Finding Your Trainer for the Instructor Development Course

by Scott Sanders:

Congratulations!  You are ready to take the next step to become a dive instructor.

Now where do you go from here?

Let’s start with selecting an IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer* to work with during your Instructor Development Course (IDC).  It is a common misconception you should first consider the location and dive center before considering who will conduct your training.   While these aspects are important, you should also factor in who will do your training as this can make or break your experience, even if you are in an incredible location.

Before going into the attributes to look for in an IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer, it’s important to consider that courses which guarantee 100% pass rates your first time around, are free or heavily discounted, and move candidates through very quickly, may not provide you with the best experience to prepare you to teach comfortably.  In many cases in life, you get what you pay for.

So, what are some things that make a good IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer?

Let’s break it down into a few areas.

Passion – Anyone teaching professional level scuba courses should not only have the passion for diving but also for teaching and mentoring the next generation of instructors.  Without a passion for diving, it will be difficult to inspire and motivate instructor candidates during their training process.  If an IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer only dives to teach but never to have fun and simply enjoy the underwater world, they may conduct a dull course without relevancy to the candidate’s love for sharing the sport with future students.

Teaching Abilities – Flexibility in teaching styles is an important attribute to look for during the process of selecting an IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer.  Why?  Consider a full open water class with a mix of high school students, engineers, and a retired couple; the learning styles within this group may differ so it’s important to work with an educator who is flexible in their teaching style to accommodate the needs of the class.  Flexibility is an important skill to master and working with a flexible trainer will benefit you as they share their experience and expertise during your Instructor Development Course.

Currency – IT Staff Instructors and Instructor Trainers should not only teach professional level courses but they should continue teaching diver level courses as well.  This allows IT Staff Instructors and Instructor Trainers to stay current in the teaching techniques and skills required to train new divers then pass this experience on to their instructor candidates.  Communicating to succeeding groups and generations of people requires constant practice and adaptation.

These are only a few of the many attributes that make up a good IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer.  Schedule a phone, Skype, or face-to-face interview with your potential trainer to get to know them and their teaching style.  You can ask questions about their favorite dive site to hear them light up on the subject, favorite course to teach, how often they dive outside of work, and more!   Get the conversations flowing to get a feel for the experience you will have during your Instructor Development Course.

Choosing a good mentor and trainer is one of the most important decisions when becoming a dive professional.  Choose wisely and remember, you are paying to learn skills, and from the experiences, of an active dive instructor.

For more information or to search the globe for an IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer, click here!

*An IT Staff Instructor or Instructor Trainer is qualified to teach the SDI Instructor Development Course.

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