Anton Bäcker became a PADI Divemaster at Ban’s Diving Resort last year and recently took the IDC to become a PADI Instructor.

A few weeks after passing the Instructor Exam, Anton was ready to teach his first PADI Open Water course on his own.

 

His first class comprised of one new student and his friend, a certified diver who would participate in the whole course after leaning to dive at Ban’s Diving 5 years ago.
Both students also took the Advanced Open Water course straight after.
Anton’s gives us his impressions on his first experience teaching on his own.

What was your experience before teaching this course?

I had assisted many diving courses during my Divemaster training and also as a Certified Assistant. After my IE, I had also team taught on two courses but this was my first experience teaching on my own. And I was very excited about it.

Was your assisting and team teaching experience valuable?

Certainly, I had many opportunities to see how PADI courses were taught before but after the IDC, I was paying more attention to the content. I particularly got a better understanding about why and how skill practice in confined water will have an impact on the students’ comfort and abilities on the open water dives.

I would highly recommend those who do not have much experience as a Certified Assistant to do an Internship before they teach on their own after passing the IE.

Did you have an assistant yourself? 

I did not have any assistant on the Open Water Diver Course. I was actually happy to do it on my own. Amanda, one of the Ban’s Divemaster candidates, joined me on the Advanced Open Water course.

What did you like most about the course?

I really enjoyed teaching skills in confined. I felt like I was really in control and the student was progressing quickly.
Both divers were easy and had a great attitude! They want to come dive with me in Sweden next summer and one of them is very likely coming back to do the Rescue Diver course.

My other favorite moments were the first Open Water dive and the Night Dive in the Advanced Course. During my Divemaster course, seeing the students learning to manage stress and anxiety on these dives is what made me want to become an Open Water Scuba Instructor.
On the last dive of the Advanced Open Water course, my Divemaster candidate and I swam behind the students, letting them gain confidence and experience as a buddy team.

 

Teaching theory was also a lot of fun and I felt very comfortable thanks to what we learned on the IDC in terms of knowledge and presentation techniques.

So what was the most challenging part?

Planning and organization. I used the The PADI Open Water Diver Course Cue Cards for the confined and open water dives which made it easy.
However getting the equipment, signing up for the boat dives, preparing the classroom, these are particular to every dive center and therefore not in the manuals.

 

In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have spent more time practicing compass navigation with the students on land before going diving.

 

 

Any recommendations for an Instructor teaching their first course?

Don’t stress too much because you’ve done everything before. During the IDC or while assisting. Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or an experienced Instructor. I was fortunate to have other Instructors on the boat that day, who were available to answer any of my questions. After all, that’s why we become Scuba Instructors, we like to help people.

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