The best part of teaching
One of the greatest gifts you will ever receive as a dive instructor is the opportunity to teach people who end up being just as passionate and excited about diving as you are. To see someone come alive after learning the skills needed to dive and then to be able to watch them grow as divers is an amazing experience. My dive students are like my children. I watch as they learn to swim underwater, perfect their buoyancy and maintain control under the stressful situations we throw at them. Some are so very nervous at first (eh hem, Andrea) and skeptical at first only to triumph by the end of class. I get to know them personally and develop long term friendships with many. And then, and a lot of this is due to social media I'll admit, I get to watch as they go on more and more dives and genuinely get excited about each one. I see their pictures from when they just started to dive to their most recent dives and I can compare their skills, seeing genuine improvement. I get to swim next to them during their continuing education classes and watch as they come alive with each exploration of interests. I get to watch them grow as divers and watch as they have fun with each new experience. Sometimes (re: a lot of times) I'm even a little jealous of all the fun they are having. It's seriously like watching one of your kids grow up. Only I have to do a lot less bottom wiping, thank god.
The photo above is a recent photo of two of my very first students, Andrea and Matt Stulce. If ever there was a gift to diving, it's these two. They are in the water as much as humanly possible and they are excited about each dive. They live to be underwater and watching their skills grow has been an incredible experience. I've had the pleasure of teaching them for several classes and I hope to be able to teach them for many more. They make teaching an enjoyable experience. They are also pretty awesome people and an amazing couple. It's been a pleasure to be able to get to know them. It's people like them that make teaching a passion and not a job.
Every so often you find people that are just as passionate about the same things you are and when you find them, you know you've found your tribe. As a dive instructor, finding others so passionate about diving, our oceans and environment is a gift and I live for developing these kinds of relationships. (cue sappy music)
So for those of you enjoying diving and living the good underwater life, keep diving! Your instructor is proud and feels grateful for the opportunity to have taught you.