So you want to be a dive instructor? But there are plenty of instructor development courses to choose from and picking one can feel as daunting as that time you graduated high school and had to then and there decide what to do for the rest of your life. Relax. Think: What do you want to get out of your IDC? Well here are three things that I got out of mine and that I deem to be significant factors when deciding on an internship program. Maybe you’ll find one or two of these relevant to you.
I Killed It at the IE – Ah yes, the instructor examination. That’s the whole point of the IDC, isn’t it? To get you to that IE so you can pass it. Do you want to sign up for an IDC because you love sitting in a classroom? Or perhaps you think public speaking is fun? My guess is that, like me, you want to take on the IDC because you want to be a dive instructor. But, hold on: Guarding that rating is the seemingly terrifying sabre-tooth tiger that is the IE; this is what the IDC prepares you to face. And prepared, I was. In the beginning of the course, I fumbled a little. But our course director had us practice enough PADI presentations, review plenty of practice exams, and gave us neat little tips and tricks along the way. By the time we got to that examination, we were all confident. It felt less like a scary sabre-tooth and more like an adorably annoying little kitten.
I Had a Kick-Ass Course Director – All that stuff being said about classroom time, public speaking, and the impending IE, I promise: I had fun! It helps to have had a course director who is engaging, funny, and has the best facial expressions. Lectures were as entertaining as one can hope a lecture to be. Also, being a seasoned PADI professional, and having worked in a few different countries, he told us neat stories from his experience to help explain key points. For instance, he told us that he used to sell diving to young back-packing lads by asking them if they would like to go swimming with sharks. If they declined, he called them scared, and suddenly he had their attention. The anecdote illustrated the advantage of knowing your audience and tailoring your message to captivate them- which is a useful skill for any future instructor who wants to thrive in the dive industry. But, it was also hilarious to watch our course director perform his little theatrical back-and-forth playing both himself and the group of guys.
I am in Bali and I like it – It’s warm. It’s sunny. It’s surrounded by water. I get to bike everywhere, the food is cheap and even though I have already admitted in a previous blog that I grew tired of rice, it is admittedly yummy. The IDC was set at a good pace, so that the other candidates and I had plenty of free time to actually enjoy Bali. One afternoon, a few of us washed some friendly stray dogs just because we could. And also because Bali dogs are adorable! Oh, and know what else Bali is great for? Duh! Diving! Well-preserved reefs and an abundance of diversified marine life. And that you have to sometimes negotiate a bit of current will only make you a better, stronger diver. While I wait for my teaching status to come through, I get to fun dive in Bali. Last week, I did my MSDT prep; if I had to choose, the fish I.D specialty in Nusa Penida was my favorite. Again, there are so many fish! Yep, I can think of worse ways to pass the time!
I passed the IE, I had a great course director, and I enjoyed the whole process here in Bali. To me, those are the hallmarks of a fantastic IDC.
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