At the beginning of January we started a new session of swimming lessons. I wasn't overly excited about the fact that we were going to be doing them at the same facility, as I haven't been too impressed with the instructor that one particular child kept on getting. I was too late in registering with another facility, and wanted to keep the lessons going. I decided that it was better to have them in lessons to keep the confidence and hopefully progress up, than to not have them in any at all.
I had also made up my mind that if this particular child was given the same instructor, that we would be OUT of there!...I'll give you some background information.
The child I am referring to is, Marshall. Getting comfortable in the water has not been an easy thing for him. Up until he was about 4 years old, he was severely afraid of the water. He would be okay to play in the tub, but as soon as it came time to wash his hair, no matter which way I tried to do it (because trust me, we tried several ways) he would freak right out. He didn't even like getting sprayed at the water park.
The past two summers Marshall made a lot of progress in the water, he was no longer playing on the pool deck, but IN the shallow water. He even got to the point this past summer, that if he was wearing a life jacket, he was okay to swim in the deep end...BIG improvement!!
Now my 'beef' with this instructor is that I didn't particularly find he was paying as much attention to the children in his class as he should have been, he just seemed to be laid back and not overly observant. There were at least two separate occasions where I thought Marshall was going to drown...that's how much attention he 'gave' to the students.
He spent too much time sitting on the side of the pool talking with the kids, I only assume it was about water/pool safety...but when you only have a 30 min class, don't spend the bulk of it out of the water! This happened every.single.class. I was so frustrated. I kept thinking 'What on earth have I paid for!?' 'My child does not know how to swim...I'm paying you to teach him how...so DO IT, Please!"
When we arrived for our first class this session, and I saw that Marshall, yet again, had the same instructor, I was SO ready to go get Marshall and leave. Irish was there with me and I started to tell him about how this was the same instructor he had last time, and tell him all about the instructor...again. That is until, I saw my boy jump care free, chest puffed out, feet swung up behind him into the water (during a "if you like ____ jump into the water game")
I was IN SHOCK! I could not process what had just happened. The entire last session the only way Marshall would jump into the water was to hold onto the side of the pool and then jump in. I was so incredibly happy for him. Throughout the lesson he continued to blow my mind. He was so brave, doing things he wouldn't even try in the previous session. He even tried diving (from a sitting position), swinging off the rope & even went as far as to try to 'swim out' to get the rope, all of this in the deep end.
As for now we have decided to leave him where he is. I am SO incredibly proud of him, he is so proud of himself (he has every right to be!!). I really want to work hard with him before summer comes so that he can get to the point where he can swim all by himself. What a confidence booster! Keep up the good work Marshall!!
You better believe that I will be first in line to register somewhere else for next session though...especially since our current location decided to increase the price $22/child PER session...that's a 50% increase from what we paid last time....