What’s all this talk about deck supervisors? Do we really need one? “That’s just going to cost us extra money that’s not in the budget.” This may be the typical response of a CEO or Swim School Manager when asked about introducing or employing a Pool Deck Supervisor. Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the benefits, of which there are many of having a pool deck supervisor at your swimming centre and how it may just compliment your program and service.
Swimming Centre Pool Deck Supervisors can:
- offer assistance to teachers
- offer an opportunity for parents to ask questions
- provide teacher feedback
- ensure quality control and provide student assessments
Times have changed and therefore as teachers, we must go along with it. Gone are the days where we can just put kids out of class if they have been misbehaving or having a tantrum. Parenting styles have changed and developed. As teachers, we need to be aware and respectful of that and this is where our pool deck supervisors can act as a support for our swim teachers. Teachers can make the deck supervisor aware of a particular situation in their class and request their support by having them observe the class/student and liaising with parents/guardians. It may also be something as simple as offering teachers a bottle of water to keep them hydrated during their shift, particularly if they are out in the sun.
How often can teachers get stuck talking and conversing with that one parent, it’s generally always that same one too. They don’t seem to have any awareness that there are other parents who have paid for a 30-minute lesson with the teacher too and he/she is eating into their time. This is where the supervisor can step in and carry on that conversation and answer any questions that parents may have. Nine times out of ten it’s the same question; “is my child nearly ready to go up to the next level?” This may result in the deck supervisor catching up with the teacher later to get information on the progress of the swimmer or may lead to the deck supervisor observing the child during their next class or assessing them individually during their regular lesson time.
Depending on how you operate your swim school, you may offer student assessments to determine what level to place new students in. This is another job that can be carried out by your deck supervisor at the start or the end of their shifts. If you have more than one deck supervisor, we strongly recommend that they meet regularly and work together as a team to maintain consistency and ensure they are on the same page with the program knowledge and expectations.
Good teachers always do a good job however great teachers are constantly looking for ways to improve, even if they have been doing it for twenty odd years. They are always seeking feedback and asking for ways on how they can perform or do things better. Deck Supervisors can help with this by having a general teacher feedback form that they can use whilst observing the teacher. This also provides an opportunity to check out the overall quality control within the lessons. Are teachers positive throughout their lessons, are they engaging with their swimmers, are they giving positive praise? These are only three of many questions that can be asked to ensure quality control at your swim school.
World Wide Swim School recommends and supports the use of Pool Deck Supervisors if it is economically viable and your swim school is large enough. If that’s not the case, it can be as simple as having the office manager or swimming centre manager work their multi-tasking skills to ensure all the above areas are covered.