Reese B: Train instructors to deliver all parts of a lesson appropriate to each swimmer based on their level, ability, age, and responsiveness.

Candidate: Reese Blackstone


Details



Related Tasks:

  • Instructor training document for common swimmer issues

  • Identify Levels, and Ages and learning style based on ages. 

    Come up with common issues related to age & level

    Come up with fixes for those issues and make them age-specific.


    Was the task completed: No

    Task evaluation:



    Related Meetings:

  • Reese B: Common level issues and fixes

  • Work done for this meeting:

    Level 1: Ages 3 – 5

    Common issues: 

    Inability to stand upright on your own. 

    Difficulty following directions

    Lack of body control

    Fear of the water, discomfort, unfamiliar with pool water and environment.

    Afraid of strangers. 

    Fearless; will jump off benches to their drowning

    Does not listen. 

    Fixes: 

    Standing: Benches raise the bottom and make it shallower for swimmers / use the shallow end. 

    Directions: Create buy-in, make things interesting, be a dynamic person, make it fun, play with them, foster listening to the leader because the leader will do something fun. 

    Fear of water: Avoid pushing swimmers into their discomfort; refusing to go underwater then gradually push it and do alternate or modified skills to their level of comfort. 

    Not listening: Make it interesting for the swimmer. Keep them engaged. Do not be boring. They won’t care. Be dynamic, exciting, motivated, involved, be an active participant in the lesson. If you are willing to go under, they will too. Demonstrate all things you’re asking them to do. They won’t do it right because they don’t have context because they’ve never seen it before. Demo first! Then they know and can emulate.

    Fear of strangers: Using the same lesson plan, same formula, same structure, same scripts. 

    Lack of body control: Make swimming a game even if they can’t do the fine point motions then focus on macro movements; keep their body still. *You won swim lessons* Do what they CAN do. 

    Level 1 Ages 8-12:

    Common issues: 

    Terrified of the water (stems from fear)

    Refusing to participate

    Disruptive behavior

    Fixes:

    Fear of water: modify activities to still participate even if not going underwater. Create trust between swimmer and instructor to eventually go under. Instructors should participate in activities to show that water is not scary.

    Refusing to participate: negotiate with the swimmer to find an activity that will make them comfortable but also help the practice swimming. 

    Update: “If they won’t participate in an activity, adapt the activity to their comfort. Example: if they won’t do a supported front glide kissing the water, then adapt and ask them to do a supported front glide, hands on shoulders, without going under, or a hug moving through water.

    Disruptive behavior: come up with alternative rewards (not the ones for younger kids) and use the rewards if there is good behavior. Report to parents after each lesson on behavior if parents are aware there may be consequences at home which will control behavior for next time.

    Jeff feedback: how can we make this relatable, simple, and more bullet point like for instructors without level of detail or attention.

    • Offer personalized reward for good behavior like personalized challenge
    • Continued bad: escalate to lesson coordinator
    • Continued bad: escalate to parent

    Level 2: Ages 3-5

    Common issues: 

    younger/smaller than the other swimmers in the group

    Lack of body control

    Difficulty following directions

    Distracted easily/ difficulty paying attention

    Fixes: 

    Younger smaller than other swimmers: they have less stamina they may have to swim shorter distances. Take breaks often and tell them that at any point they can take a break if they need to. 

    Feedback: make example.

    Example: 3x SL +3 FREE to the flags from wall to a bench. IF they can’t, then move the bench closer.

    Lack of body control: Don’t focus on the small details of the strokes. EX. how their hands should exactly scoop the water during FR arm circles. Focus on the bigger picture before mastering details.

    Mentor Feedback: how would you illustrate this?

    Reese: talk about larger motion and not the fingers. Visual demonstration.

    Difficulty following directions: use a very literal vocabulary and do not explain in depth. Use words they understand and make it clear that they can ask questions at any time.

    Distracted easily: Always have something for them to do. If they are not the one swimming, tell them to do 5 bobs and then it will be their turn. KEEP THEM BUSY!!!

    Level 2: Ages 5-7

    Common issues: 

    Don’t follow directions

    Becoming independent

    Hesitant to try new things

    Fixes:

    Don’t follow directions: use rewards for them this could mean praise after swimming well or a game/fun activity at the end. Use games that practice swimming but also are fun to them. They won’t follow directions if they’re bored.

    Becoming Independent: 5-7 year olds developmentally are becoming independent at this age this may mean they don’t want any help, still always offer assistance and be right next to them as they are swimming if they are not fully confident. 

    Hesitant: don’t introduce too much at once, it’s overwhelming. Build onto new skills over time/start small until a bigger goal or skill has been reached then reward for what was tried. 

    Level 2: Ages 8-12

    Common issues:

    Older than other kids

    Quiet and shy or too social

    Talking back/attitude

    Fixes:

    Older than other kids: talk to them like they are 8-12 not younger, just because they are not a strong swimmer doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated their age.

    Quiet and shy: make sure everyone in the group is comfortable around each other. Introduce yourself and others. Use activities that make the kids talk to each other so they can feel more comfortable being social.

    Too social: make it a point to have the kids understand that there is a time and place for talking. Talking is okay when waiting to swim but as soon as it is their turn they must be ready to swim.

    Talking back/attitude: make it clear that you are the one leading the lesson and no one else. Do not engage when given an attitude, only engage when they follow directions and speak nicely. They will hopefully learn that you respond to good behavior.

    Level 3: Ages 3-5 – Remove from training doc.

    Common issues:

    Can’t swim far distances/don’t have a strong breathing capacity

    Lack of body control

    Doesn’t follow directions

    Don’t know there limits

    Afraid of strangers

    Fixes:

    Can’t swim far distances/don’t have a strong breathing capacity: they can not swim the whole length of the pool, shortening the distance they are swimming. They get tired much faster.

    Lack of body control: they can’t stand still and always have them working on something if it’s not their turn tell them to take some bobs or practice arm circles in place. When swimming it is hard to focus on technique, their bodies don’t understand small details yet.

    Doesn’t follow directions: provide rewards when directions are followed it will increase the behavior more. Use easy and understandable words to explain things so the directions are very simple.

    Don’t know their limits: a young child who is a good swimmer may think they can swim very far but they can’t always. Make sure the kids understand when a break is needed and offer breaks to them at various times so they have an opportunity to catch their breath. 

    Afraid of strangers: be consistent with the lesson plans if it’s the same as their last lesson they will feel comfortable with what they’re doing no matter who the instructor is. 

    Level 3: Ages 5-7

    Common issues:

    Do not listen 

    Scared of doing things independently 

    Thinks they can do things they can’t

    Don’t have technique:

    Fixes:

    Do not listen: make sure they are not bored. Demonstrate activities before they do them, show them how it’s done they will be more interested then. Keep them focused and try to not have distractions within the group.

    Scared of doing things independently: make sure your group feels like a safe place to make mistakes. Reassure kids it’s okay to fail and that’s how you get better. When they mess up it’s not a big deal, tell them it was a silly mistake. 

    Things they can do things they can’t: have them try new things but as an instructor know what is best for each kid if you don’t think they’re ready for something don’t let them try it is your swim lesson not theirs. You get to decide who does what.

    Don’t have technique: as level 3 kids are working more and more on their strokes, they start to focus on what technique should look like even if they can’t do it. This way they will know what to do when they are actually capable of doing it later. 

    Level 3: Ages 8-12

    Common issues: 

    Dangerous behavior

    Bullying toward others

    Impulsive behavior 

    Anxious 

    Fixes: 

    Dangerous behavior: kids may try to try doing things that may not be safe for them especially if they are at this age. Try to have kids stay on task by providing activities to do while waiting their turn. Keeping their attention on what they’re supposed to be doing keeps them from attempting to do something that may harm them.

    Bullying towards others: There may be kids of all ages in level 3 groups this may make the older kids think they are “better” than the others. Keep the swim group a safe environment that everyone feels okay to share how they are feeling and be open with each other. Make it a point that it doesn’t matter how old you are to be a good swimmer. 

    Impulsive behavior: kids of this age may think that they are “invincible” and can do anything. Make sure kids in your group know their limits and if you as the instructor think or know that they can’t do something provide help or do not let them try it until they are ready.

    Anxious: oftentimes kids come into a level 3 group from a level 2 group this is a big change and kids at this age show lots of emotions. A level change is a big step and can create nerves before trying new things. As an instructor, tell kids that it’s okay to fail and that if they are not comfortable doing something by themself that you are always there for help and support.

    Edited out some words.

    Level 4: Ages 5-7:

    Common issues:

    Very young

    Distracted easily

    No stamina

    No technique 

    Fixes:

    Very young: kids ages 5-7 in level 4 are most likely the youngest kids in the group. Keep that in mind and know that you may have to test their limits because there can be a wide range of abilities of these kids. 

    Distracted easily: although these kids are better swimmers it is hard for young kids to stay on task for long periods of time. They may not need games but definitely use activities that practice their skills, like the ones on the lesson sheets. 

    No stamina: kids of such a young age can not swim as far as an older kid. Keep that in mind and have them practice their skills in shorter distances. 

    No technique: a young child can not create the small little details with their bodies while they do the strokes but they can learn them. As an instructor, always talk about them and demonstrate them even if they can not physically possibly do it. 

    Level 4: Ages 8-10

    Common issues: 

    Negative attitude

    Don’t get along with others

    Fixes:

    Negative attitude: kids of this age often have the attitude of “I can’t do it” or “this is impossible” at this level kids will be trying harder strokes and working on technique so as an instructor you need to enforce the attitude of “yes you can”, “you got this”, “nothing is impossible” even if you sound funny saying these things it can really switch a child’s mindset.\

    Add info about Chunking.

    Don’t get along with others: at this age for kids they tend to fight with others or make comments that hurt others. As an instructor try to control out of pocket comments by providing your attention not only to their swimming but also the small conversation that may come throughout the lesson. Make sure kids aren’t saying anything hurtful to others and if it does happen explain why it is not okay and can’t happen again.

    Level 4: Ages 11-13

    Common issues:

    On the older side for swim lessons

    Disrespectful/rude

    Close in age to instructor

    Fixes

    On the older side for swim lessons: treat them like it’s swim practice, challenge them so they can improve.

    disrespectful/rude: these kids know how to be nasty and speak to you in a rude way, set boundaries and do not put up with that behavior. Report things to parents if it’s really bad.

    Close in age to instructor: if possible have an older instructor, otherwise treat them like their age if not older, they are almost adults. 

    Action items:

    Split this training document into 4 separate ones:

     

    • Common Issues and Fixes: Level 1
    • Common Issues and Fixes: Level 2
    • Common Issues and Fixes: Level 3
    • Common Issues and Fixes: Level 4

    Add some examples to each “Fix.” Think about visual examples.

  • Reese: First meeting to discuss goal.

  • Jeffrey Napolski (1/10/2024 4:29 PM): Reviewed items in Reese’s prepared list. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OFV-Tv9SrIHwJnY96ui_xQYBwDt-TWFlN7TfNssxsk4/edit?usp=sharing Discussed the differences and talked about which one we’d start with. In Meeting 3. We talked about Level 1 ages 3 – 5.

    Create different age categories for Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and identify age groups that might be in that group and have an issue that needs to be identified and addressed.

    Then come up with a list of common issues for each age group in each level, and a list of Fixes for those common issues.

    Action items:

    Create different age categories for Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and identify age groups that might be in that group and have an issue that needs to be identified and addressed.

    Then come up with a list of common issues for each age group in each level, and a list of Fixes for those common issues.

  • Reese: 2nd meeting

  • Jeffrey Napolski (1/2/2024 3:21 PM): Tasks: Potential tasks: Level 1: They don’t have a good ability, they’re ages 3-4, don’t listen. Create a document that we can print and would be similar to a lesson plan sheet and they can review it before each lesson. Flow chart? Come up with strategies for dealing with each variable of age, ability, etc. What kind of games? Creating a training document. ======== Reinforce customizing behavior and provide during an in-service. ================================================================= Swim instructor training; most helpful was the Peer Teaching. It was hard b/c you were assigned a specific skill. IF you give the same Peer Teaching a Level with non-responsive, and age, then broaden the categories instead of just a skill. Expand the Peer Teaching; come up with guidance and insight in how to do it. ================= Come up with further examples of ways to provide training to instructors; video, online course, document, inserivce, etc. And provide 2 senetences for each new idea on how exactly that would work, and what we would do.

    Jeffrey Napolski (1/2/2024 3:08 PM): Ensure a comforting, friendly, and collaborative work environment between coworkers through engaging activities within work families Answer unknown questions for staff by providing ways to comfortably ask questions Ensure swim instructors use effective games throughout indoor and outdoor lessons Educate swim instructors on ways to speak to different ages of swimmers no matter what level they are Educate swim instructors on better ways to communicate between the swimmer and instructor Ensure communication between the instructor and swimmer is Improve instructor communication with swimmers of all abilities and ages Train instructors to deliver all parts of a lesson appropriate to each swimmer based on their level, ability, age, and responsiveness.

    Jeffrey Napolski (1/2/2024 3:07 PM): Clarified the goal with a further brainstorm.

    Jeffrey Napolski (1/2/2024 2:58 PM): Review the brainstorm of 4 goals.

    Action Items for next meeting

    Action items:

    Come up with further examples of ways to provide training to instructors; video, online course, document, Inservice, etc. And provide 2 sentences for each new idea on how exactly that would work, and what we would do.

  • Reese: Follow up on training documents

  • How are we going to provide this training to the swim instructors.

    Summary of meeting:

    Reese Blackstone – Mentorship Meeting

    Jeff and Speaker 2 discussed training and development for swim instructors, including creating a comprehensive training plan and assigning different issues to each swimmer in a group for peer teaching. They also brainstormed ideas for a reference guide and online booking system. In another conversation, Jeff and Speaker 2 emphasized the importance of practical application and engaging delivery in a training session on removing ‘okay’ from speech, and highlighted the value of mentorship for personal and professional growth. Speaker 2 shared an anecdote about a friend who improved their English skills through a mentorship program.

    Action Items

    • [ ] Create training plan document for swim instructor common issues training
    • [ ] Add “need common issues and fixes document as reference” to training plan
    • [ ] Create activity 2 using common issues flashcards
    • [ ] Come up with a challenge activity related to training
    • [ ] Pick date in March for first training and schedule on Humanity
    • [ ] Print common issues sheets on indestructible paper
    • [ ] Cut common issues sheets into individual skill cards
    • [ ] Implement direct online booking for private swim lessons
    • [ ] Open up evening slots for private swim lessons
    • [ ] Find past meeting notes with book reference

    Outline

    Training for swim instructors.

    • Jeff provides instructions on how to handle the roster for a training session.
    • Jeff and Speaker 2 discuss a color-coded system for identifying common issues and their fixes in a training program.
    • John plans to use a supplemental training module for new swim instructors, catching up those with little experience.
    • The lesson coordinator (LC) needs to create a training document and reference guide for lesson cleaners to follow when dealing with common issues and fixes in swimming lessons.

    Teaching swimming lessons.

    • Speaker 2 suggests breaking down the training into levels specific sections, starting with level one, and providing examples and practices in the water for instructors to follow.
    • Jeff agrees and suggests making the training more practical, with a focus on common issues identified for each level, and introducing the concepts with a fix and an example, followed by practice in the water.
    • Speaker 2 suggests creating a training plan document for the LLC, adjustable for each level.
    • Speaker 2 is unsure about the instructions for training activity one, while Jeff provides more details and clarification.
    • Jeff explains that training activity two involves practicing skills and addressing common mistakes and fixes, with a focus on younger kids’ inability to stand upright.

    Swimming lesson planning and instructor training.

    • Jeff provides a lesson plan framework for swim instructors to identify and address common issues in a fun and engaging way.
    • Swimmers act out skills and their peers provide appropriate responses, while the instructor assigns different issues to each group for practice and peer teaching.
    • Instructor should respond appropriately to common issues in swimming lessons.
    • Jeff provides a framework for structuring a training module on removing “okay” from language, with a focus on practicality and fun.
    • The goal is to write instructions for someone to conduct the training, considering the audience’s learning style and preferences.

    Creating educational materials for kids.

    • Jeff and Speaker 2 discuss ways to make training more engaging for employees.
    • Jeff plans to use Ashlynn’s pictures from lessons on giant posters for parents and instructors to know what kids are learning.

    Swim instructor training activities.

    • Instructors assign groups of 3-4 people and practice fixes for common issues.
    • Jeff suggests creating a document with common level issues and fixes, and using it as a reference for training activities.
    • Jeff and Speaker 2 discuss a swimming lesson activity where swimmers practice strokes using flashcards.

    Training for lifeguards.

    • Jeff and Speaker 2 discuss planning a training session for lifeguards, with Jeff suggesting they start in March and cover two to three common issues with examples.
    • Speaker 2 suggests targeting skills before summer to accommodate new people and Jeff agrees, with Speaker 2 mentioning the importance of delegating tasks and providing guidance.
    • Jeff and Speaker 2 discuss a training plan for lesson coordinators, including a framework for selecting activities and a reusable training plan.
    • Speaker 2 asks about offering private lessons over the summer, and Jeff confirms they can still do them.
    • Speaker 2 wants to do outdoor lessons only during the summer and is worried about getting fired.
    • Jeff plans to use Speaker 2 as a test subject for a new online booking system, with potential changes to their indoor booking.

    Swim lesson scheduling and student progress.

    • Speaker 2 expresses enthusiasm for teaching swim lessons and private lessons, citing the opportunity to work with the same children multiple times and see their progress.
    • Speaker 2 helps a parent determine the swim level of their child, using a color-coded system, and discusses the potential for the child to improve by summer.
    • Speaker 2 shares their success story with Jeff, highlighting their connection and growth.

    Break people up into peer teaching groups. And Before we do the training, the LC should review the common issues and the fixes and then everyone goes off and practices.

    *Adjust training based on what level is being taught

    Training Activity 1: 

    • Need the level’s common issues and fixes document as a reference

    LC chooses 2-3 common issues and reviews what their fixes are with the swim instructors that are present. Swim instructors can be in or out of the water.

    Create groups of 3-4 people. Assign one person to be the instructor who will do 2 level appropriate skills. EX: Supported front glide and supported back glide for level 1. 

    Instructors can choose one of the 2-3 issues reviewed. They should behave as if they have that common issue. Instructor should practice the fixes reviewed before. Rotate instructors after the 2-3 skills have been taught. Move quickly each instructor should take 5 minutes or less.

    Regroup and discuss what went well and what can be improved. Repeat all steps until the whole level’s issues and fixes have been discussed and practiced.

    Training Activity 2:

    • Need the level’s common issues and fixes document flashcards

    LC 

    should distribute flashcards one to each instructor.

    Action items:

    Create a training plan, or a Lesson Coordinator guide to do an in-service training using the Levels 1- 4 Common Issues & Fixes documents.

     

    Come up with 1 more activity, and 1 challenge. for your in-service.

    Pick an inservice date that you want to do this training.

     

  • Reese: Review LC training plan

  • *Adjust training based on what level is being taught

    Training Activity 1: 

    • Need the level’s common issues and fixes document as a reference

    LC chooses 2-3 common issues and reviews what their fixes are with the swim instructors that are present. Swim instructors can be in or out of the water.

    Create groups of 3-4 people. Assign one person to be the instructor who will do 2 level appropriate skills. EX: Supported front glide and supported back glide for level 1. 

    Other instructors in the group can choose one of the 2-3 issues reviewed. They should behave as if they have that common issue. Instructor should practice the fixes reviewed before. Rotate instructors after the 2 skills have been taught. Move quickly each instructor should take 5 minutes or less.

    Regroup and discuss what went well and what can be improved. Repeat all steps until the whole level’s issues and fixes have been discussed and practiced. 

    Training Activity 2:

    • Need the level’s common issues and fixes document flashcards

    LC should create groups of 3-5 people. Assign one person to be the instructor. LC should then distribute flashcards one to each additional instructor. Instructor will then do 2 level appropriate skills. EX: Supported front glide and supported back glide for level 1. Other instructors in the group should behave how their issue card tells them to. Instructors should respond accordingly to the behavior with the fixes. Move quickly through the skills. Shuffle cards redistribute and rotate.

    Regroup and discuss what went well and what can be improved

    Challenge:

    Instructors should partner up and decide who is the swimmer and who’s the instructor. LC pulls “Swimmers” aside and tells them which level and common issue they should act out. Then all at the same time “Swimmers” act out the behavior and instructors guess the level and issue. First instructor to guess correctly wins. Switch roles and repeat. 

    Jeff notes:

    We discussed how to write a challenge and what that looks like. WE discussed lateral thinking and word puzzles.

    Jeff talked about how to create a challenge.

    Challenges are specific and targeting a skill.

    • Choose a skill
    • Put a roadblock into that skill
    • Make it interesting.

    We discussed a few bad challenge ideas, and then settled on:

    “LC writes a sample instruction to a class of any level on a white board or paper. Each instructor in the training must do the following:

    • Read the instruction with ZERO inflection and tone; like a robot, or Raven from Teen Titans.
    • Read the instructions again, with EXTREME enthusiasm and excitement and way too much energy.

    Implicit learning would be that instructors should find a medium that works for them and is engaging, exciting, but not distracting or too ridiculous that the participants don’t pay attention. “

    Action items:

    Pick a few dates for running this training.

     

    Identify the following things:

     

    • Location
    • Time
    • Duration (about 30 minutes)
    • number of participants; how many people should attend
    • Who will lead it (reese)
    • Expected outcome; how are we going to evaluate the success of this training
    • Equipment or things needed to conduct the training.

     

    Write an instructions page for future LC to use when they’re looking at the cut up cards and the sheets you created and we printed.

    The language should target a Lesson Coordinator that hasn’t done the activity you planned yet and needs to read a short paragraph on how to run the training.



    Related Updates:



    Information about the Goal

    Reese Blackstone arrived at their goal through a series of meetings and refinement. Learn how that process happened.


    What should we improve?

    The candidate chose items in the aquatics program and department to improve. Goals are broad targets that we will work towards. Every meeting and task done will be in service of that goal. Goals should be large enough to encompass many tasks. Goals may not be attainable. Goals are our guiding direction; our North Star.

    Reese Blackstone’s brainstormed ideas:


    Ensure a comforting, friendly, and collaborative work environment between coworkers through engaging activities within work families
    Answer unknown questions for staff by providing ways to comfortably ask questions
    Ensure swim instructors use effective games throughout indoor and outdoor lessons
    Educate swim instructors on ways to speak to different ages of swimmers no matter what level they are


    Goal Evaluation:





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