Sunday, 3 May 2015

A day in the life of an Instructor

With our upcoming IDC we thought it would be a great time to take you through the day in the life of a PADI Certified Instructor on the beautiful island of Mabul. 

As a PADI Dive Instructor you are able to teach a range of courses, from taking people on their first ever Discover Scuba Dive, to training and mentoring future PADI Divemasters. These courses will challenge and test you in a range of ways, as well as expanding your skills in ways you couldn't imagine. 

But let's start at the beginning - a PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experience. 

The DSD programme allows those who are not sure if they want to commit to the Open Water course to try diving. It requires no classroom time and can be done in just one morning. The customer is provided with basic diving theory to ensure they remain safe whilst underwater. 

The day starts at 8.30am. Staff and interns alike come together to set up the jetty for the days diving. Tanks are collected from our compressor room, and BCDs and regulators are brought out from the equipment room. The energy on the jetty in the morning is infectious, everyone is excited about the upcoming day of diving. As dive professionals we love to share our passion with other divers, and that's what these days are about. 

There is no classroom time for the DSD, so customers are met on the jetty. From there we take them to our shaded briefing area - the sun can be unforgiving at times! Away from the hustle of the jetty you are able to discuss with your students their feelings about their first ever dive. Whilst some may be fearless, more often than not there are some apprehensions. Taking your first breaths underwater can be a nerve racking experience - doing something that your body has been told for its entire life that it cannot do! As an instructor - someone who is borderline growing gills - we have to learn to understand this feeling.

In the DSD briefing, our students are given an introduction to the physics of diving and what happens to our bodies, as well as information on how to be a safe diver. There is the delicate balance of making someone feel safe, but ensuring they understand that there are some serious risks involved in diving. Once the safety briefing is complete you then take them through some of the basic diving skills. Having them complete a regulator clearing skill, regulator recovery and a mask clearing skill means they are equipped to deal with the minor discomforts that divers can face in the water. To instructors these dive skills may seem simple, but for people who have rarely spent time in the water it can be a challenge. Helping people overcome there fears and difficulties that they face during these experience is one of the most rewarding aspects of being an Instructor. 

Once the skills are completed it's time to take people on their first dive! This is a fantastic experience for all those involved. Showing people their first turtles, their first schools of stunning colourful fish makes and their expressions as you do so is one of the greatest parts of teaching. Keeping your student close and ensuring they feel safe is imperative. But of course this is a joyful experience, a day that people will treasure. 

Showing people their first turtle is amazing!!
The DSD experience is two dives, the first is done on our House Reef. Swimming over sand around sunken boats and large structures that have attracted a plethora of life. Huge turtles sit surrounded by schools of blue striped snapper. Angelfish and butterfly fish flash their colours as they weave in-between the structures. Eels poke their heads out from underneath tyres. There is an endless amount of things to see. On the second dive we take our Discover Scuba Divers on a coral reef dive. Froggies is a shallow reef this sits to the West of our jetty. Along here we see huge schools of two spot snapper, beautiful corals, turtles, octopus and cuttlefish, amongst many other things! 

After two dives everyone is ready for lunch. This is a chance to discuss with these new divers how they feel about the diving day and explain to them the beautiful things that they saw. After lunch divers are given the chance to go for a third dive. Sometimes they even get to go out on one our our boats. After the last dive its time for the equipment break down. The customers go off to the beach to relax whilst staff and interns wash gear and clears tanks from the boats. Everyone works as a team and it's takes less than 30 minutes. It gives staff a chance to discuss their day and speak to the other customers who are still milling around the jetty soaking up the buzzing atmosphere. 

Once the busy day is done it's time to head up to the lovely Scuba Junkie bar. An ice cold beer shared with your divers is a great way to finish the day. Everyone comes together to discuss the days diving, the intriguing fish that they saw and the rewarding experiences they have had with their divers. 

The range of people who you experience whilst working as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors is truly unbelievable at times. Watching people overcome their fears face on and the challenges they overcome is a rewarding experience. 

We are a passionate bunch who love to meet new people. Doing the Instructor Development Course at Scuba Junkie means you are surrounded by experienced instructors who love to share their knowledge with you. 

For more information send us an email: We hope to see you soon! 

Don't forget to follow us on twitter! @ScubaJunkie_MY

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