Ambassador Program. I’m from Malta and I’ve been diving since 1979.

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 in 1979 in Barbados, I have always been facinated by the underwter world and the peace you find there. For me it was the first contact with another world on this planet breathing freely underwater. Diving at the beginning was a hobby for me but very fast it became a true passion and I always wished this to become my work as a professional one day. It took some time to find the marks and how to start to live from Instructing Diving. With years of practice and experience it just happened and if I had to start all over again thats what I would do without any doubt.

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

For me the most important trait is that you need to understand the student you have in front of you. Teaching is not just pass a student but its also knowing their weakness and fears. To constently work on skills until they become part of the memory muscle.

What is your favorite SDI class to teach and why?

Definitely Instructor courses and Open Water Courses, there is nothing more rewarding to see a person that can safely enjoy a dive simply because I want that the Diving Industry keeps a high standard of diving and that the techniques even if they evolve with time are taught the same way. At the end you want to have safe divers and students that enjoy what they do and become real divers.

What is a bucket list dive you still have?

Well there are still a couple of them, Truk lagoon, Andrea Doria, the Britannic, the SS President Coolidge, HMS Victoria and also Orda Cave in Russia.

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

Stay humble in what you do, don’t become an Instructor with an ego and never stop learning after you finished your Instructor course there is still a long way up but it’s worth the ride.