Swimming instructors are essential for teaching people of all ages and abilities how to swim safely and enjoyably. However, not all swimming instructors are equally effective or qualified. As a supervisor or manager of a swimming program, you need to evaluate your swimming instructors regularly and provide them with feedback and training opportunities to improve their skills and performance. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the topics and criteria that you should consider when evaluating your swimming instructors, as well as some of the tools and methods that you can use to document and track their evaluations.
Topics to Consider When Evaluating Your Swimming Instructors
When evaluating your swimming instructors, you should consider the following topics:
Mastery of their class:
How well do they know the objectives, skills, and progressions of the class that they are teaching? Do they follow the curriculum and standards of your program or organization? Do they adapt their teaching to the needs and abilities of their students?
Are they familiar with the level structure?
Activity, activity, challenge formula:
How well do they follow the activity, activity, challenge formula, which is a proven method for teaching swimming skills effectively and efficiently? The formula consists of three steps: first, the instructor introduces and demonstrates a skill; second, the students practice the skill with feedback and correction from the instructor; third, the students are challenged to apply the skill in a different or more difficult situation.
Feedback that is relevant and actionable:
How well do they give feedback that is relevant and actionable to their students? Do they use positive reinforcement and constructive criticism? Do they use specific and descriptive language to explain what the students are doing well and what they need to improve? Do they use different modes of feedback, such as verbal, visual, and physical?
Commanding the attention of their students:
How well do they command the attention of their students? Do they use a clear and loud voice, eye contact, and gestures? Do they use different teaching strategies, such as questioning, demonstration, and explanation? Do they manage the class time, space, and equipment effectively? Do they handle any disruptions or distractions appropriately?
Fun, exciting, joyful:
How well do they make the lessons fun, exciting, and joyful for their students? Do they use games, songs, stories, and rewards to motivate and engage their students? Do they show enthusiasm, passion, and humor? Do they create a positive and supportive learning environment?
Teaching methods that you train:
How well do they use the teaching methods that you train them in? Do they follow the principles and practices of your program or organization? Do they use the Swimming Ideas level structure, which is a comprehensive and flexible system for teaching swimming skills to different levels and ages of students?
Are they following the tenets of the Teaching Swimming online course?
Tools and Methods to Document and Track Staff Evaluations
To document and track your staff evaluations, you can use various tools and methods, such as:
- Swim instructor evaluation forms: You can use swim instructor evaluation forms to rate your instructors on different criteria and provide them with written feedback. You can also use these forms to set goals and action plans for your instructors to improve their performance.
- Observation and feedback sessions: You can observe your instructors during their lessons and provide them with verbal feedback and coaching afterwards. You can also use video recordings or live streaming to observe and review your instructors remotely or at a later time. You can use a structured format, such as the STARS model (Strengths, Targets, Actions, Review, Support), to guide your feedback sessions.
- Online platforms and software: You can use online platforms and software, such as SharePoint, SwimLessons PRO, or Google Forms, to create, store, and share your staff evaluation forms and data. You can also use these tools to generate reports and graphs to analyze and monitor your staff performance over time.
We hope that this blog post has given you some useful information and tips on how to evaluate your swimming instructors. Remember that regular and constructive evaluation is key to improving the quality and effectiveness of your swimming program and ensuring the satisfaction and safety of your students. Happy swimming! 😊
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