From Student to Mentor: My Journey to becoming an Assistant Instructor
Written by Jasmine Lim Smith,28 May 2023.
From the moment I took my first breath underwater at the age of 10, the world of diving captured my heart and set me on a path of exploration and self-discovery. Reflecting on my journey from an enthusiastic young diver to becoming a Divemaster and now a PADI Assistant Instructor, one memory stands out vividly. During a mesmerizing dive, surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and fascinating marine life, I witnessed the transformative power of diving. Descending into the deep blue, a mix of excitement and nerves overwhelmed me as I shouldered the responsibility of ensuring the safety and enjoyment of the students. Guiding a group of new divers, I watched their initial nervousness melt away, replaced by awe and pure joy as they immersed themselves in this underwater wonderland. In that profound moment, I realized the incredible privilege and responsibility of sharing the magic of diving with others. This experience has fuelled my determination to become an instructor and inspire others to embark on their own diving adventures.
Fuelled by this newfound clarity, I actively sought opportunities to further my professional development. That’s when I stumbled upon the PADI Assistant Instructor program. Enrolling in the course with Flow Dive Center felt like a sign, an invitation to step up and embrace the path towards becoming an instructor. Looking back, it was a decision I’ll never regret.
The Instructor Development Course (IDC) consists of two parts: the Assistant Instructor Course and the Open Water Instructor Course.
At first, I didn’t fully comprehend the benefits of taking these courses separately. However, as I progressed through the program, the immense value of this approach became clear. By immersing myself in the Assistant Instructor Course first, I had the opportunity to build a solid foundation of knowledge and hone my teaching techniques. This initial step allowed me to put theory into practice and gain hands-on experience in a controlled environment.
Becoming a PADI Assistant Instructor was a challenging and rewarding process. Under the guidance of my instructor, Melanie, I engaged in classroom sessions, confined water dives, and open water dives. Through these experiences, I refined my teaching techniques and learned how to effectively impart diving knowledge to others. The course introduced me to the intricacies of dive theory, equipment maintenance, and safety procedures. I also gained practical experience in conducting confined water training sessions and assisting in refresher courses. The guidance and mentorship provided by my instructor were invaluable, as they shared their wealth of experience and imparted valuable insights into the art of instruction.
Initially, the whole experience felt overwhelming, particularly the knowledge development sessions, which became the aspect of the course I dreaded the most. It wasn’t because I lacked knowledge on the topic; rather, it was the pressure to present it in a specific way that made me uncomfortable. Furthermore, my self-imposed high expectations added to my discouragement, as I strived to be proficient right from the start. However, I’ve come to realize that expecting perfection on the first try is unrealistic, especially when venturing into something new. This mindset often overwhelms me and leads to hesitation when attempting a second try, out of fear of not immediately achieving success once again. Nonetheless, as I progressed through the course, I gradually gained a burgeoning sense of confidence. I learned that it’s acceptable to experience failure, as it serves as a valuable learning opportunity. Failing ultimately paves the way for growth and development.
The completion of the course marked a significant milestone in my journey as a PADI Professional. I felt a mix of excitement, pride, and a deep sense of accomplishment. It was a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion that I had invested in becoming a proficient and responsible diving professional. The PADI Assistant Instructor certification not only recognized my skills and knowledge but also opened doors to new opportunities and experiences within the diving industry.
Now, as a PADI Assistant Instructor, I am truly privileged to join a worldwide network of dedicated diving professionals who share a profound love for the ocean and a deep commitment to promoting safety and sustainability. However, my journey doesn’t end here. In the coming years, I am fully dedicated to furthering my growth and progress by completing the second part of my IDC course, undertaking my Instructor Examination, and earning my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Rating. Additionally, I’m excited to delve into the realm of Technical Diving, expanding my knowledge beyond the realm of recreational diving.
So if you are keen on learning more Going Pro, you can certainly speak to Flow Dive Center about the PADI Divemaster course, PADI Assistant Instructor course, PADI OWSI course, PADI Instructor Development Course & Instructor Examination as well as the EFR Instructor course with us! Just holler us at firstname.lastname@example.org! See you over at the Pro side!