Scuba diving is an activity enjoyed by many people; the passion for the underwater world and desire to share scuba diving with others is one of the major reasons people decide to take the leap, change their lives and become an Instructor. For many, becoming an instructor and working in some of the most beautiful places on earth is a much-needed escape from the standard ‘9 to 5’ working life. It is a job that can provide a completely new lifestyle and be a rewarding career, as those in the industry will tell you, we truly change people’s lives.
I personally did not go out and seek to become an instructor. Having been involved in diving since age 12, through dive trips and meeting those in the industry, it was something that I sort of ‘fell’ into; much to the relief of my parents in the knowledge that the time and money over the years has been put to good use. One course led to the other and my passion just kept growing.
I had been a PADI Divemaster for about 6 months before signing up for the PADI IDC. The first day of the course is definitely the most nervous, the word ‘instructor’ brought up images of something I did not feel ready for. To my relief the course did not automatically expect me to be one. You learn very quickly that the nature of the program is to develop you to become an instructor.
I completed my IDC on a part time schedule, working fulltime during the week and instructor training on the weekends. It was an exciting time, my evenings during the week were spent preparing assignments for the weekend and study dive theory for exams; every Thursday looking forward to seeing my classmates and develop my skills. The course will give out everything that you put in if not more, it has its personal highs and its lows that all PADI pros have been through and it was those past experiences from the instructor team that helped me get to where I am today.
One of my personal challenges was public speaking. All through university I struggled with my fear of public speaking during presentations, a personal challenge that continued at the start of my IDC. The encouragement from my Course Director and peers completely diminished that fear, so much so that my favorite part of teaching scuba diving is conducting classroom presentations!
My favorite experience from the IDC was the in-water training sessions, where we practiced our skill demonstrations and teaching techniques to our classmates. To simulate teaching student divers, your peers becoming mock students and are assigned problems with skills for you to notice and correct. It created a fantastic team building atmosphere with many sessions ending in hilarity.
My IDC peers will remain with me for many years to come having been through this shared experience. Completing the course together in Dubai, we are now all in different countries, still sharing life highlights as the years go on.
Becoming an instructor has introduced me to one of the biggest communities in the world. One which I have thrived in and continued advancing my teaching abilities. So much so, that in July 2017 I became a PADI Course Director, ready to now help others change their lives.