What Teaching Swim Lessons Has Done For Me

What Teaching Swim Lessons Has Done For Me

A Rewarding Experience

When I started teaching swim lessons I had no idea the impact it would have on me. I began teaching swim lessons my senior year of high school; I thought it was a good fit for me because I had been a swimmer most of my life and had also worked as a lifeguard prior. What I didn’t think was that it would change my life like it did, or how it helped me grow so immensely as a person.

Before teaching swim lessons I sort-of liked kids, and I definitely never thought that my favorite part of the job would be the kiddos I worked with. When I first began teaching I found the job entirely overwhelming; there was so much you had to know and so much that was expected of you. The job was stressful, but I found that experience was the key to success with the job. All it took was becoming confident in my teaching abilities and perfecting my “mom voice” to get the kids to listen and respect me.

Once I found my rhythm and figured out what techniques worked best to teach, I really lost myself in the pure enjoyment of what I was doing. The thing about working with kids, and teaching them a lifelong skill, is that it is remarkably rewarding. For me, there was no better feeling then when a kid finally accomplished a skill that we had been working on for a long time. I always felt this overwhelming sense of pride knowing that I did that. I taught this adorable young child something that they will always take with them, not to mention something that will help keep them safe.

The feeling of helping shape and influence a child is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced, and that was not something I expected when I initially took the job. It honestly became more than a job for me, I loved doing it so it never felt like work. Getting to be goofy with the kiddos for a couple hours while teaching them something that I myself loved to do was an incredible “job” to have.

Another thing: kids are hilarious. They honestly say the most ridiculous things that I then share with all my friends and family at the end of every shift. I knew I loved what I was doing because I could never stop talking about it. I loved spending time with the kinds, I loved teaching something I felt so strongly about, and I loved the feeling that I was doing something with a purpose.

Teaching swim lessons has become something I hold very dear to my heart and I plan to continue to find ways to fit it into my life in some way. It helped me grow and mature, and it helped me realize that I want to work with kids again someday because it is one of the most rewarding things to do. I get choked up thinking about all the kids and parents that have conveyed to me how much they have appreciated and enjoyed my teaching.

The kiddos and their families made every second of the damaged hair, dry skin, and constant smell of chlorine worth it. Teaching swim lessons has taught me so much and has been one of the best experiences of my life. I am so appreciative for something that has been such a positive impact on me. No matter what career path I go down I feel that somehow I will find my way back to teaching because the feeling that it gives me is like no other.

Cover Image Credit: Courthouse Athletic Club/Flickr Creative Commons

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8 Ways To Get Through An 8 A.M. Class Without Immediately Feeling Like Dropping It

With these tips you won't start skipping class or end up making it more difficult to pass.

8 a.m. classes — the most dreaded time slot. What every college student dreads having to take. Unfortunately for us, those classes are sometimes impossible to avoid. In those situations, it can be hard not to resent having to take the class. And when that happens, you can start skipping class and end up making the class more difficult to pass and get through.

Luckily, there are some pretty simple ways to make eight in the morning classes easier to handle:

1. Set your alarm across the room.

This might be a tip you've heard before but, seriously, it works. If you set your alarm on your phone and put it across the room, it forces you to get up and out of bed in order to turn it off. There's no easy way to just roll over, turn off the alarm, and fall back to sleep. 90% of the challenge with 8 AMs is waking up and getting out of bed.

2. Pre-prepare snacks.

Especially if the class goes for two hours or longer. Snacks are a great way to keep your attention and energy up throughout the class. Even if it's something as simple as a granola bar or a banana! Something to munch on will make the class so much more bearable.

3. Make sure you eat breakfast!

Speaking of food... start the day off right with some breakfast, even if the day is starting early. Grab an apple, make some toast, something to get yourself going. If you go to class hungry, you're a lot less likely to be able to pay attention.

4. Invest in your favorite caffeine!

Struggling to stay awake in your early morning classes? Grab a cup of coffee or some tea. If you can, make it at home and bring it in a thermos! That way you'll know it was made the way you like it and you'll save a bit of money!

5. Make a friend in class!

Not only will this give you a reason to be excited to go to class, it will also hold you accountable to going on those days you really don't want to. If you make a friend in class, you won't want to abandon them and skip it! Plus, you guy can keep each other awake.

6. Don't procrastinate the work!

Okay, so this could apply to any class you're taking whether it's an 8 a.m. or not. But it's especially important for 8 a.m. classes! The more prepared you are when you have to go to the class, the better. You'll feel less stressed out and more prepared to go to class and get stuff done.

7. Plan out your outfit the night before!

Seriously, this saves so much time and stress in the morning. And plus, it's so easy. Just set out your clothes the night before and there will be no worrying about your outfit. Just roll out of bed, slip on your clothes, and you're ready to go.

8. Put in some face time with the professor!

If you speak and meet with the professor, they'll be more likely to recognize you in class and notice when you're not there. This will hold you accountable to attending when you want to skip and spend an extra couple hours sleeping!

Cover Image Credit: oistedu / Flickr

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Is The Credit/No Credit Option Enough For Students?

What is wrong with the CUNY grading system?

As a student for almost 17 years now, I can say there are several ways to understand a subject. Sometimes you go to tutoring for a one-on-one with the teacher. Other times you study on your own and use flashcards. Other times you study with a group. Or all of these options. SOMETHING has to work, right?


In grade school, sometimes, even if you fail all the tests in the class but you do all the homework, show up, and participate, you'll pass the class. Not so much in college, especially at a CUNY. I've experienced all types of classes. Specifically, in a science class, I found it very hard to digest information and understand the concepts enough to pass the class, even with maximum effort.

So what happens when you know for sure you will not pass the class?

Well, there is something called a Credit/No Credit form. It is basically a form that saves your GPA in case it is too late to drop the class. If by before the final exam, you know for sure that either you are going to get a super low grade or you'll fail, you have the option of filling out this form. If you do fail, it will come up as NC (No Credit) and it won't factor in your GPA.

The bad thing about the form is that if you use it and get a no credit, you still wasted an entire semester of your time and you still had to pay for the course. Also, there is a limit in Hunter College that you can only use it for 4 courses. This I find to be preposterous because you don't know how many classes you will take that put you in a predicament, when you have no choice but to decide to drop them in the middle of the semester or you get an F.

Now, what happens when you get an F? For the most obvious part, it brings your GPA down. I would advise, even though I didn't follow it myself, if you have time, to retake that course. Pick a different teacher. Because if you get an F, you get an option of retaking the course. Anything higher than an F, say a D, is your problem. But if you do retake the course and get a higher grade, your GPA will go up. It is worth it if you have the time to retake the course.

What I don't like about the system is that after you have finished with your Credit/No Credit forms, you have to drop the class and settle for a W (Withdraw) if you think you are failing. The W won't affect your GPA, but it also won't look good. I feel that we should have more Credit/No Credit forms because it does nothing to the school financially if we fail a class. We are still failing the course, we just don't have to spend the rest of our college career making up for one class by getting higher grades in other classes.

It just does not make sense why we have a limit. Even if this encourages us to try to do better, it still won't affect the result. If you are struggling in one area of the core requirement, no matter what class you take it won't look good on your grades. A possible suggestion would be to let us use however many Credit/No Credit forms we need or not requiring all areas of the core requirement. If it is a subject that is not in our career path and we are struggling to pass it, it really should not even be required. The CUNY system, or at least, Hunter College, needs to take a look at this policy again.

Cover Image Credit: Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

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