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where did DIR go
06-24-2005, 05:30 AM,
Re: where did DIR go
Guess I will chime in on this one.  Sorry I have been away for so long.  I agree that it is important for instructors to have a depth of experience that they can draw on for their teaching, and doing multiple types of diving and in different environments is a good thing.

Just remember, that new instructors are new instructors, really no matter their depth of knowlege, they may have a hard time passing this information to their students. In fact, I would argue that an instructor can pass TOO much information on to basic students which can be very bad too.

I would actually rate previous teaching experience with multiple types of audiences right up there with multiple scuba experiences for making an good OWSI.  As an instructor, you really need to be able to help students diagnose issues that they may be having and have a good understanding of human psychology to gain an understanding of what is really driving a student to determine how to approach a problem.

I think another critical criteria for a good instructor is that they do a lot of diving outside of their class work.  I know too many instructors that only get wet when they are teaching. It can be difficult, especially if you teach a lot to make the time for your own diving, but it is critical that you do make that time.

I would take a basic OWSI without any type of technical experience who really cared about a student's experience, was good at verbalizing the basics, and could use multiple approaches to teach a skill that a student was having, to an advanced trimix cave diver who doesn't have the patience, compassion or verbal skills to teach my family to dive in the open water.  This is the real question, who would YOU allow to teach your loved ones a basic open water class.  Keep in mind that most new divers don't give a rat's ass about technical diving and will only dive a few times a year on vacation.  They may get into more advanced diving, but too much information can be a bad thing if a person is not ready to receive it.

As you get into more advanced classes, the depth of knowlege becomes more important, and the kit gloves a bit less, as those students tend to be much more driven to learn and have a thicker skin.  But that first open water student tends to be very nervous and very overwhelmed in their class and therefore needs more nurturing.

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