It’s been a long time I’ve been teaching swimming. I started it in June 2001 after I got my level 1 swimming teaching qualification. I was in a call centre (my first proper job) and wanting to better myself and do something I liked.
What better than to get reward from working with kids and adults and seeing them progress to be able to swim? I love it. 🙂
December 2001 I got my level 2, and since then I’ve become a very knowledgable, enthusiastic and fun swimming coach. Able to relate to people, I took on the lead teacher role about 10 years ago. It was fun and I loved it.
Sure it took up 4-5 hours 40 Sundays of the year, but it was like a habit where I got repeated lovely rewards of working with people, especially kids who can be so honest and rewarding to work with. 4-8pm most Sundays, it fitted in well with my life and I never thought I’d see the day I wouldn’t be doing it.
I’ve helped thousands of kids and quite a few adults learn to swim and I’ve been able to help them feel at ease in the water, not to mention some of the lovely coaches I’ve worked with. 🙂
Now after 13 years and quite a few changes recently where the people I work for aren’t taking on board my knowledge and experience led feedback, I’ve decided with a bit of a heavy heart that it’s time to give it up. Sad times, but it’s got to be done.
The way it’s working now, I’m finding it harder and harder to do my job the way I want to, the best I can, and I’ve decided that’s it.
I no longer want to work for a company who don’t listen to me and have me dealing with the decisions they’ve made, especially when I don’t agree with them and they’re unwilling to change.
I don’t mean to be too drastic or complain too much about it – the truth is that swimming teaching to me is about the people – the fun, the kids, parents, coaches and pool staff. It was never about me earning money – the money was just a bonus. It is a shame that I’ll not see the wee ones I’ve known for a few years now develop and progress onto and pass Sharks – but it has to be.
I like things to work, and work well – and at the moment they’re not really. And the people who run things aren’t listening to me to improve things the way I think they can be improved. If they don’t want my opinions and ideas then they can do without me.
I’ll get my Sundays back, get my sleep back (I’ve had many sleepless nights over this unfortunately, mainly because I care), and the hassle that the swimming lessons have become, will be lifted. Simple as that.
13 years having it as part of my life and I’ve not taken the decision lightly, but it’s time for me to move on.
I’m doing well at the BBC, so that should curb some of the financial loss, and having Sunday to myself will no doubt allow for more rest and more focus on me / and other things I want to do.
I’ve said I’ll stay til the end of the year, but as of 2015 I’ll no longer be teaching swimming regularly. And I’m fine with that.
Sometimes you’ve got to stick to your guns and your principles and do what’s right for you.
I’m going to enjoy every Sunday lessons from now on and try to help and be there for as many kids and coaches as possible, then I’ll say my goodbyes. Their loss, my gain.