Monday, July 27, 2009

Swim Lesson Fun or Flop?

I signed Maddox up for swimming lessons last minute. Madison is away at Camp Redcloud for the week, and I thought it would be a fun thing for us to do...

So I talked it up, he was super excited to play with new friends and a teacher; then we get there and there are three teachers assigned to the class, and the one that seems to be in charge has a MAJOR attitude problem. She even goes so far to snidely say under her breath in response to a parent asking if they were AquaTot 2 "yeah, that's why I just yelled it out..."

Then one of the teachers takes two of the kids and goes and gets in the pool, the rest of us are left standing there with the attitude chick and a young guy trying to make sense of who should be where. Maddox is starting to get nervous and asks "when is the teacher going to call my name?" Then they (the teachers)head to the pool with out so much as any introduction or greeting with the kids, climb in and expect preschool aged kids to just follow them in. I am standing at the edge of the pool with Maddox being very apprehensive -- who can blame him, you can't expect a 3 year old to just jump into a pool and begin following directions when no one is even acting excited about being there or talking up how much fun it will be--

Finally I butt in and say "Excuse me would you please engage the kids and try to at least get him in the water with you?" The attitude chick comes over and with a tone that would make any 3 year old feel like they are in trouble, tells Maddox to get in the water. He gets in, but gets out to find me, (repeat a few times)...all while attitude chick keeps talking like Maddox is in trouble.

Once in the water there is no excitement or hype about doing any of the activities. Just "lets get on the mat." "put you mouth in the water and blow bubbles" "Maddox, get on the mat." So Maddox is completely disinterested and wanting to do his own thing.

Then they take them to the deep pool, after Maddox has said multiple times that he is worried about not being able to touch, and he won't get in (shocker), and spends the rest of the time sitting on the edge of the pool.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not an expert swimmer, but I do know a thing or two about working with kids, being I am a mom and a teacher with a masters degree, so when I think of swimming lessons for young kids I think of energetic instructors that are excited to be there, get down on the ground and meet the kids, and talk up what they are going to be doing, in order to get the kids excited and build rapport with them; you are asking 3 year olds to trust you in the water.

After lessons attitude chick come up and with the same attitude asks if there is anything that might work to help him enjoy it more... So I say "Yeah, you could have acted happy and excited when you met the kids and actually introduced yourself to them. You could engage them with fun activities." (probably not that snotty sounding but I get my point across). Then she has the NERVE to tell me that she did engage him she kept asking him to get in the water, to which I point out that she was not making it inviting, but rather making it sound like he was in trouble and she says some sort of dismissal such as ok or alright and walks off.

Allie went and talked to the director while I was dealing with Maddox, and she came out and observed for a while then she came and talked to me. She was super nice and helpful; and we are going to give it another go tomorrow with a different teacher, though I am doubtful because the attitude of lessons has already been set for Maddox. I am just sad because he was so excited to do lessons and now it is a struggle.

Learned? It is perplexing that we leave the job of "Life Guarding" in the hands of teens. (Another sign that I am getting old).

1 comment:

Jill said...

Xander had that same teacher yesterday and she was YELLING at the kids and being angry the whole time. Xander looked puzzled the whole swimming lesson because he knew it was "supposed" to be FUN. I pulled him out of her class and he was in an awesome guy's class who called himself Mr. Giggles and actually seemed to enjoy being around children. That girl needs to find another job that has nothing to do with children.
She walked up to us today and said very snotty, "XANDER, YOU ARE WITH ME!" and I said, "Actually he's not. We've moved him into a different class so he wouldn't be bored."

UGH! I can't stand people like that! Sorry you had to deal with her also.