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.