The start of Summer always sees swim school numbers grow and an increased class size. This usually means that the student numbers need to increase to accommodate for the influx of new or returning swimmers. This increase will certainly change the dynamics of your class. In addition, it will make your job more challenging to ensure that everyone is receiving equal attention and maximum practice time. Here are a few tips to ensure that the season is off to a great start.
Children’s Swimming Lessons Tips for an Increased Class Size
Revise rules and expectations
Now is an ideal time to revise the class rules and set expectations with your swimming class. Children must learn to look and listen while you are talking. But remember, you need to use simple instructions and key words with children. Otherwise, they will get easily bored and lose their focus. Also, remember you want to instill rules and expectations that the children can actually meet. Be upfront with children about the consequences if they don’t follow the rules. You shouldn’t be mean or have to yell at children. But you must be consistent with your expectations and follow through with consequences because this will set the stage for future lessons. Positive praise for good work is always the best option.
Teach children to circle the lane
It’s important that children learn how to circle the lane. This is so that you can ensure maximum practice time in the lesson for all swimmers. Teaching children to work together and encourage their friends to move over and go can help. Also using markers so that the children know when to go will help keep the flow of the lesson smooth. That way the children don’t have to wait on you to say ‘go’ all the time. Other formations like wave formation and circuits can also help to keep the group moving. Mixing up the teaching formations will also give variety to the swimming lesson and avoid boredom. Active children are well behaved children because they don’t have time to get distracted and cause disruptions.
Revise your program or lesson plan
Revising your program will be vital to ensure that it meets the abilities and needs of the new and existing students. Even when children are grouped according to their ability level, there will still be slight variations on how they perform certain skills. Lesson planning is the best way to ensure that you are providing the best possible lesson to all swimmers. Once you get to know your class, you will likely need to make adjustments to a lesson plan or program. Think of lesson planning as more of a guide that needs constant review and reflection. Swimming teachers need to learn to be flexible and adapt to a variety of situations.
Assess your swimmers
Now is the ideal time to ensure that all your swimmers are in the correct class group. Moving children up, or changing them to a more suitable class, will not only help your teaching but will also help their learning. Sometimes the dynamics of the group just don’t work well together and sometimes an individual in a class will progress more rapidly than the others and need to advance. Communicating with the administration or the deck supervisor is essential. Speaking to the parent before a suitable class is arranged can cause frustration or embarrassment.
So now we’ve covered all our tips, it’s time to get our classes full and our children ready for a safe summer swimming season. Don’t forget to talk to the parents about water safety and encourage them to give their child lots of opportunities to play outside of the lesson to speed up the learning process.
How do you class sizes in your swimming lessons? Comment below.