SCUBA DIVING INSTRUCTOR
As air breathing creatures we are well removed from our natural environment when underwater scuba diving. In order to survive, let alone enjoy such activities we must acquire a range of skills and knowledge that are not part of our normal experience. This is most satisfactorily provided by a qualified scuba instructor. An instructor is some who teaches, informs and directs. Applying this definitions to the diving situation we will begin to understand what is the need of a scuba diving instructor.
In order to conduct a good scuba diving course, it is essential for any scuba diving instructor or dive operators to process high personal skill levels and an extensive diving knowledge in the subject (scuba diving in this case) they are going to teach or impart. Inevitably this will demand an appropriate base of practical experience. Additionally teaching skills as demonstrations, communications and supervisions combined with virtues of patience, sensitivity and caring nature must then be added to these diving skills to produce an effective diving instructor.
Student divers that are trained by a good scuba diving instructor will acquire good diving habits and practices from the beginning, whereas uncorrected bad habits learnt during early training are very difficult to rectify later. Diving related accidents can be traced back to such training and habits, which in turn are the result of poor or inadequate instructions.
To be able to teach student divers the sport that you enjoyed and has great passion about, is probably the most rewarding and stimulating reasons to be a scuba diving instructor. Because of increased leisure time, peoples’ participation in all forms of sporting activity has grown and will continue to grow for the coming future.
Scuba diving continues to be a popular adventure sport and is enjoyed by more and more scuba divers annually. The popularity of scuba diving, particularly as a holiday activity has also provided opportunities for instructors to teach professionally either as an employee in a dive resort centre or school, others by investing in their own scuba training facility.
The term “professional scuba instructors” or “dive professionals” are usually associated with those who derive their living from teaching scuba. However, it is important to understand that there are also “professionals” amateurs who teach for no reward other than the satisfaction gained from teaching others a sport they enjoy. Within the diving industry as a whole, be it in Singapore, Asia or most part of the world, majority of scuba training is conducted by such qualified amateur diving instructors.
Whether paid or unpaid, scuba instruction requires the same degree of professional expertise. Instruction is an activity which needs to be mastered in the same way as any other pursuit. It comprises of skills which must be gained and knowledge which must be absorbed, if the teaching precess is to be successful. There is a well known dictum that the best way to learn anything is to teach it! Certainly becoming an effective scuba instructor is guaranteed to improve and develop your own diving skills and experience, which will benefit you as well as your students.
INSTRUCTOR - STUDENT RELATIONSHIP
Another major section of dive instructing is the responsibility of supervising and directing the student’s learning process. In a an activity involving underwater scuba diving, it should go without saying that safety must always be paramount. This inevitably means the scuba diving instructor must always be able to exercise an appropriate degree of control over the students.
Where scuba diving is being taught as a leisure activity, frequently being paid for by the student, the exercise of control must be earned through respect for their needs and feelings as student divers. A patient, sympathetic, professional approach is the hallmark of any instructor worthy of the title, whether paid or amateur.